With Joe Biden, relations between Kiev and Washington heat up
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was unwillingly at the center of Trump’s presidency after the latter demanded from Kiev an investigation into the activities of candidate Joe Biden’s son, in exchange for military aid. A “Ukrainian affair” which poisoned the relations of the two countries until the departure of the Republican.
The coming to power of Joe Biden, Secretary of State from 2009 to 2017, marks the warming of US-Ukrainian relations, experts say, sparking hope in Kiev. After Donald Trump’s “paradoxical” foreign policy, alternating the unprecedented sending of lethal weapons to Kiev and statements relaxing the pressure on Moscow, “ this presidency will be more predictable, more stable in its relationship to Ukraine », Estimates Olexiy Haran, professor of political science at Mohyla University in Kiev. “Ukraine is extremely dependent on the international community and on those who weigh heavily in the relationship with Russia: the EU and the United States”, recalls Alexandra Goujon, lecturer in political science at the University of Burgundy. Since the conflict with Russia began, the United States has provided more than $ 2 billion (1.6 billion euros) in military aid.
Since his arrival at the White House at the end of January, Joe Biden has raised his tone towards Moscow, even going so far as to describe Vladimir Putin as “Killer”, a few months after the poisoning of the opponent Alexeï Navalny. Some observers see in this firm speech a favorable climate for Kiev. In recent weeks, the executive has taken a series of measures against pro-Russian forces in the country, including the closure of television channels considered to be pro-Kremlin, and sanctions against Viktor Medvedchouk, leader of the main pro-Russian party of the country. “ Ukraine strikes back “, summarizes Volodymyr Zelensky in a video published on March 12.
Relatives of the president have also defended these measures with the American elites in several articles published on the site of the Atlantic Council, a think tank close to NATO. In a forum, Andriy Yermak, head of the presidential administration, welcomed the sanctions taken against Viktor Medvedtchouk, but also called for a stronger commitment from the United States, especially in the negotiations about Donbass, and a position clear on Ukraine’s entry into NATO.
But the United States wants to go further in the fight against corruption and the oligarchic system, which the United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, calls “Threat from within”. Washington thus sanctioned on March 5 Ihor Kolomoïsky, a sulphurous oligarch whose media empire helped Volodymyr Zelensky to come to power in 2019. “The new administration finally recognizes that corruption is used by Russia to advance its geopolitical agenda”, welcomes Tetiana Chevtchouk, lawyer at the Kiev-based Anti-Corruption Action Center.
1er March, the US Department of Defense also announced the sending of military aid of $ 125 million (105 million euros). A second part of 150 million (126 million euros), already approved by the US Congress, is conditional on reforms.