Ukrainian interest. Irritating Trump, south-eastern prospects, and test with Ambassador

The presidential race in the United States keeps echoing in world politics. Poroshenko's visit to South-East Asia can see some interesting developments. Ukrainian Foreign Ministry reports it has put the question of the arrival of the new Russian ambassador to Kyiv off the agenda of bilateral relations.


The presidential elections in the United States attract the world's attention every four years, but this time, the situation is being heated up not only with the scale of the electoral marathon but also with the very personalities of both candidates. A daffy tycoon Donald Trump, who was promoted by the Republican Party with no real problems, has been tirelessly stirring public opinion with controversial statements. A Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton  has a unique chance to enter the White House not as a First Lady she used to be in 1992 – 2000 but as the official leader of the world’s most powerful state.

The experts and the media have overwhelmed the public with various forecasts regarding the outcome of the presidential race, which is now joined indirectly by more and more new characters. Critical arrows toward Trump were fired by Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Francois Hollande, but that was rather a ritual move. But the statement of Barack Obama who claimed that the GOP candidate is not fit to be president can actually play an important role in the campaign. Ukrainian politicians should not be too delusional about random references of Ukraine by both candidates. After all, the Ukrainian topic is not the focus of the U.S. presidential campaign. It would be much more important to look for opportunities to convert these references into constant interest to what is really happening in the country.

Petro Poroshenko has paid a visit to Malaysia and Indonesia. Southeast Asia can hardly be called a priority for the Ukrainian diplomacy, but in today's globalized world, the Ukrainian leadership should seek partners in every corner of the world. While in Malaysia, the Ukrainian president, among other issues, discussed with the local authorities the prospects of bringing to justice those responsible for the downing of MH17 in July 2014 from the skies over Donbas, killing 298 passengers and crew on board. As for Indonesia, this state with a 250 million population and impressive political ambitions is a huge promising market for Ukraine. Kyiv has long been speaking of the need to step up the economic component of Ukraine’s foreign policy, and Poroshenko’s south-eastern voyage is a step in the right direction.

The fact that the traditional system of international relations is changing significantly is evidenced by the establishment of a Quadrilateral Cooperation and Coordination Mechanism by Afghanistan, China, Pakistan and Tajikistan. This quartet decided to jointly respond to the growing threat of terrorism. While the military-political cooperation between Beijing and Islamabad is not a secret, the accession of Kabul and Dushanbe is an unpleasant signal to Russia that China does not intend to blindly take into account the interests of the Kremlin in Central Asia. By the way, Russia maintains its military presence in Tajikistan... In this context, Moscow is in great anticipation of the upcoming meeting between Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Even more so, after the statement of the Turkish president claiming that the West supports coup plotters and terrorists.

Apparently, Ukraine shouldn’t expect the arrival of the new Russian ambassador. Russia attempted to secure the appointment of a former security officer Mikhail Babich in an operation with some elements of blackmail, but it confronted a polite refusal. Through the words of Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Olena Zerkal, the official Kyiv said that the issue of agreeing on the candidacy for the post of Russian Ambassador to Ukraine had been put off the agenda. In turn, Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said that the general tone of Russian-Ukrainian relations is not conducive to the normalization of diplomatic relations, but at the same time no one is talking about their complete rupture.

Yevgeny Magda

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