Read the original article at eurointegration.com.ua
The new administration of US President is now forming its foreign policy and the Ukrainian dimension in it would not be an exception.
Recently many people was shocked by the question of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who, according to French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, asked his colleagues in the "big seven" why American taxpayers should worry about Ukraine.
The US State Department clarified that the support remains, and it might appease Ukrainians, but there is no guarantee that our partners will not put it into question in the future.
The International World Policy Institute decided to help US authorities to make the right decision - and therefore offers five arguments why continuing to support Ukraine is in the interests of the United States.
Not only analysts of the Institute were involved in preparing the document: it was also "verified" by the leading experts in the United States.
Perhaps these arguments are not innovative (and it’s right, because we are talking about a permanent rather than temporary importance of Ukraine for United States). However, it should refresh the memory of many people who are responsible for decision-making and foreign policy in Washington and Kyiv. And for many EU capitals this document may be useful.
We hope that our publication will stimulate broader discussion on this topic.
Thus, we identified five theses underlying the importance of Ukraine to Washington and to American taxpayers.
- Destabilization around Ukraine may create problems for US cooperation with the European Union.
Some US politics are trying to distance themselves from European affairs, but they can’t do this in a full range.
We share the opinion of Americans, that the EU countries have always relied on the States in security matters and should allocate more funds for this purpose. However, for the US the dialogue with European partners still remains important, especially with those who do a proper contribution to the defense and security sector.
In particular, for Washington it is extremely important to support the leading European capitals for the mutual success in the fight against international terrorism, to solve the complex intricacies of Middle East challenges.
Stopping or cutting support Ukraine can untie the hands of Russia, provoking it to some larger and more open aggression (not necessarily in the form of military action!) Not only to Ukraine but also to other European countries. First of all, it is a threat to Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans.
Thus, the EU will have to completely focus only on the problems of their own continent.
The Middle East can take a place on the periphery of the EU foreign policy interests.
After all, the United States will receive additional issues for immediate resolving, as Russian provocations, such as the Baltic states, would mean the direct involvement in the conflict of NATO. So in such a scenario the US will have to spend much more resources and efforts to settle the new round of conflict.
- Cutting support for Ukraine will hit the nuclear weapons non-proliferation regime.
Ukraine has lost the third in the world nuclear arsenal in exchange for assurances from the US, Great Britain and Russia to respect its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Violation of promises - especially from the Russian side - is harmful signal sent to all states of the world who wish to ensure their own safety by joining the nuclear club. If other members of the Budapest Memorandum, which provided commitments to Ukraine, will refuse even the current level of support for Kyiv, this will cause irrevocable catastrophic impact on non-proliferation policy.
Although this policy is declared a priority by the new president of the United States.
Either Tehran or Pyongyang – and for any other capital of the world it would be enough to know about the Ukrainian example for not to even start a nuclear-free dialogue.
- Ukraine’s Security affects the security of Europe, where the United States has significant economic interest. The problems in Europe may hit the well-being of ordinary Americans.
We live in a globalized world, the problem in one region creates bunch of challenges in the rest of the world. US attention to the Middle East – is just one example of "connectedness" of today's world.
Nowadays the distance has no such a value as a few decades ago.
Actually, the "Marshall Plan," which was directed by Washington in support of European countries after World War II, the American elite perceived as having influence on the welfare of not only the Germans or the French, but also Americans.
Prosperous Europe - is a huge market and therefore a tremendous opportunity for American business - respectively, for US citizens involved in such cooperation. The total volume of trade in goods and services between the US and EU in 2015 amounted to 1.087 trillion euros.
The EU is the number one trading partner for the US. EU direct investments in the US economy are EUR 2.5 trillion (70% of all investments).
The problems in Europe, unfortunately, would inevitably become the problems of the United States.
Responsible cooperation between the US and EU is n the economic interest of both parties.
Making claims to each other, and the debates will play in favor of all the destructive forces of the world - both authoritarian regimes and terrorist organizations.
- Ukraine will become the US success story - one of the main evidence of effective foreign policy of the United States.
Many countries really have some questions to Ukraine about how quickly and consistently our country implements its reforming commitments.
Ukrainian society is more than self-critical; as well as foreign partners, it is aware that the pace of change could be faster. Citizens of Ukraine have repeatedly proved their influence on those in power; Ukrainian civil society is the best guarantee that the state will be successful.
It is not a question of probabilities, it is a matter of time.
The last three post-revolutional years have demonstrated the determination of Ukrainians to implement reforms and there much more have been done than in all the years of independence - whether it concerns the reform of law enforcement agencies, or the start of anti-corruption bodies, or a transparent public procurement system.
Cooperation with the US as the Ukrainian government and civil society is an important format to achieve positive change.
Ukraine's success will be the success of not only Ukraine, but the success of US foreign policy.
Support for Ukraine - is an asymmetric response to Russia from the United States, which does not require entering into direct confrontation, but will have a huge impact on the security of both the region and the world.
- Strong Ukraine will have a direct impact on Russian behavior in the international arena.
Russia has always feared the development of democracies in its neighborhood, and especially - the success of Ukraine.
Russian elite for a long time is convincing the ordinary Russians in a special way for their country, which cannot be developed through democracy - so there are lots of talks about "managed democracy" in Russia.
Ukraine's success will undermine these thoughts immediately, which could be the beginning of the end of Vladimir Putin’s government. If Ukraine will be under Russian control, it will allow the Kremlin to spread its influence further into Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans and the Black Sea region.
In the long term success of the reforms will make Ukraine a bastion of democracy in the post-Soviet area, which will serve as a powerful counterargument to Russian hybrid interventions. As a result, Ukraine, increasing its own power, will require less and less international support and will be able to resist Russian pressure.
And the thesis that without Ukraine, Russia will not be able to restore the Soviet Union, is still relevant.
Strong independent Ukraine is the best guarantee that Russia will change its behavior in the world in constructive way.