The Republicans’ victory in the U.S. may increase support of Ukraine?

 

International

Article by: Liudmyla Vannek
Translated by: Mariya Shcherbinina

U.S. voters decided to give the majority of the seats in the U.S. Congress to the representatives of the Republican Party. As a result of the interim elections held on Tuesday, the Republicans now control both the House of Representatives and the Senate. This means that Democrat Barack Obama will be forced to seek compromise with the legislative government during his last two years as President. Voice of America correspondent Bohad Tsiupin observed the elections in Washington and live on Svoboda Today we discussed the possible consequences of political change in the U.S. for Ukraine in particular. 

Is it clear why President Obama’s party suffered defeat in the elections? 

Almost all political experts have predicted success for the Republicans, and this is not surprising to the Democrats and their President, Barack Obama, however, it means trouble, naturally. Throughout the last two years, conditions for general and Presidential elections will be set up.

The Democrats are a bit disappointed, as they point towards economic improvement in the U.S. President Obama says that the U.S. is successfully leaving the crisis behind, there are people who call to see how oil prices have decreased, in particular on car fuel, which is an important factor for American citizens. However, it is obvious that the citizens of the U.S. expect and demand more of their government.

The Republicans claim they will be more assertive: solve immigration issues more radically, which concern many, they fill be firmer when dealing with threats like Islamic extremism etc.

Bohdan, our listeners may recall the assertive claims of Republican Senator John McCain who, when visiting Kyiv during Maidan and afterwards, claimed the U.S. had to support Ukraine more, even with weapons, and put more pressure on Russia using sanctions to stop the war. The Republicans now control the body of legislative government, does this mean that Washington’s policies on Ukraine will change and John McCain may execute his own claims? 

Liudmyla, the listeners of Radio Liberty may also recall the ardent support of Ukraine on part of Obama’s Administration. The U.S. President himself used every opportunity to defiantly condemn Russian aggression. On Tuesday, for example, Washington stated they did not acknowledge the so-called elections the separatists held in the east of Ukraine.

So both leading U.S. parties share the opinion that supporting Ukraine is necessary, they think that adherence to international laws and agreements, preservation of peace in the world and the principle of border integrity, especially in Europe, correspond to the national interests of the U.S. And the American parties have practically no differences in defending these principles.

However, in regard to Ukraine, our audience is probably more interested not in mottos and principles, but in concrete action. As to action, I think it is probably too early to expect dramatic or immediate change in Washington’s policies on Ukraine. One thing is when politicians from an opposing party criticize the President from another party – here they can be harsh, but in developing decisions, the Republican-controlled Congress and the Democratic Administration of President Obama will seek common decisions and will only execute them having reached an agreement.

It is quite possible that there will be new initiatives. Obama will not hasten to veto the proposals of both Chambers of the Congress, therefore it is now worth observing whether political statements will turn into concrete action.

Translated by: Mariya Shcherbinina

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