One thesis of the article— (Zerkalo Nedeli: http://zn.ua/POLITICS/semostoyatelnyy_yanukovich-103152.html) — that the presidential administration at Bankova Street has decided to place emphasis on Ukraine’s relationship with the United States, with a focus on energy development and the recent Chevron tender to develop shale gas, in a belief that Washington would somehow ignore the decline of democratic values in Ukraine—struck us as completely disconnected from the realities of U.S. policy.
We have a great deal of respect for Mostova and her astute observations of the Ukrainian scene. But we wonder whether she might have been “spun”—that is, fed a story line—by Bankova insiders who want to persuade her and her readers that Kyiv can maintain a robust relationship with Washington even while Ukraine backslides on democracy and its relations with the European Union and Russia deteriorate. President Viktor Yanukovych clearly is uncomfortable with his current level of isolation from Western leaders. The presidential administration understandably wants to create the illusion that he is not isolated, that he has a strong relationship with Washington and President Barack Obama.
The alternative is that Mostova’s article accurately captures what presidential administration officials truly believe about Washington’s policy. If that is the case, it shows an astounding example of collective wishful thinking on Bankova’s part. From our conversations with U.S. officials, we see a very different picture.