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WORLD

Ukraine: Noose around Neck of US Diplomacy

Nikolai BOBKIN | 28.02.2014 | 10:29
 

The White House has decided that Ukraine is in for a transition period, though it’s not clear where exactly the country is heading to. President Obama promises to cooperate with all parties without having an idea who he means exactly. It’s not known as yet who has happened to be a winner or a loser as a result of US intervention, but the contemporary plight of Ukraine allows calling it a non-existent state. America cannot stay away from the events in Ukraine but it is not ready to act on its own. The US knows how to destabilize other countries but in the given case it would like to rectify the situation with the help of Moscow…

Washington did not think about Ukraine when it was calm there, at least it never manifested its interest in developing bilateral ties. The US is the tenth largest investor into the Ukraine’s economy with the stock of only one billion dollars. It ignores the interest of the partner. The US is pushing for non-traditional gas production in the low-profit western deposits where the population is not inclined to support the “shale friendship” with the United States. No other energy sector investment projects exist and there is nothing to make the trade turnover grow. It’s tiny; the US exports to Ukraine do not exceed 200 million dollars while the Ukrainian exports to the United States are only $60-70 million. Unlike that, the Ukraine’s ties with Russia are much closer, actually its beyond comparison. The trade turnover between Russia and Ukraine exceeds 40 billion dollars; Russia is the largest market for Ukraine (approximately 10 billion dollars). 

When Yanukovych came to power in 2010, the US concentrated its efforts on developing cooperation in the field of non-proliferation; the parties agreed that Ukraine would get rid of highly enriched uranium. The United States promised aid in decontamination of the territory affected by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, but it never materialized. It’s a long time since Americans became frugal substituting money with promises to those who are ready to believe empty words. US and UK foreign policy chiefs John Kerry and William Hague never discussed urgent economic aid to Ukraine at anything like a special meeting; instead they exchanged the views on the issue on the sidelines of Sexual Abuse and Armed Conflict conference held in Washington (?). The British Foreign Secretary said the new political leaders in Kiev still had to prove their ability to implement reforms and fight corruption. Mr. Hague believes it will improve the chances to get financial aid from world community. So it’s arms twisting again, this time it applies to those who pin their hopes on Western aid. No doubt, there will be no money flows to Ukraine from the United States. 

From the United States view, Yanukovych was not the worst president of Ukraine. He was dismissed as a result of a coup, something that runs contrary to the US principles of democracy and rule of law. Americans ask themselves what would Obama do if his armed opponents threw Molotov cocktails at the Capitol, assaulted the White House and broke windows in the Oval Office? Would US President reconcile with the ruling by Congress to change the Constitution and fire him without complying with due procedures against the background of ongoing unrest and chaos in the country? 

Law obedient Americans just don’t understand how could Obama tell Yanukovych to get security forces from the streets at the time blood had already been shed in Kiev? Many in America believe the Obama’s reaction was tantamount to incitement. Actually the United States leadership issued a license to kill and is responsible for dozens of human lives lost in Kiev. It’s a shame for America. The fact that Obama tried to hide behind the backs of those who work for him and eluded to meet Yanukovych directly is no excuse for his actions. The US Ukraine policy was in the hands of Vice President Joe Biden those days, it was him who spoke nine times with Yanukovych on the phone …Now State Secretary John Kerry speaks about Ukraine in a very abstruse and murky way trying to rectify the evident blunder of US diplomacy. Talking about the events, Kerry says it’s not “a zero sum game”. Indeed, in a zero sum game the winner’s gain is always the loser’s loss. Russian Foreign Chief Sergey Lavrov noted that Kerry had problems with counting when talking about Ukraine at the Munich conference the State Secretary said that Kiev was to make a choice between the whole world and one country. Now the State Secretary has started to talk about “working together with Russia”. The White House has displayed its support of the territorial integrity of Ukraine, it has even started to emphasize the importance of Russia’s participation in the crisis management. UK Foreign Secretary William Hague admitted that it was important for Ukraine to cooperate with both: Russia and the European Union. But the question is - will Russia want to cooperate with the new regime in Kiev? 

Moscow resolutely condemns the growth of neo-Nazi and neo-fascist sentiments in the western part of Ukraine, the calls to ban Russian language, to make Russian speakers “non-citizens”, to curb freedom of expression and to dismiss the political parties which are out of favor with the new regime. Washington should also understand that Maidan leaders, who have pledged allegiance to European values, are in stark violation of fundamental constitutional norms of the European Union related to the treatment of other nationalities, including minorities that speak their own languages.

Against this background the Zbigniew Brzezinski predictions about the majority of Ukrainians turning into the enemies of Russia sound more like malicious joy of a decrepit Russophobe. Zbigniew Brzezinski explicitly endorsed the Finlandization of Ukraine. This would mean mutual respect, broad economic ties with Russia and the European Union, non-alignment with any military alliances, which Moscow believes to be hostile to it. At that, the cooperation between Russia and Europe should make progress. In a nutshell, Finlandization is offered as a pattern of relations between Ukraine, the European Union and Russia. Now, what’s new about it? 

It was not Russia, but the European Union who suggested that Ukraine should make a choice between Europe and Russia. It was an ultimatum launched by the European Union that Yanukovych had to face. The Russian President asked why Ukraine was to make any choice at all. According to him, Moscow was ready to lend a helping hand and prevent Ukraine from collapse while joining efforts with the West. It could be a three-party aid package. Washington and Brussels refused the offer. They are the ones Brzezinski should have addressed with his Finlandization initiative. Moscow never forgot that Ukrainians were a brotherly nation – Russia and Ukraine are two parts of one civilization. That’s why the West fails to include Ukraine into the list of unconditional allies.

 
Tags: European Union Ukraine US Brzezinski Kerry Obama Yanukovich
 

 
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Nikolai BOBKIN


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