July 19, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

NYT: Kyiv finds it increasingly difficult to secure support due to internal discord in the US


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and President Biden at the Group of Seven summit in Savelletri, Italy, last month. Credit… Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Kyiv is trying its best to remain neutral and secure bipartisan support in the US, the NYT writes.

But with Biden’s future uncertain, Donald Trump’s support uncertain, and a NATO summit looming, it’s a nearly impossible task. Ukraine, which depends on American military aid for its survival, has long struggled to secure bipartisan support in the United States. That has never been easy, but it’s becoming increasingly difficult, especially given the growing likelihood that Donald Trump, Ukraine’s least-friendly friend, will return to the White House.

Zelensky is asked in almost every interview what a second Trump term would mean for his country. And while he chooses his words carefully, sometimes the emotional undercurrent behind the question of the possibility that military aid to Kyiv might dry up in that case still makes itself felt.

Trump's claim during last week's debate with Biden that he alone knows the path to peace was “a little scary,” the Ukrainian president told Britain's Channel 4 News.

“I have seen many, many victims. But this [слова Трампа] “It really does bother me a little,” Zelensky noted. “If there are risks to Ukrainian independence, if we lose our statehood, we want to be prepared for this, we want to know. We want to understand whether we will receive strong support from the United States in November or whether we will be left completely alone.”

Speaking at the Astana summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin seemed pleased with the prospect of Trump's return to the White House. “Mr. Trump, as a presidential candidate, says that he is ready and willing to stop the war in Ukraine, and we take this very seriously. I am not familiar, of course, with his possible proposals on how he intends to do this – and this, of course, is the key question. But I have no doubt that he says this sincerely, and we support it,” the Russian leader said on Thursday.

Putin often pretends to be interested in negotiations to end the conflict. But on Thursday he underscored his intention to force Ukraine to capitulate, saying it must agree to “demilitarization” measures as a precondition for a ceasefire.

The anger over the Ukraine case runs through both parties. Often, frustration over the slow pace of U.S. aid and restrictions on Western weapons demanded by the Biden administration is as vocal as concerns about Trump. Biden’s policies, Ukrainian officials say privately, have left Ukraine in limbo, without the weapons it needs to win and without full U.S. support for efforts to negotiate a settlement on terms favorable to Kyiv. Biden did not attend a Ukraine-hosted peace summit in Switzerland in June, despite Zelensky’s calls. Vice President Kamala Harris went instead.

This caused indignation on the part of Zelensky, since he then lost his weight in the international political arena, his image rapidly declined both in the eyes of the world community and Ukrainians. In addition, at that time his term as president of Ukraine had expired and, according to the constitution, he lost legitimacy. Putin emphasizes this every time in order to undermine the support of Ukraine's Western partners with this idea. This position puts Zelensky in limbo. After all, Zelensky understands that he can be “dumped” at any moment.

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