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By Aleks Yakubssohn
As the debates on the nature, scope and need of American-Ukrainian relations do not subside and keep flaring, and in light of some fairly controversial statements made recently by the current US state secretary, i’d like to lay a ‘magic seven’ of arguments in favor of America continuing its policy of support for the fledgling post-Soviet state, other than, of course, me being its native.
1. Ukraine is an important asset in European collective security system. It’s stability and territorial integrity is vital to the order and safety of hundreds of millions of people residing in neighboring regions, in particular to the nation’s West, which are almost all member of European Union and/or NATO. Sure, Ukraine itself is not a member of either alliance and won’t likely be for a while, but the best way to ensure one’s own security is to help out a neighbor, moreover one that has repeatedly shown good disposition to you. US, as a guarantor and benefactor of European stability, is surely interested in Ukraine’s role in it.
2. Unfortunately, in recent dozen or so years we have had to contend with increased assertiveness and sometimes outright aggression of current Russian government, the brunt of which Ukraine has taken in the last three years. But the disturbing conduct of the Kremlin inhabitants does not by any means end in its or other post-Soviet republics’ territory: we ourselves are seeing repeated provocations by Russian airforce and battleships even near our shores, near-conflict situations on Syria, North Korea and so on. Supporting Ukraine in its European political and cultural choice would help fend Kremlin’s advances and eventually positively influence Russia proper, by striving to create a Western-style free and prosperous society. Sure, right now that goal seems quite far, but as the proverb goes, when there’s a will there’s a way.
3. There are many Ukrainians and people of other East European origins in the United States, such as Poles, Serbs, Croats, Hungarians, Czechs, Russian and Russian speakers and so on, who are sympathetic to Ukrainian and broader, East Europeans causes and affairs, in some states such as Illinois they even make up a very large part of the population(Chicago, for instance, is the world’s second-largest ‘Polish’ city after the nation’s capital of Warsaw), who watch anxiously what’s happening in their native lands, partake in their plights financially, personally and in many other ways, and whose interests and aspirations should not be neglected. Showing understanding of the needs and struggles faced by those East Europe nations, we would secure support of that electoral bloc, while serving general interests of our values.
4. Ukraine’s struggle for freedom itself should be seen in the light of America’s own values and history, as United states both faced early in its own existence very similar challenges and threats of ‘brotherly’ overlordship, and also has been historically known to aid other freedom-aspiring nations, be it in its own hemisphere, East Asia, Europe or Mid East. It is, in short, a very AMERICAN thing to support a nation, especially so large and influential, in its attempt to basically stand on its own two feet, without outside coercion.
5. It is besides everything else, a matter of American prestige. To abruptly end support of Ukraine’s drive to independence and right to pick its own destiny, would be a blow to American reputation, even if no other significant interests were at stake–though they definitely are. and in continuation of the ‘interests’ theme, let me say that’
6. the opportunities for American business community, of which our current administration is rightfully mindful, abound in Ukraine. The nation has great infrastructure, scientific, technological and other baggage developed over centuries, as well as untapped potential in exploration of fields such as energy production(coal, shale gas, hydroelectric plants etc). And while neighboring Russia may present larger and richer field of exploration, Ukraine’s attempts at purging itself of corrupt and ineffective aspects of its economy, and to restyle and realign itself with Western concepts and practices of conducting business, provide much healthier working atmosphere. Ukraine needs both support and investment on its way to develop truly modern successful economy, and one who has greater hand in aiding it in this endeavor, will reap richest rewards. There are also great opportunities for American business in working with both government and their colleagues in Ukraine, in such fields, as military, high tech and so on. And while it is always bad when things turn to outright military conflict, the ever present chance of escalation of Kremlin-supported formations’ activities against Ukrainian armed forces, provides a potential for serious military equipment sales to the country–something the previous US president simply chickened out to do.
7. Finally, president Trump has recently stated that he needs and believes in strong cohesive Europe, capable of dealing with modern day challenges: in security, economy, immigration, and other fields. Ukraine is an inalienable part of European history and civilization, and any such planning simply cannot successfully and lastingly work without its inclusion.
There are our seven ‘magic’ arguments in support of continued cooperation and aid by United States of America to Ukraine. Though we are pretty sure that readers can find many more on their own reasons to do so, whereas for opposite views, one might seriously struggle to produce them. We hope this material catches attention of at least someone in current American policy-making circles, and falls on fertile ground.
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