What to expect from Poroshenko's talks with Trump

Maksym Rozumniy
16:00, 24 January 2018
Politics
635 0
Opinion

U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to meet with President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos. At the moment, the meeting should be considered mostly in the context of the general logic of Ukraine-U.S. relations, where Mr Trump plays no leading role.

Recently, we witnessed quite active communications of Ukraine’s representatives with U.S.  Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker. The American side adopted rather resonant decisions, in particular, on the provision of lethal aid to Ukraine. At the moment, the U.S. stance is quite clear in their dialogue with Russia on the crisis settlement in Ukraine and battling consequences of Russian aggression.

Of course, America's position will be very important on the so-called "law on Donbas de-occupation" adopted by the Verkhovna Rada in the second reading and the issue of the introduction of a UN peacekeeping mission to Donbas

It is in this context that the meeting is likely to take place. That is, its main task will be to consolidate or legitimize the state of the Ukraine-U.S. partnership, which by today has formed due to the preparatory diplomatic efforts.

Returning to the topics that could be discussed at the Poroshenko-Trump meeting, of course, America's position will be very important on the so-called "law on Donbas de-occupation" adopted by the Verkhovna Rada in the second reading and the issue of the introduction of a UN peacekeeping mission to Donbas, which resurfaced on the United Nations agenda. It is obvious that the meeting between the two presidents will have to outline the framework for further bilateral cooperation on said issues. And this is mainly not so much about Ukraine as the U.S.

I believe that some sort of a statement by the U.S. president is expected following the meeting, about America's position on current developments.

The issue of further cooperation between Ukraine and the International Monetary Fund is another side of the negotiations, and a much wider one. It is about the U.S. support for the internal policy of the Ukrainian authorities, including Donald Trump’s personal support.

I believe that some sort of a statement by the U.S. president is expected following the meeting, about America's position on current developments

But it is unlikely that we will hear any clear answers or see any signals in this regard. It should be recalled that such meetings and talks are traditional for Davos, but no high-profile resolutions or decisions are reported following these meetings, while details of the talks remain undisclosed.

Therefore, I think that there will be a wider issue here that is most important – it’s about the general support of Ukraine’s president by the American side, including of his moves in internal politics along the lines drawn by the IMF.

Maksym Rozumny is a PhD in Political Science, Head of the Center for Russia Research at the National Institute for Strategic Studies

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