Which side offers the more constructive approach?
On the United States side, Vice President Joseph Biden has called President Viktor Yanukovych four times in the last month, asking him to pull back riot troops, release EuroMaidan detainees and prosecutor violent offenders as confidence-building measures. Good advice. U.S. President Barack Obama called on Yanukovych to enter into a real power-sharing agreement with the political opposition, and U.S.
Secretary of State John Kerry said in Munich that Yanukovych hadn’t compromised enough. We agree.
Now compare this intervention with the Kremlin’s hysterical warnings against U.S. interference while Russia’s leaders are working overtime to do just that – interfere – but in a way that destabilizes Ukraine and dilutes, if not destroys, its national sovereignty. Putin’s portrayal of his $15 billion bailout package/gas discount as simply that of a “Slavic big brother” helping the little one out is a myth that keeps getting punctured. This time, Putin’s mendacious intent became clear after Russian-friendly Prime Minister Mykola Azarov resigned on Jan. 28. Putin responded by holding up the loan (after an initial $3 billion tranche) and stopping Ukrainian goods on the Russian border.