Saturday, July 25, 2015

Just Lie Back and Think of Legacy

Please excuse the Ukrainians if they believe America is trying to make Russian-held areas of the Donbas the new Sudetenland, whose surrender by Kiev will result in peace for our time in Europe.

Ukrainians may wonder what brings an American official all the way to Kiev to lobby on domestic Ukrainian legislation:

It's rare that official representatives of the U.S. visit foreign parliaments to persuade lawmakers to vote a certain way on some piece of legislation. Yet last week, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland traveled to Kiev and did just that, as the Ukrainian parliament prepared to vote on amendments to the country's constitution.

Some Ukrainians worry we are trying to grease the skids to allow Russia to gain more Ukrainian territory:

Mustafa Nayyem, a member of Poroshenko's parliamentary faction, explained that the "special law" might enable a future legislature to grant the rebellious, pro-Russian regions in eastern Ukraine powers amounting to legal secession. "I am convinced such a norm doesn't reflect the will of the Ukrainian people, which has already lost thousands of soldiers and continues to fight a bloody war to bring those regions back under Ukrainian jurisdiction," Nayyem wrote.

Nuland's job was to persuade Nayyem and like-minded legislators to change their minds.

On the bright side, it is nice to see the Obama administration working with a legislative body on foreign affairs.

UPDATE: More on Ukraine's fear of being screwed by the Obama administration.

There is no proof of that, of course. But our recent dealings with friends and foes don't paint a comforting picture when you are so close to Russia.