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“If the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a pit”

By Ivan KAPSAMUN, Valentyn TORBA, The Day
15 November, 2016 - 10:33
Will the leadership draw conclusions from its foreign policy failure in the strategic American direction?

Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko has congratulated the US president-elect Donald Trump and invited him to visit Ukraine. It is an absolutely correct step in the current situation after the victory of a Republican. But the foreign policy of Ukraine in the American direction, particularly as far as the likely results of the presidential elections in that country are concerned, has left many questions open. For example, to what extent were the developments in case of Trump’s victory estimated? Judging by the statements of Ukrainian government representatives, preferences were given to the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

“As a presidential candidate, Trump can say whatever he chooses, but I am surprised that he says it as candidate from the Republican Party which has always been taking a very clear, understandable, and consistent attitude to Russia and its policy for dozens of years,” Ivanna Klympush-Tsyntsadze, Vice Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine, said past August in a 5th Channel program. “Therefore, Trump is essentially struggling not against the rhetoric of the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton but against the greater part of his, Republican, party. I hope very much that the result of the US elections will be also favorable to us. But I am also aware that US institutions are strong enough to resist, let us say, creative ideas. So far, his statements sound very irresponsible, populist, and tough. He does not seem to understand objective reality.”

It will be recalled that, when Pres. Poroshenko was on a visit to the US, Trump did not meet him, whereas Clinton did so. This was also preceded by a series of other events. In particular, there was a scandal about Paul Manafort, the national chairman of Trump’s presidential campaign, who had been directly involved in the election campaign of Viktor Yanukovych in 2010. As is known, Yanukovych ran away, but his Chief of Staff Serhii Liovochkin stayed behind and was even elected to parliament. Besides, the US media spread information about the Clinton Foundation, one of whose donors was the Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Pinchuk whose father-in-law represents the interests of Ukraine in the Minsk negotiations. The tangles of the interests of specific clans and persons finally resulted in the impairment of the national interests of Ukraine, a country that needs, as never before, support from its strategic partner – the US.

ALL THE PRESIDENTS OF UKRAINE HAVE ATTENDED YES FORUMS ORGANIZED BY LEONID KUCHMA’S SON-IN-LAW VIKTOR PINCHUK, WHICH MADE IT POSSIBLE TO “WHITEWASH” EX-PRESIDENT KUCHMA IN THE EYES OF WORLD LEADERS. PETRO POROSHENKO IS NO EXCEPTION. INCIDENTALLY, THE CLINTON FAMILY WAS ALSO THE FORUM’S GUEST IN THE PREVIOUS YEARS. ALL THESE TIES HAD SOME BEARING ON THE CURRENT US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS, WHICH HAD A NEGATIVE EFFECT ON UKRAINE’S FOREIGN POLICY AFTER THE VICTORY OF TRUMP / Photo by Serhii ILIN

“PETRO POROSHENKO HAS KNOWINGLY FALLEN VICTIM TO THE KUCHMA-PINCHUK FAMILY’S MANIPULATIVE TECHNIQUES”

Oleksandr YELIASHKEVYCH, Member of Parliament, 2nd and 3rd convocations:

“Like his predecessors, Petro Poroshenko has knowingly fallen victim to the Kuchma-Pinchuk family’s manipulative techniques. It is these manipulative techniques that forced Poroshenko to bank on Hillary Clinton in the US presidential campaign. And now that she has lost, this cannot help but reflect on the attitude to Ukraine. For the US is our main strategic partner in these very difficult and rough times, when we are at war as a result of Russian aggression. If Poroshenko himself had not wanted to be the object of these manipulations, he would have never accepted such things. The manipulative technique boiled down the fact that a platform was used for contacts with the Western, including the American, establishment. But if you use this platform, which is in turn used by the family of the ‘godfather’ of all Ukrainian corruption exclusively in their own interests, you must understand that this cannot produce positive results either for you or for the country you represent in such a high office.

“As for Viktor Pinchuk and Leonid Kuchma themselves, even if Hillary Clinton became US president, a very unpleasant surprise would await the Kuchma family because Clinton and her family would abruptly distance themselves from the dubious, to put it mildly, sources of funding the Clinton Foundation, especially after the numerous scandals spotlighted by the US press. Therefore, irrespective of the US election results, the Kuchma family was doomed to face negative consequences. But as they banked on one candidate and used rather dirty methods of struggling against the other, Donald Trump himself and his team will remember the behavior of this family and those who helped them in the dirty process of interfering into the election campaign in a foreign county.

“I am thoroughly convinced that the Kuchma family and Pinchuk personally have already begun to seek ways to enter into contact with Trump and his inner circle. I think financial resources will let Pinchuk find these contacts. But, as before, they will not let the Kuchma family achieve the expected results.”

“OUR FOREIGN POLICY HAS FALLEN HOSTAGE TO INTERNAL SQUABBLES AND THE INTERESTS OF SPECIFIC PERSONS”

Mykola BIELIESKOV, analyst, Institute of World Policy:

“The fact that official Kyiv really staked on a concrete US presidential candidate and this stake turned out to be erroneous means a foreign policy defeat. A similar situation occurred in 2008, when Viktor Yushchenko openly sympathized with John McCain but it was Barack Obama who won the elections. But I would not dramatize this point because we still have a number of ways to correct this mistake. The foreign policy in a normal state is based on the interests of this state, not on personal moments. Let us hope the US will continue this tradition. Petro Poroshenko has already invited the new US president to Ukraine. It is necessary to begin a dialog urgently, right now. Our neighbors are already doing so, and the prime minister of Japan has said he plans to come personally to the US and meet Trump. Besides, we should pay special attention to the incoming US Vice President Michael Pence, a classical Republican. He may become a reliable link in the Ukraine-US relations and tackle Ukrainian problems the way Joe Biden has done before.

“On the other hand, I agree that our foreign policy has fallen hostage to internal squabbles and the interests of specific persons. From this angle, the Manafort-Liovochkin and Pinchuk-Clinton situations really played a very negative role, when the positions of certain people became the position of the entire state on the international arena. As a result, all this also made the meeting of Poroshenko and Trump impossible.”