Joe Biden to Ukraine: ‘Stand up to Russia!’
Joe Biden, vice president of the US, told the people of Ukraine to "stand up to Russia" on his sixth visit to the country since the Maidan coup in 2014.
Published: January 16, 2017, 4:51 pm
Joe Biden, Obama’s vice president, played a crucial part in shaping US foreign policy in Ukraine. His latest visit to the country has raised questions about his true intentions. Will the farewell trip be yet another effort to derail Trump’s administration?
As Gazeta.ru contributor Valentin Loginov noted, Biden played a decisive role in formulating and implementing US policy in Ukraine, particularly amid the political and military crisis which had rocked the country following the 2014 Maidan coup d’état.
Throughout the Ukrainian crisis, Biden consistently pushed President Obama to authorise the delivery of lethal weapons to Ukraine for Kiev’s military campaign in the east. He actively supported US Congressional efforts to push through the “Stability and Democracy for Ukraine” Act, which allowed Washington to ship the deadly weaponry.
When Biden urged the Ukrainian government to do more to fight corruption, his blind hypocrisy was however revealed. Biden’s son Hunter, a former DC lobbyist, had become central in the corruption schemes raging in Kiev.
Biden is still not giving up on his own double standards, according to a report in the International Business Times.
In his final official visit to a foreign government, Biden once again extolled the virtues of fighting corruption without irony, while standing next to Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko: “You’re fighting both the cancer of corruption… and the unrelenting aggression of the Kremlin.”
“The credibility of the vice president’s anti-corruption message may have been undermined by the association of his son, Hunter Biden, with one of Ukraine’s largest natural gas companies, Burisma Holdings, and with its owner, Mykola Zlochevsky, who was Ukraine’s ecology minister under former President Viktor Yanukovych before he was forced into exile,” a New York Times investigation from late 2015 revealed.
Ukrainian prosecutors accused the company of engaging in money laundering. Strangely the Prosecutor General’s Office failed to mention Hunter anywhere in its investigation, presumably due to lobbying by the vice president himself, a frequent visitor to the Ukraine.
Biden also pressured Kiev to engage in economic reforms; otherwise, he warned, the EU may lift its sanctions against Russia.
Loginov noted that Kiev is currently feeling somewhat stressed that its lobbying efforts in Washington might be coming to a grinding halt. “After all, “Kiev wanted to see Hillary Clinton in the White House, something Ukrainian politicians have said repeatedly.”
Biden’s visit, his sixth, must have calmed these fears. According to Reuters he told Ukrainians: “The international community must continue to stand as one against Russian coercion and aggression. It is Ukraine’s best hope to move forward as a united country.”
Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Pinchuk meanwhile has called on Kiev to accept the status of Crimea as part of a series of “painful compromises” for peace with Russia. He also said Kiev should abandon, in the medium-term, any chance of joining the European Union or NATO if it wants to see peace in Donbass.
“We should also make clear that we are ready to accept an incremental rollback of sanctions on Russia as we move toward a solution for a free, united, peaceful and secure Ukraine,” he wrote in the Wall Street Journal.
“The Ukrainian lives that will be saved are worth the painful compromises I have proposed,” he added.
However Euromaidan Press lamented about a “concerted media campaign” to make Ukrainians accept their country without Crimea and the Donbass “which might bring painful consequences to Ukraine and the West alike”, the IBT reported, apparently fearing an outbreak of peace.
Appeasing Russia would further embolden Moscow, spark protests in Ukraine and “provoke a spillover effect of illegal annexations and interventions in many other parts of the world”, they continued.
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