Ukrainian interest. U.S. assistance, Pashinyan's promotion, and football event of continental importance.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Wess Mitchell's visit and further confirmation of deliveries of Javelin ATGMs to the Ukrainian military testify that the Ukraine issue remains in Washington's focus. Patriarch Filaret of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Kyiv Patriarchate) along with a group of former hostages spoke at the European Parliament about the situation in Ukraine. Benjamin Netanyahu did a favor to Donald Trump. Milos Zeman played a Kremlin tune. Nikol Pashinyan stopped short of a taking up the prime minister's office.
The United States continues to support Ukraine in word and deed. Apparently, the appointment of a new state secretary did not affect the quality of bilateral relations. While in Kyiv, Assistant Secretary of State Wess Mitchell spoke with Ukraine leadership and local experts, announcing the doubling of cybersecurity assistance and readiness to increase the price Russia will have to pay for its aggression. Along with the statement came the news of the actual delivery of U.S. lethal aid to Ukraine. Javelin ATGMs are now part of Ukraine Army's arsenal, which proves effectiveness of the ongoing U.S.-Ukraine dialogue and marks an upgrade in Ukraine's defense capacities. Javelins came in in the process of transition of the Anti-Terrorist Operation in Donbas into a format of the Joint Forces Operation, which was used by Ukraine as a nice psychological factor to strengthen own positions.
Poland continues to help Ukraine in the international arena. With the help of Ambassador to Ukraine Jan Pieklo, a delegation from our country, which included Patriarch Filaret and a group of former hostages of pro-Russian militants, spoke in the European Parliament, telling about the latest developments in the country's social and political life, focusing on the situation in Donbas and the prospects of autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church . One of Poland's first actions since it has taken over chairmanship in the UN Security Council, will be a discussion of the situation in Ukraine, which will be held at the end of May. Kyiv and Warsaw remain strategic partners, therefore the spheres of mutual interest of both states need to be expanded.
Benjamin Netanyahu accused Iran of lying about its nuclear program. Israeli intelligence claims to have stolen half a tonne of Iranian documents on the issue, which armed their PM with new arguments that contributed to a string of recent statements on the matter by Donald Trump and Mike Pompeo. Tehran, in turn, also called Netanyahu a liar, with Russia supporting Iran's position. The fate of the nuclear deal with Iran is hanging by a thread, because for Trump it seems to be a matter of principle to review whatever has been achieved by the Obama Administration.
Czech President Milos Zeman this week once again confirmed his reputation of Kremlin's political client by claiming that the novichok poison had allegedly been tested by Czech military. The country's foreign ministry was forced to refute their own president's statement, while the local press bluntly called Zeman "Kremlin agent."
Leader of Armenian protests Nikol Pashinyan had failed at the first attempt to break the resistance of the ruling Republican Party. On May 1, he lacked votes to take the prime minister's post, and the next day Pashinyan's supporters paralyzed the country's transport arteries. The Republicans had to back off and expressed readiness to support the candidacy if it was nominated by one-third of legislators. It is highly likely that on May 8, Nikol Pashinyan will step into the prime minister's office, but it is too early to talk about the end of the political crisis in Armenia as there remains a possibility that snap parliamentary elections will be held.
Yevgeny Magda is a fellow at the Institute of World Policy