US and Ukrainian elections: strategic context

US strategic interests in Ukraine – Why does Ukraine matter to the United States?

Ukraine believes in the continuity of US policy under any administration

KIEV – The results of the presidential elections in the United States will not affect the development of strategic relations between official Washington and Kiev.

According to a number of Ukrainian experts, relations between the countries have been building for decades, and are developing with bipartisan support from the United States..

As of early Wednesday morning, US presidential racers incumbent President Donald Trump and Democrat rival Joe Biden have won in states where they were expected to win..

Donald Trump and Joe Biden exchanged statements after voting ended on post-election night.

Betting on maintaining bipartisan support

International Political Scientist Anton Kuchukhidze believes that whoever wins, the United States’ policy towards Ukraine will not undergo drastic changes.

«Kiev will have no problems, because Volodymyr Zelenskyy did not make any statements about the electoral process in the United States. Ukraine has relied on maintaining bipartisan support. Based on this, problems with communication with the White House will not happen, as it was under the previous government, when the presidential meeting of the leaders of Ukraine and the United States could not take place for a long time.», – says Anton Kuchukhidze to the correspondent of the Russian Service «Voices of America».

The policy of the United States, he said, will be aimed at supporting Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity, supporting reforms and fighting corruption..

«These are three key vectors of relations. In detail, the nuances of cooperation may differ – Trump is tougher on Russia, he fights Nord Stream – 2, Democrats vice versa – under their rule, Putin annexed Crimea and Donbass, their position on the Russian invasion was reactive, not active, and they allowed Putin to invade Syria in 2015», – notes Anton Kuchukhidze.

Economic cooperation between the two countries, the expert emphasizes, will also remain at the same level, without «breakthrough solutions».

Reforms, economy, support

According to the political scientist Oleg Posternak, Given the situation with anti-corruption bodies in Ukraine, the scandal around the decisions of the Constitutional Court, the American administration, just like the European Union, may take a tougher stance towards official Kiev.

«If Trump stays – there will be more unpredictability, but the general line of behavior will remain the same. If Biden wins, politics can become more systemic and less hesitant.», – says Oleg Posternak to the correspondent of the Russian Service «Voices of America».

The political scientist believes that interstate relations between Kiev and Washington may change towards strengthening if Ukraine demonstrates progress in economic, anti-corruption, political, defense reforms.

«Strong Ukraine – this is a completely different situation in the European continental security system. It is an outpost of the interests of the Atlantic bloc and the containment of Russia in its aggressive intentions and practices.», – believes Oleg Posternak.

Bipartisan consensus will continue

According to political scientist, director of the GMT Group company Anatoly Lutsenko, the existing consensus between Republicans and Democrats on the issue of Ukraine will not lead to serious changes after the US elections..

«In matters of Ukraine, American politicians adhered to consolidated decisions», – says Anatoly Lutsenko to the correspondent of the Russian Service «Voices of America».

He believes that if Donald Trump remains for a second term, then he will have a chance to go down in history, not only as a leader who ended the confrontation on the Korean Peninsula, but also as the President of the United States, whose administration helped to bring peace to Donbass..

Politics will change

In turn, a political scientist Oleg Ponomar believes that United States policy «Ukrainian issue» after the presidential elections may change.

«Will change dramatically. After all, Trump sympathizes with Putin and Russia and does not like Ukraine, therefore his policy towards Ukraine was appropriate – Ukraine should make concessions to Russia and negotiate Donbass», – says Oleg Ponomar to the correspondent of the Russian Service «Voices of America».

Joe Biden, according to him, «great friend of Ukraine», who can make Ukraine «priority again» for US foreign policy.

«Biden promises any assistance to Ukraine (including weapons) to repel Russian aggression. Also, Biden will resume the sanctions policy towards Russia, which (policy) Trump stopped», – considers Oleg Ponomar.

It is appropriate to recall here that, as previously reported by the Russian Service “Voices of America”, it was the Trump administration that provided Ukraine with lethal weapons, including –ATGM “Javelin”. President Trump himself has repeatedly stressed that more sanctions were imposed on Moscow under his administration than at any time in US history..

US and Ukrainian elections: strategic context

USA supports Ukraine

Deputy Director of the Situations Modeling Agency Alexey Golobutsky notes that the United States, with any change of power in the White House, will support the national and defense policy of Ukraine.

«USA – is the only country in the world that helps Ukraine as much as possible in the military sphere, and one should not expect that, if Biden is elected, only he will deal with Ukraine, and if Trump is elected – he will ignore the issues of the development of bilateral relations», – says Alexey Golobutsky to the correspondent of the Russian Service «Voices of America».

He suggests that if Donald Trump wins, his attitude towards Ukraine will change, and obviously for the better..

«In this case, for Trump, a second presidential term – the latter, and he will have to lay the foundation for his place, as they say, in history. Therefore, we can expect new stages in the development of relations, including with Ukraine.», – believes Alexey Golobutsky.

According to him, «someone more, someone less» of the American candidates appeals to relations with Ukraine, but none of them will radically change the international dialogue.

Continuity in politics

Russian political scientist Andrey Okara notes that US foreign policy will not vary too much after the announcement of the election results.

«How is the policy of the Republicans fundamentally different from the Democrats? Republican politics is based on the concept of national interests, a strong player. Republicans do not like globalization theories and processes. Impact on other countries they have – more brutal, but more understandable. Trump is known for not very pleasant statements about Ukraine, but in terms of concrete real help – it turned out to be more effective», – says Andrey Okara to the correspondent of the Russian Service «Voices of America».

Democrats, he says, have a difficult foreign policy.

«They are dominated by a friendly and peaceful rhetoric. Their foreign policy is based on complex globalization trends, the development of transnational ties and interests. They work more effectively through various foundations and non-governmental organizations.», – emphasizes Andrey Okara.

In general, Andrei Okara emphasizes, in Ukraine and Russia, attitudes towards power in the United States are subject to «stereotyped representation».

US and Ukrainian elections: strategic context

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