After a passionate speech to the U.S. Congress where Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko said that his country’s conflict with Russia is also America’s war, pointing towards a potential start of a new Cold War, the Ukrainian leader met with President Barak Obama at the White House. While the show for Poroshenko Washington put on was one full of ceremony befitting the return of a hero to home soil, it was all for naught. Poroshenko returns home to Ukraine from the U.S. with empty hands.
Actually, Poroshenko left North America to return home with support from Canada and a humanitarian aid package from the United States. The humanitarian aid package was far removed from what Poroshenko had wanted from his United States counterpart. Obama has continued to deny sending any offensive military support to the former Soviet Union state.
While the Ukrainian president did appreciate the night vision goggles, meals ready to eat (MRE’s) and blankets from the United States, he made it clear that blankets will not win the war. The lack of firm military aid appears to come from the fear that anything beyond humanitarian aid may provoke Russian President Vladimir Putin. However, while the Ukraine is not asking that NATO carpet bomb the Russian troops on the border, Poroshenko believes the assistance from U.S. drones, antitank weaponry and other needed defensive military aid is a necessity. A necessity that could stop the Ukrainian expected Russian invasion and the beginning of a new Cold War.
While Poroshenko heads home, reports are indicating that elite Russian military troops may be taking up positions near the borders in the eastern, southwestern and southern region of Ukraine. Poroshenko had previously stated his belief that Putin wants to recreate the former Soviet Union and that invading a former member state is likely the first step. So, while the Kremlin continues to display military posturing on the border, the Ukrainian military will likely not receive the aid they believe is needed to deter Russian aggression.
So far, Russian pressure and continual disregard to the borders of Ukraine has already forced a number of economic sanctions from Europe and the United States. However, the sanctions have failed to stop Putin to remove troop movements near the Ukrainian border. Russian military convoys have crossed the Ukrainian border without stopping to be inspected by border or customs agents.
U.S. officials believe the sanctions are working and have crippled the economy of Russia, however some U.S. lawmakers do agree with Ukrainian officials. After the Ukrainian leader spoke in front of congress, Senate Foreign Relations legislators voted to advance a Ukrainian aid package that contained non-military assistance and military assistance.
The implications from Poroshenko during his speech to Congress about the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine appeared to point to the start of a new Cold War without coming right out and saying it. In the speech, the Ukrainian President stated that while his countrymen are dying for their county, the battles that the young Ukrainian men are involved in “is not only Ukraine’s war. It is Europe’s war, and it is American’s war, too. It is a war of the free world—and for a free world.”
By Carl Auer