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Ukrainian president gets applause in US Congress instead of military aid

September 19, 2014, 17:45 UTC+3 Zamyatina Tamara
© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Palinchak

MOSCOW, September 19. /ITAR-TASS/. Applause to the Ukrainian president in the US Congress does not mean that Washington is ready to give Ukraine the status of a special ally outside of NATO and bear substantial costs to finance Kiev.

“Washington is waiting for developments in the east of Ukraine and does not strain relations with Moscow,” Alexey Arbatov, the head of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ International Security Center, said in an interview with ITAR-TASS.

“Applause in the US Congress is not unusual. Boris Yeltsin also received applause there, but Russia gained nothing from that. Nor did Ukraine. Americans are simply emotional people, and when they speak of their aspiration for democracy in line with the American pattern, they go into raptures,” Arbatov said.

“The results of the Ukrainian president’s visit to the United States confirm that a warm reception does not mean Washington’s readiness to encourage Kiev’s authorities by financial and military aid to continue war in the country’s east,” he said.

After a meeting with Poroshenko, the White House announced allocation of $46 million for security assistance to Ukraine, which, however, does not envision supplies of combat weapons. The talk is about army outfit, helmets and night vision devices. Another $7 million will be allocated for humanitarian needs.

“The United States denied Petro Poroshenko the status of Ukraine as a special partner outside of the NATO bloc and denied him assistance with heavy armaments, thus demonstrating that it does not want to encourage ‘the party of war’ in Ukraine, which is resisting implementation of the Minsk protocol of September 5 on cessation of fire in the country’s east,” the expert said.

“Despite the fact that Washington condemns Russia for incorporation of Crimea and its sympathy to militiamen of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, the United States is not interested in escalation of the conflict and deterioration of relations with Moscow,” Arbatov said.

“Many observers pay attention to the fact that Petro Poroshenko in word calls for peace in the east of Ukraine, for joint, with the EU and Russia, settlement of the conflict, and in practice asks military aid and tougher anti-Russian sanctions from the United States. The contradictory nature of such statements by Poroshenko is the result of pressure upon him on the part of Ukraine’s nationalist forces,” he said.

“Full-blooded radicals, supported by a considerable part of Ukrainian voters doped by official propaganda, are lifting up their heads in Kiev shortly before early elections to the Verkhovna Rada set for October 26,” Arbatov said.

“Afraid to lose their support, Poroshenko is playing a game on two fronts: on the one hand, he backs the ceasefire regime and the granting of a special status to Donbass (Donetsk and Luhansk regions), and on the other, he does not distance himself from demands of nationalists,” he said.

“Poroshenko showed the similar line of behavior during his visit to Canada. You need to take into account that only two countries in North America are NATO members: the United States and Canada. So Canada, in its support of anti-Russian measures, is sometimes putting the cart before the horse,” the expert said. “Besides, there is a huge Ukrainian diaspora in Canada,” he added.

“In connection with the situation prior to elections, Poroshenko tried to raise the status of a pro-Western politician in the eyes of voters in the United States and Canada, to increase his electoral weight,” Arbatov said.

“Besides, Poroshenko is thus weakening pressure upon him as a supporter of peace in the east of Ukraine on the part of far-right parties. Barack Obama lent the Ukrainian president moral support shortly before elections, but it came no further than that,” the expert said.


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