US- Ukraine RelationsRecently with the Ukrainian presidential elections, the relationship between the U.S. and the Ukraine has come to the forefront of International policy. Ukraine has been making strides in reformatting its government and culture in a change from communism to democracy.
Already they have changed from a command to free market, to an ownership society, and the consolidation of powers should be coming along smoothly with the new president. Lastly, the Ukrainian government has shown its willingness to work with western countries by aligning some polices with the E.U., N.A.
T.O., and the U.
S. This willingness was also proven in their part in the signing of the START treaty and the signing of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation TreatyCurrently Ukraine has a plethora of natural resources, arable land, and a willing workforce. This combination, with the right economic stimulus can flourish creating a stable and extremely potent economy. In order limit the Russian influence in the area, we must send economic stimulus packages to revitalize the Ukrainian industries. This has already shown promise with the Gore- Kuchma commission and should be continued. Simultaneously it is important that we begin forming a strong trade relationship, focusing on limiting the Ukraine’s need for Russia, by providing an alternate means for goods.It is important that the U.
S. insures Ukrainian independence from Russia. If the Ukraine became part of Russia, not only would Russia obtain the worlds leading supplier of ICBMs, But other countries part of the former Soviet Union are at risk of losing their independence. Russia’s interest in the region has recently come to light during the election scandal of 2004.
Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin strongly supported candidate Yanukovych in the election. Yanukovych’s main policies dealt with “Russifying the Ukraine”, and obviously the west did not support this. On the other hand, Yanukovych’s opponent Yushchenko supports more western based ideas. During the investigation into the voter fraud, it is important to point out the massive public protest to the outcome of the election, the so called Orange Revolution. This protest against the government shows the peoples’ want for a democratic government and willingness to fight the government using industry strikes and sit ins.
Another important point was the poisoning of Yushchenko which was linked to the KGB and the Russian government. The results of this election shows the need for the United States to help wean the Ukrainian government off of Russian influence.Another way to limit Russian influence on Ukraine is to support their entry into the E.U. and N.
If the Ukraine was able to enter these organizations, it would help lead to boom in their economy and largely eliminate their Russian dependance. Because of the likelihood of their entrance into both organizations, the U.S. needs to begin to form lasting ties to them. Also because of their abundance of natural resources, a strong trade relationship would be mutually beneficial, but only after economic and diplomatic aid packages were sent.
Ukraine is more likely to establish a long term trade relationship with the U.S. if their economy is in good shape, and their government is stable.
If we begin to trade with the Ukrainian government, then after the next election they decide to align more with Russian, all our work was in vain. Therefore it is important to aid Ukraine first and establish a strong lasting trade relationship.