Pompeo's visit to Kyiv: Mission of apology or control?
It's Washington that needs the Ukraine visit of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo more than Kyiv.
The "leaked conversation scandal", created as a result of Trump's miscalculations apparently hurt bilateral relations between Ukraine and the United States. After all, the U.S. President's statements about "the most corrupt" country and people have made Ukraine toxic.
Zelensky's team initially chose the wrong defense strategy
Zelensky, in fact, inherited the system from his predecessors and was drawn into the unpleasant story of U.S. internal showdowns ahead of the presidential election there. However, Zelensky's team initially chose the wrong defense strategy and decided to keep silent and distance themselves, but that was not enough.
The essence of the conflict was Trump's desire to pursue inter-state affairs by the "profit for profit" formula, which fits perfectly into the business logic where everyone seeks benefits. The U.S. president was also seeking benefits, and has therefore reportedly held military aid to our state in exchange for restarting a criminal case against Joe Biden's son, which, according to Trump's plan, would hurt his opponent's popular rating.
Pompeo has to even out the corners, and his visit to the president of Ukraine is an opportunity to reassure him of U.S. support. However, Pompeo has not come to Kyiv to get new evidence against Biden.
However, it should be noted that any words of support should be followed by action. At the very least, Washington could appoint an ambassador to Kyiv, which would indicate U.S. interest in strengthening NATO's "eastern outpost." After all, the temporary void at the ambassador's post gives rise to thoughts of likely bargaining underway.
It is also important to find someone who would pursue Kurt Volker's mission. The fact that the White House is in no rush to appoint such a professional may show that Washington is confident: Kyiv and Moscow are able to settle on their own. Moreover, Donald Trump has already noted that Volodymyr Zelensky was able to speak with Vladimir Putin on his own...
Pompeo's visit is also a test of how the American interests are being realized in Ukraine
Pompeo's visit is also a test of how the American interests are being realized in our country. Meetings with business CEOs and civic activists testify to control and support at the same time. After all, Joe Biden once visited Ukraine by the same scenario. However, he also addressed the Ukrainian parliament.
This is definitely not part of Pompeo's agenda. Most likely, that's because the main guarantor of the agreements is President Zelensky. It is his high popular rating that holds together the whole configuration of power. So Pompeo will not waste time in parliament when it would be enough to talk to the president.
Taras Semeniuk is a Ukrainian analyst with KyivStratPro