US-Ukraine ties after the impeachment drama

07 Feb 2020

(Atlantic Council) 2019 was an exceptionally turbulent year for US-Ukraine ties, but there are signs the relationship is getting back on track. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo came to Kyiv on January 31, becoming the highest-ranking US official to visit Ukraine in over two years. While he did not offer any major breakthroughs, Secretary Pompeo’s presence itself was a welcome sign following months of impeachment-related speculation and innuendo that succeeded in damaging trust on both sides. With the impeachment drama now apparently nearing its conclusion, how will relations develop between Ukraine and the United States?

Pompeo’s recent visit was particularly eagerly awaited in Kyiv as it had already been delayed twice. The initial postponement in November 2019 left many in Ukraine frustrated as they had been hoping for a strong signal of continued American support prior to President Zelenskyy’s first face-to-face meeting with Vladimir Putin in Paris in early December. The second delay came in early January 2020, when unexpected events in Iraq forced a last-minute rescheduling. These two postponements, together with the imposing impeachment backdrop, amplified the significance of Pompeo’s eventual arrival in the Ukrainian capital last week.  [...]

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