On Tuesday, June 20, the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko met with Vice-President Mike Pence (Mike Pence), and then they briefly looked to the US President Donald Trump.
This short visit was a unique deviation from the rules of the new White house: trump willing to conduct personal meetings with the presidents as the major powers and smaller States, which often was followed by joint press conferences, and never humiliated the heads of foreign States short meetings in the format “drop-in”. However, Poroshenko came to Washington, trying not to attract too much attention, until he met with the Ukrainian Diaspora.
“They tried to make everything very, very quietly,” — said in an interview with Foreign Policy Askold krushelnitsky, a journalist who closely followed this visit. According to him, even the Ukrainian media, almost nothing is said about it. They were not “absolutely sure” that Poroshenko is going to get what he wants, namely a meeting with trump. According to him, this visit deliberately “did not attract too much attention, to avoid an awkward situation” if the Ukrainian President would not have been able to personally meet with the head of the White house.
The Ukrainian Embassy did not respond to our request comment.
In this visit what mattered was not so much its content as its format: the Pens took Poroshenko, and then they made a quick visit to the Oval office, where at that time were Donald trump and his Advisor on national security, G. R. McMaster (H. R. McMaster). The reception of the Ukrainian leader in Washington will be regarded as a kind of indicator of the position of the White house in relation to the Kiev and Russian intervention in that country.
For residents of Ukraine, this is one of the key: according to the survey conducted by the International Republican Institute, 80% of Ukrainians across the country and 73% of the residents “of the war-torn Donbass” believe that the separatist-controlled areas must remain part of Ukraine. Positions trump during his election campaign had forced the Ukrainians to get nervous, the head of his campaign in the past worked for Viktor Yanukovych, the former President and a supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
During the reign of the Obama administration, the former Vice-President Joe Biden (Joe Biden) was mandated to establish cooperation with Kiev, and he exerted a powerful influence on the Ukrainian government, forcing him to exert more effort to combat corruption and reforming the economy. In this sense, the Penny, which now is responsible for the interaction with the President and the administration’s position in respect of Ukraine, the policy is not too radically different from the policy of previous administration, says Matthew Rojansky (Rojansky Matthew), Director of the Kennan Institute at the International scientific center named after Woodrow Wilson.
“About any deterioration compared with the previous position of the question, said Rojansky. — I know how this looks, I understand that Ukrainians want to hear assurances. Therefore, in this case is important, not the format of the meeting, and the policy of the administration as a whole.”
While the policy of the new administration is a continuation of Obama’s policy towards Ukraine and Moscow after the annexation of Crimea in 2014. Recently the Senate approved a bill that allows to impose new economic sanctions against Russia, although it remains unclear if the House of representatives. But even if you do not approve, on Tuesday, June 20, the Ministry of Finance announced the introduction of its own new package of sanctions.
“Today, States are taking additional sanctions almost every day. I see the US position as a solid, high-quality and strategic partner of Ukraine”, — said Poroshenko.
However, Poroshenko’s visit will be subjected to scrutiny. Investigation of possible relationships trump with the Kremlin continues, and the administration Poroshenko during his visit to the White house is bound to be compared with the warm trump meeting with the Minister of foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov and Russia’s Ambassador to the U.S. Sergei Kislyak held in the oval office on may 10.
In the report of the White house about the meeting reads: “Today, President Donald trump met with the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko to discuss assistance in the peaceful settlement of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine and the program of reforms President Poroshenko’s efforts in the fight against corruption”. Poroshenko has heard in his address a lot of criticism for failing to cope with the second task.
However, Poroshenko still have a reason to be proud: he met with trump earlier Putin. The visit of the Ukrainian President took place before the first personal meeting of Putin and trump, which will be held at the July summit of the Big twenty in Hamburg.
“The Ukrainians will perceive this as a significant victory,” added krushelnitsky.