U.S. presidential elections and Ukrainian question
It is well understood that Russian democracy always ends where the Ukrainian question begins. American democracy begins with the Ukrainian issue
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It is believed, that Washington is not just the capital of the US, but it is the capital of the whole world. Washington not only controls the world system, but also properly spreads American values among the other nations. The values, not the identity.
Actually, this defines the limits of the American and Russian worlds. American world has embraced all the continents, while the Russian one is defined only by those who share Russian identity. American world would always be bigger than Russian one. In order to become part of Russian world, you do not need to worship the domes of St. Basil's Cathedral (in Moscow, ed.), hang a Russian tricolor, hate gays or people of other nations, and passionately love Stalin. After all, you do not even need to speak English. You just need to share the principles of free economy, tolerate the values of the others regardless of their race, sexual orientation or social status, and comply with the law. In general, it is not that much, but actually, this is enough.
Despite general fatigue of Ukraine and its issues, there is a strong pro-Ukrainian lobby within the political and expert circles of the U.S. At the same time, the budget of Ukraine’s lobbying efforts is $0, while the legal costs of Russian lobbyists exceeds $30 million, and the hidden ones are at least $100 million.
During my visit to Washington DC, I have met one of the odium Russian economists, President and Chairman of the Management Board of VTB Bank Andrey Kostin. He gladly attended all the possible meetings with ordinary Congress clerks and experts from the Department of State. In such a way, he tried to mitigate sanctions against Russia. Russian lobbyists have been working permanently and systematically, and Russia spends a lot of money for their efforts.
In this regard, Ukraine’s list of people, who are trying to defend the interests of the country and support the retention of sanctions against the aggressor, is much shorter. Although in June, some Ukrainian officials have attended Washington: Volodymyr Groysman, Borys Lozhkyn, and Arseniy Yatsenyuk; they have visited the White House, Senate, State Department, and hosted all the leading expert events. Prime Minister Groysman has left a good impression in the Senate, but he doesn’t speak English. While Arseniy Yatsenyuk spoke with their American counterparts on an equal footing.
America is busy with the upcoming presidential elections, and it has no time for the external provocations. However, the second person of the White House, Joe Biden, and leader of the Conservative Party, John McCain, found some time to meet with Yatsenyuk. And this is a good sign.
In the face of the sharp opposition of Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump, American experts believe that whoever wins, the support of Ukraine will not change. Moreover, the Obama administration has been strongly hampering the program of military assistance to Ukraine. Ukraine and its lobbyists have done a lot to receive military assistance of the Pentagon, and eventually all the efforts were successful, including the hard work of Petro Poroshenko and Arseniy Yatsenyuk. By the way, if Hillary Clinton wins as a president, it is expected that the White House will finally agree to give Ukrainian the lethal weapons.
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