Call it extreme makeover or soft power, it’s here and it’s long overdue.
Tough U.S. visa policies have long alienated many Ukrainians. Add in those endless flirtations with Ukraine’s ruling elites and you get a U.S. foreign policy that’s a bit out of touch with reality. Without some sort of grassroots engagement/cultural dialogue going on, behind-the-scenes/business-as-usual diplomacy only takes you so far. Especially, when you have leakers like Edward Snowden and troublemakers like the Bloodhound Gang on your hands.
Apparently, Geoffrey Pyatt, the new U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, is trying to fix things. Just a few weeks on the job, he’s already been to many places and embraced social media. His Twitter will keep you updated, augmented by the U.S. Embassy’s presence on Facebook and YouTube. Actually, we're friends on Twitter!
You can even hear the new U.S. Ambassador learning to speak Ukrainian. Which automatically propels him above and beyond most Western ambassadors...just as it puts some of our not-so-Ukrainian-friendly officials to shame.
With Ukraine at a crossroads and Yanukovych between a rock (Russia) and a hard place (EU), the U.S. has a role to play.
Keep up the good work, guys!