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Thursday, March 05, 2009

Clinton Vows to Keep NATO’s Door Open to Ukraine, Georgia

Speaking at a NATO ministerial meeting in Brussels Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said this about Ukraine:

We should continue to open NATO's door to European countries such as Georgia and Ukraine and help them meet NATO standards.

I want to believe you, Hillary! So don’t let any glass ceilings get in that door, OK?



John Kalitka said...

Interesting...the same BBC article notes how NATO "woos" Russia on Afghanistan. Ultimately, one of these objectives will have to be dropped. No?

Taras said...

Thank you for commenting, John! I’m adding you, too!

I agree it's a double bind.

All I know is that selling out Ukraine to Russia would have disastrous consequences not only for Ukraine, but for other countries as well.

The losses may be bigger than Afghanistan and Iraq combined.

It's important that Washington realize this.

John Kalitka said...

I agree with you, Taras. Unfortunately, for starters, President Obama seems to have badly mishandled the missle defense matter earlier this week. So, I am skeptical about his intentions vis-a-vis Russian and its "near abroad."

Marta Salazar said...

también yo le quiero creer!


Taras said...


I, too, remain skeptical — until I see tangible and convincing evidence to the contrary.

In other words, it’s “Доверяй, но проверяй” (“Trust, but verify”), as Reagan put it.


Vamos a ver, vamos a ver.

Saludos desde Ucrania!

elmer said...

The US, NATO, the EU, the West, have already recognized the strategic importance of Ukaine, on a political and commercial basis.

Here's the problem:

while the people in Ukraine continue to play the "we are too important for the West to lose us to Russia" game, the people, including the government, don't seem interested in doing, for themselves, what's necessary, not to be lost to Russia.

At the government level, they are far more interested in vicious and bloody battles among themselves.

At the people level, people don't know what to do, and are frozen in inaction, except for trying to get their hryvnia out of Ukrainian banks.

Ukrainian people, top to bottom, government to people, doesn't want to do for themselves.

They expect others to do everything for them.

The excuse is "this is Ukraine," just like in the movie Blood Diamond, the excuse was "TIA" - This Is Africa.

So NATO, EU, IMF, the World Bank, the US, are simply supposed to pour even more dollars into Ukraine, so that government officials can steal it, or speculate on currency with it.

It's a putrid attitude.

Ukraine has 23$ inflation, its debt rating is one of the worst in the world, and the best that they can come up with is to write letters to the IMF, only to get them shoved back in their face, because the letter didn't meet IMF requirements.

Who do these people think they are?

Why did Tymoshenko hire the Blackstone Group, for several million dollars, to advise Ukraine in its relations with the IMF?

Did they all ignore the Blackstone Group? Did the Blackstone Group give bad advice for several million dollars?

Seems to me that there is a significant need for Ukraine to improve its own attitude and actions, and stop all the pissing contests and skunk fights among politicians.

Taras said...

I think we should separate two kinds of things.

We should separate:

1) the things Ukrainians should do to make it better for themselves


2) the things the West should not do to make it worse for Ukrainians, and, ultimately, for itself.

In other words, screw us up, and you'll get screwed, too. Fair enough?

That's the game I'm playing.

It's a shame the IMF showered Kuchma with all those standby loans in ‘90s. Those loans helped him screw Ukraine up so bad that today we have to beg the IMF on our knees for just a few billion dollars.

Meanwhile, Kuchma's billionaire relative has donated millions of dollars to someone who praised Kuchma and helped him trade the world’s third-largest nuclear arsenal for those early IMF loans. (Elton John, Kuchma's birthday singer, should rewrite his “Circle of Life” to account for these wonderful circular cash flows.)

In the ‘90s, the West enjoyed the peace dividend. By contrast, Ukraine had its economy divvied up between a bunch of oligarchs. These oligarchs now pull the strings in Ukraine's corrupt and incompetent governments.

Sorry, but we, the ordinary Ukrainians, neither had your democratic institutions nor your financial security nor your unflagging commitment to prevent it from happening. Unlike the Baltics, we weren't part of “the West.” All the West wanted from us was disarm us and then toss out a few crumbs to us — and that was that.

Today, I see no point in begging. Instead, corruption must be made a capital crime in Ukraine.

Steal $10,000 of taxpayer money, and you're dead. Buy that nice car/watch/home with bribe money, and you’re dead, too.

Such measures can only be approved through large-scale protests.

Given the current state of affairs, I wouldn't rule out that possibility.

elmer said...

So there are large-scale protests in Ukraine?

Then what, Taras?

What's the next step after protests?

The maggot scumbags in all the "political parties," who have been partying it up for all these years and robbing the country blind, suddenly see the light, and become honest?

Or Kuchma, Pinchuk, Firtash, Kluyev, Kolomoisky, Hayduk, Zhevago, Akhmetov and the rest, apologize, and either leave government, or have their current proxies leave government?

Or they fix the budget, and money for doctors and hospitals actually gets to where it's supposed to go? (They've already pretende to cut their salaries in half.)

Or, more likely, Pootler comes forth with several billion dollars in loans, as he as done for Kyrgyztan and Belarus and others, and the maggot scumbags in Ukraine sell out to Pootler, so they can continue buying Rolls Royces, and throw a few pennies in the general direction of Chernovetsky's babushkas?

What's the next step after large-scale protests, Taras?

Taras said...

The next step is to pass anti-corruption laws that make bribery/embezzlement in excess of $10,000 punishable with death.

Either Ukraine kills corruption or corruption will kill Ukraine.

elmer said...

That's obviously not a serious answer.

The Durdom cartoons have it exactly right - there's a bunch of maggots in Ukraine, called the "political elite," who have been soiling and spoliating the whole country for 19 years, and they don't care where they leave their mess.

They control and run the government - and the government is indeed killing the country.

Ukraine is already dead, Taras.

In typical Ukrainian Chernobyl syndrome fashion, Ukrainians don't plan, and they don't implement preventive plans.

They let the house burn down, and then cry about it, rather than preventing the house from burning down in the first place.

It remains to be seen whether the people in Ukraine figure out what to do next.

Taras said...

Well, I’m still alive.

I live in Ukraine and I want Ukraine to live.

And while the answer may scare the corrupt elites, I think it’s the answer Ukraine needs.