Zelensky Faces Critical Juncture amid Weakened US Ties
Washington Post editorial cites damage done by impeachment hearings ahead of NATO and Normandy Format summits
Photo from Ukrinform – UATV
As President Volodymyr Zelensky prepares for the Normandy Format meeting on December 9, 2019, the “chaos President Donald Trump introduced into US-Ukraine relations” is something that goes to Russia’s advantage during this high-stakes moment, according to The Washington Post.
An editorial published on December 1, 2019 by the Post pointed to the fact that there still remains no meeting scheduled at the White House between Presidents Zelensky and Trump, one that “was dangled in exchange for political favors.” In addition, “Mr. Trump is still repeating false charges about Ukraine’s role in the 2016 election, even after being told that they are inventions of Russia’s intelligence services.”
Going into the summit, recent troop withdrawals and prisoner exchanges are acts in good faith. Yet lacking is the symbolic support of a meeting at the White House. The effect emboldens Russian President Vladimir Putin’s position, especially when he sees Trump outwardly express distrust of Ukraine.
Photo UATV — Douglas Cohen
The editorial also says German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron “will likely lean on [Zelensky] to make concessions to the Russian ruler, because a deal would allow them to repair European relations with Russia.” Also expected was how Putin will want compromises on Ukrainian sovereignty in the east.
The lack of united support by the US “would cripple Ukraine’s independence from Russia and its hopes to integrate with the West,” the editorial stated. But it says what remains is support from Republicans in Congress, even as they provide political cover for Trump.