Translation and Language Industry Observations

Ukraine has been in the news a lot recently. President Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made a certain White House intelligence officer blow the whistle on Trump. This caused a chain reaction which has lead to an impeachment inquiry. On the other side of the political fence, former VP Joe Biden also finds himself in hot water over his son Hunter’s connections in Ukraine.

So what’s the big deal about Ukraine?

Ukraine is a large country with a population of over 40 million people. It was the second largest economy in the former Soviet block and is the second largest country in Europe in terms of size. Despite its independence in 1990, Ukraine finds it difficult to break off from Russia’s bear hug. Ukraine’s Achilles heal is its heavy dependence on energy imports. Ukraine relies on Russia for its supplies of natural gas and oil for heating. Russia has threatened and has even shut down the energy supply in winter, causing may people in the Ukraine to live in freezing cold weather without heat. Another geopolitical hot potato is the fact that about 80% of the pipelines which carry Russian gas and oil to the European Union run through the Ukraine. Russia can’t afford anything that will endanger its biggest trade commodity which drives its entire economy.

In comes USAID

The  United States Agency for International Development (USAID) was founded over 50 years ago. One of the goals of USAID is:

Diminishing the threat of communism by helping countries prosper under capitalism

One of the recent USAID programs is the performance improvement project within the USAID-funded Energy Security Project (ESP), implemented by Tetra Tech ES, Inc. The project will provide legal and technical assistance to review production sharing agreements (PSAs) received by the Inter-Agency Committee (IAC) of the Ministry of Energy and Environmental Protection (MEEP) from investors.

The object of Energy Security Project (ESP) is to enhance Ukraine’s energy security. Improving the energy legal and regulatory environment and increasing resilience of energy supply will help USAID to achieve broad-based, resilient economic development as a means to sustain Ukrainian democracy. Providing assistance for the creation and development of free market mechanisms is the main goal of ESP. The assistance to key energy institutions supports the implementation of an essential component of USAID’s Ukraine Country Development Cooperation Strategy. ESP will help the Government of Ukraine (GOU) to provide affordable, reliable, resilient and secure energy to its citizens; assist the Government of Ukraine to integrate into European energy markets by helping key government agencies and the energy regulator to meet EU energy acquisition requirements, including the Third Energy Package; improve energy security establishing competitive energy markets in electricity, natural gas and district heating sectors; and increase energy supply in Ukraine by facilitating private sector-led energy investments in, and increasing  production of renewable energy sources.

US and Russian Interests in Ukraine are very high and the behavior of the two superpowers as regards the Ukraine are reminiscent of the cold war era. This can explain why the Ukraine saga is weighing so heavily in recent news and events.

Ukrainian Translation Connection

So what does this have to do with the translation industry? I am glad that you asked. The implementer of this project, Tetra Tech, ES Inc., has just put out an RFP for translation of over 1,000 pages of Ukrainian text into English. People in the USA need to be able to read and analyze the production sharing agreements (PSAs) which are written in Ukrainian.

For more information, please contact:

Christina Gogsadze | Senior Contracts Manager|


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