September 22, 2009

The Post-American Ukraine

This week shows that USA gives up on Ukraine. NATO gives up on Ukraine as well. The Obama administration decided to abandon a controversial missile-defense system that the Bush administration planned to build in the Czech Republic and Poland. The infamous air-defense system always rattled Mr. Putin and Mr. Medvedev. Now they can sleep well. No defense system in Eastern Europe, no threat to Russia. But can Ukraine sleep well now? No. Ukrainian politicians just woke up in a new world to them – the post-American Ukraine. Since Ukraine's breakaway from the former Soviet Union a main objective of the Ukrainian foreign policy was to distance itself from Russia and get closer to Europe. Not anymore! Nobody needs Ukrainian democracy in EU. Nobody welcomes Ukraine to NATO. Whoever will become the next president of Ukraine, he or she will have to come up with a new foreign policy if Russia gives him or her freedom of choice.

Now let's get back to Russia. If Mr. Medvedev believes in a tit-for-tat strategy in his foreign policy, then Russia must express a gratitude to the friendly Obama administration. So what does Russia do? According to the Economist, Hugo Chavez said that Venezuela would buy 92 tanks and a missile system from Russia with a $2.2 billion loan given by Russia. Wait a sec. Russia thanks USA by selling guns to anti-American Venezuela. What does the US do? The United States expresses concern over an arms race in the South America.

What else has Russia recently done? Mr. Medvedev has sent an aggressive and insulting letter to Viktor Yushchenko, Ukraine's president. Russia's district of attorney says that it has enough evidence to prove that several Ukrainians fought on the Georgina side against the Russian troops in the 2008 Russia-Georgia war. Russia's state-owned energy company GAZPROM has already told Ukrainians that they'll have heat and electricity in their homes only if their next president is pro-Russian politician. I am also afraid that Mr. Putin hasn't forgiven his biggest political embarrassment yet. Five year ago the Orange Revolutionaries, Yulia Tymoshenko and Viktor Yushchenko, brushed Mr. Putin off after he rushed prematurely to congratulate Viktor Yanukovich as winner of the rigged presidential election. The upcoming presidential election offers Mr. Putin to get back on both Yushchenko and Tymoshenko. January's presidential election in Ukraine will become the key event in Russia's new political season.

So which presidential candidate does Russia want to see as Ukraine's next president? The first choice must be Viktor Yanukovich. However, president Yushchenko's party OUNS speculates that Mrs. Tymoshenko has already made a deal with Russia.

Obama and Medvedev


  1. Didomyk wrote:
    September 23, 2009 0:15
    Leo Krasnozhon wrote:'I have much more to say about Russia-USA and Russia-Ukraine'
    Your very short post doesn't clarify your views at all. There is much, much more to international relations than a controversial missile defence system. You seem to see a direct link to what you have defined as a "post-American Ukraine". Well, that's quite a jump as the proposed (now cancelled) missile defense system had no bearing on Ukraine's defence policies and/or capabilities. At the same time you omitted any comment on Medvedev's remarks in his widely interpreted interview with CNN. The issues he raised have much more relevance than missile defense.
    I assume you must have read an article by V. Horbulin and Lytvynenko in the last issue of 'Dzerkalo nedeli'
    They deal with the complex issue of defence policies, defensive alliances and multilateral obligations in some detail. It would be interesting and useful to read your comments on policy initiatives they propose.

  2. kuzmich wrote:
    September 23, 2009 9:25
    We can’t speak of post-American Ukraine since it’s never been embraced by the Americans yet in the true sense of the word. It was only broad-brush policy towards Ukraine. It’s more likely we can speak of post-Soviet Ukraine since Ukraine stayed quite a bit under the soviets and before under Russian Empire since 1654. At large the period of confrontation is waning. At least Ukrainian politicians called on normalization of relations with Russia. Even Yushchenko admitted that if Ukraine joined NATO, there would be no bases built on its territory and the Russian Sevastopol naval base had to go in 2017. I won’t subscribe to your statement that “Nobody needs Ukrainian democracy in EU”. Then how come Americans and NATO need it in Afghanistan, the country that lives practically in the stone age and people got no clue what democracy is. They know only how to grow poppies and deliver it to western democracies. Your another statement that “if Russia gives him or her (Ukraine) freedom of choice”. Russia is not that democratically advanced country as America. However, we learn from America the most democratic country in the world of how to spread democracy around the world. We got good examples of democracy spread in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo and before in other parts of the world. Looks like American type of democracy is in great demand worldwide. America never doubts its actions and policies but in the habit of doubting the policies of any other country if such policies run counter to American values and beliefs.
    About GAZPROM. I think your statement is very ridiculous about not supplying gas to Ukraine if pro-Russian president won’t be elected. Feels like you’re good at creating myths and blur people’s minds. As an American, you must believe in fair deals and not gossip. Russia will respect any choice of the Ukrainians. However, any Ukrainian administration pro-Russian or not very much must meet their contractual obligations on gas supplies. Simple as that. For America, the upcoming January election will become similar political key event for the new Obama administration otherwise why VP Joe Biden visited Ukraine just to drink Horilka.
    Now let’s get back to Russia and America. Relations between America and Russia have always been some sort of tit-for-tat policy on both sides beginning with invention of nuclear weapons. Just to remind you the USA used it first in Japan and flexed its muscles showing the soviets to sit quiet. Retaliation came quickly and Russia got its nuclear bomb. The nuclear arms race began.
    In the missile and radar case I don’t think Russia in anyway must express gratitude as you put it to “the friendly Obama administration”, not to build missile defense shield in Poland and Czech republic. Following your logic then the friendly Obama administration must have expressed gratitude to the friendly Medvedev administration for providing Russia’s airspace for American military and civilian cargo to ship it over to Afghanistan at no cost. You’re asking “what Russia does” implying in your words negative connotation signing $2.2 billion arms deal with Venezuela. Good money!
    My friend let me remind you about another deal between Columbia and USA. The Associated Press reported details of the agreement to give the U.S. military a 10-year lease on space at seven Colombian bases to help fight drug traffickers and leftist rebels. However the regional leaders are worried the U.S. has other goals in mind. The U.S. military has already operated in Colombia for years as part of Plan Colombia, $6 billion in U.S. aid. The Colombian base Palanquero is potential jumping off point for U.S. forces, noting that nearly half the continent can be covered by a C-17 without refueling. Latin American leaders are worried in a region where only decades ago U.S.-backed dictatorships killed and tortured their own citizens. Tit-for-tat is NATO expansion to the East and Russian presence in Latin America.

  3. Didomyk wrote:
    September 23, 2009 13:34
    Leo as well as Kuzmich
    You should pay more attention to views on EU vs Russia and EU vs Ukraine relations as expressed by European spokespersons and political leaders, not on freelanced re-interpretations frequently published both in the Russian and the American media. One of the most recent examples deserving your careful attention are statements by the present EU Presidency
    Quote in part: "Swedish Minister of EU Affairs Cecilia Malmstrom, whose country holds the EU presidency, told New Europe that Stockholm is concerned about a repeat of the January gas crisis between Russia and Ukraine, but it seems to be avoided for now. “We are also concerned about this. We have been following the whole summer and right now we are monitoring the situation – if you talk about Russia and Ukraine. We have had experts there; we have dialogue with both partners; international institutions are involved as well. ” Malmstrom said in an interview in Strasbourg on September 16.
    “To put our relations with Russia in a more structural form is a priority for the Swedish presidency. We hope that we will have a summit with Russia during this fall. We are struggling with finding dates and also the outgoing Commission would have to fit in there, but we want to see if we can move towards a new partnership with Russia and energy would be one of the main items to discuss in such a summit,” Malmstrom said.
    In the resolution adopted on September 17, MEPs in Strasbourg urged the European Commission to review the early-warning mechanisms, which proved ineffective in the 2009 Russia-Ukraine energy crisis. MEPs also said that gas storage capacity needs to be expanded and interconnections improved. The Parliament also reiterated its call for a common European external energy security policy.
    Linking the EU to new sources of gas from the Middle East and the Caspian region independently of any one company or pipeline is among the Parliament’s priorities. The Nabucco project will help the EU to become less dependent on Russian supplies and DESERTEC will use the vast potential for solar energy in the Middle East and North Africa, MEPs said.
    Despite reports that Nabucco would be delayed until 2016, the project will be completed in time, Ferran Tarradellas Espuny, energy spokesman for Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, told New Europe in an e-mail from Baku. “Gas will be delivered in 2014 - there is no delay. At 2014, gas will be delivered to EU using a new built pipeline from Central Turkey (near Ankara) to Baumgarten and the existing infrastructure east of Ankara; in 2016 as volumes are projected to increase, a new pipeline will become operational in Eastern Turkey, either to the eastern or southern border,“ the EU energy spokesman said."

  4. 73wanab says:
    Not all of us here in the USA agree with Obama"s decision concerning the missile defense system. Obama is a typical liberal politician. Hates anything and everything military. Reminds me of the Jimmy Carter era. We disarm while everyone else arms themselves to the teeth.

  5. I am a little puzzled over what you mean by "Post-American Ukraine"!

    Should this be referenced to Obama "giving up" on Ukraine then I would like to know at which stage you believe the U.S. had so much influence in Ukrainian politics that you can now call it "Post-American Ukraine

  6. I see at the moment Obama is really pissed off by those two Russian co-presidents.

    It seems you are an American scientist. Why do you think it touches Ukrainians so much? Your virtual model of Ukraine is too Russia centric which is far not true.

    Really, Ukraine never was American so it can’t be post-American by definition. There was certain level of cooperation and it will remain regardless the results of next presidential elections. Because in Ukrainian politics shift of the summands doesn’t affect the sum.

  7. You have to understand politics in this matter. Do you think that Obama and the government dropped this plan out of laziness? No, they obviously came to an agreement with the Kremlin that benefited both sides.

  8. iam for post russia ukraine (post american ukrain? )something of the news to me.
    and re: missile defense system in poland
    there is something for you to read
    link: Poland ponders own anti-missile shield / English News / News / Today / Start - Euranet
    i await (with interest )reaction of russia and putin now?

  9. Regardless technical details, Obama is trying to trade with Kremlin over Iran nuclear program. He suggests to use Russian influence to prevent Iran from making own bomb. However recently prime minister of Israel published absolutely reliable information about Russian nuclear scientists who help Iran in researches and building facilities for making bombs and missiles. This information was gained by Israeli intelligence and given to Russia for reaction. No one of those scientists would work without direct approval of Kremlin though.

    In this context, doesn’t Obama seem to be cheated like naive kid?

    They just press all possible concessions out of him but nuclear weapons will appear in Iran nevertheless.

    Btw, your expression “Post-American Ukraine” has dual sense. I guess you meant “weakening of American influence in Ukraine”, however second treatment is “Ukraine after American collapse”.

    If so you should title your article something like “Ukraine in post-American World”