Despite past difficulties, Ukraine’s track record of economic reforms appears to have set the country in the right direction, according to Oleksandr Danylyuk, finance minister of Ukraine.

Speaking at the Atlantic Council on April 17, Danylyuk struck an optimistic tone about the coming years in Ukraine as he addressed the economic reforms that the government in Kyiv has undertaken so far. “Despite the difficulties, the previous implementation [of economic reform] shows we can achieve,” he said. According to Danylyuk, that the slew of reforms carried out in the past three years had and will continue to change Ukraine by nourishing the hopes of the Ukrainian people.

The Ukrainian economy is expected to grow at 3.2 percent this year, and into 2019, according to the International Monetary Fund’s just-released World Economic Outlook. However, Ukraine will face a presidential election in 2019, creating both volatility and uncertainty which could cloud prospects for further economic growth.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on April 30 provided a twenty-minute PowerPoint presentation of secret Iranian nuclear documents, acquired by Israeli intelligence. The information revealed will be unlikely to change many minds about the wisdom of the nuclear deal with Iran, but it is significant. It shows that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was concluded under false pretenses and that Iran may currently be in violation of the accord.

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We Americans are at a particularly consequential moment for our republic — one that presents unique opportunities to contribute to veterans of our military. Despite the exceptionalism that defines the great experiment that is our nation, we seem to be losing our way as a country. We aren’t living up to the promise of America’s exceptionalism, and the American dream — the idea that anyone willing to work hard and play by the rules can succeed — is in bad shape. Eroding confidence sits at the core of this crisis. In recent decades, the American people have been losing confidence in three of our most important institutions: business, the media, and our government. The worse this trend gets, the harder it will be to revitalize the American dream.

What should our answer be to this perilous moment? And what, in particular, can members of our armed forces do to help fix this problem and create a brighter future for our country? In my view, the answer is something called virtuous leadership — something that has been in short supply in recent decades.

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US President Donald J. Trump’s administration will consider lifting sanctions on Venezuelan officials provided they take steps to ease the political, humanitarian, and economic crisis that is gripping their country, a US State Department official said at the Atlantic Council in Washington on April 30.

The Trump administration has slapped sanctions on Venezuelan officials, including Vice President Tareck El Aissami over his alleged involvement in drug trafficking; members of Venezuela’s Supreme Court, which attempted to strip power from the opposition-led National Assembly; and current and former Venezuelan military officials.

Noting that most of the US sanctions are on individual members of the regime, Michael Fitzpatrick, deputy assistant secretary in the State Department’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, said: “What we are trying to do is to ensure that… we are not complicit in the wholesale looting of the financial coffers of Venezuela.”

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Less than two weeks before US President Donald J. Trump is due to decide on the future of US participation in the Iran nuclear deal, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that his country has found proof Iran lied about the extent of its nuclear program.

In a speech delivered on April 30, Netanyahu said Israel has collected more than 100,000 files and roughly 180 CDs worth of evidence to show that Iran had nuclear capabilities beyond those revealed in negotiations to establish the nuclear deal. The material was reportedly obtained by Israeli intelligence from a secret storage facility in Tehran.

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If the upcoming summit between US President Donald J. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un fails to move the conversation closer to a peaceful resolution, it could result in a return to the belligerence of a few months ago, according to John McHugh, an Atlantic Council board director and former secretary of the US Army.

“The fact that we have the opportunity to change direction here and go in a more peaceful one and having it occur so quickly is good news,” said McHugh. “But the lesson there is that we could very rapidly, if the upcoming summit is a failure, return to that [earlier] posture, which was an extraordinarily dangerous one.”

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Tuesday, May 1 may mark the start of a fully fledged global trade dispute.

US President Donald J. Trump announced tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum products into the United States on March 23, granting temporary exemptions for only seven key US allies of the US: the European Union (EU), Australia, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, Mexico, and South Korea. Those exemptions expire on May 1.

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The visits to Washington this week by Europe’s two top leaders—French President Emanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel—underscore the dramatic changes within Europe and in the transatlantic relationship over the past year.

France has emerged as arguably the European Union’s most influential nation today, and certainly as Washington’s preferred partner. In this, France replaces Germany, which had a privileged role with former US President Barack Obama and his predecessors, and a dominant role within the European Union (EU).

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The Trump administration rolled out a series of national security and defense policy reviews in late 2017 and early 2018, but one important document has yet to be published: the Missile Defense Review (MDR). Insiders predict the Missile Defense Review (MDR) could be published as early as next month, so what can we expect?

It is likely that the MDR will call for a robust US missile defense system that looks to substantially increase US capabilities. As US President Donald J. Trump stated on August 23, 2017: “We are committed to expanding and improving a state of the art missile defense system to shoot down missiles in flight. And we are getting better and better at it. It’s actually incredible what’s taking place.”

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The big question following the historic summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in on April 27 is what denuclearization means in the context of the summit declaration, according to the Atlantic Council’s Alexander “Sandy” Vershbow.

“In the past, denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, as distinct from denuclearization of North Korea, has meant the potential withdrawal of the US nuclear umbrella all the way up to the withdrawal of the entire US military presence in South Korea, given that the US is a nuclear power,” said Vershbow, who served as the United States’ ambassador to South Korea from 2005 to 2008.

Kim and Moon pledged in their meeting in the truce village of Panjumom along the border between the two Koreas to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula and work to formally end the Korean War this year.

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