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Opening Statement for Third Day of Public Hearings from Volker Whistleblower Complaint on Ukraine (Kelly Smith, comp.) 1 (11/19/2019)

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Testimony before the House Impeachment Inquiry


                                     Amb. Kurt Volker
                 Former U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations

                                    November 19, 2019


Thank you very much for the opportunity to provide this testimony today.

As you know, I was the first person to come forward to testify as part of this Inquiry. I did so
voluntarily, and likewise voluntarily provided relevant documentation in my possession, in
order to be as cooperative, clear and complete as possible. I am here today voluntarily, and I
remain committed to cooperating fully and truthfully with this Committee.

All I can do is provide the facts as I understood them at the time. I did this on October 3 in
private, and I will do so again today.

Like many others who have testified in this inquiry, I am a career foreign policy professional. I
began my career as an intelligence analyst for Northern Europe for the Central Intelligence
Agency in 1986, before joining the State Department in 1988. I served in diplomatic postings,
primarily focused on European political and security issues, for over twenty years, under
Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama.
My last three positions before leaving the Senior Foreign Service in 2009 were as Director for
NATO and West European Affairs at the National Security Council, Principal Deputy Assistant
Secretary of State for European Affairs at the State Department, and, finally, as U.S.
Ambassador to NATO.

In the Spring of 2017, then-Secretary of State Tillerson asked if I would come back to
government service as U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations. I did this on a
part-time, voluntary basis, with no salary paid by the U.S. taxpayer, simply because I believed it
was important to serve our country in this way. I believed I could steer U.S. policy in the right
direction.

For over two years, as U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations, my singular focus
was advancing the foreign policy and national security interests of the United States. In
particular, that meant pushing back on Russian aggression and supporting the development of a
strong, resilient, democratic, and prosperous Ukraine - one that overcomes a legacy of
corruption and becomes integrated into a wider transatlantic community.

This is critically important for U.S. national security. If we can stop and reverse Russian
aggression in Ukraine, we can prevent it elsewhere. If Ukraine, the cradle of Slavic civilization
predating Moscow, succeeds as a freedom-loving, prosperous and secure democracy, it gives us
enormous hope that Russia may one day change - providing a better life for Russian people,

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