(Kyiv Post) The United States has played an outsized role vis-à-vis Ukraine throughout the 25 years of their relations. The lonely superpower has pushed Ukraine towards denuclearization while picking up the check for this endeavor. It has followed with substantial financial assistance that has helped Ukraine to stabilize its currency, proceed with reforms, introduce privatization, deal with the implications of the 1986 Chornobyl nuclear power plant disaster and more.
The slowdown in the early 2000s was seen as a problem by then-Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, who caused it in the first place, and tried to improve the relations by announcing his intention to move towards membership in NATO and by sending troops to Iraq in 2003, among other things.
The U.S. role (coupled with the participation of some other international actors) in resolving the acute political crisis in the end of 2004 was another example of the clout that Washington has carried with Ukrainian political class. American insistence on reforms has not produced much, though, in the following years, as Washington was also distracted by other directions in its international policy. With the Euromaidan Revolution taking place, which ousted President Viktor Yanukovych on Feb. 22, 2014, we have seen evidence of both Washington retaining some of the channels to influence the government of Ukraine and, also, a limit to what it can persuade Ukrainian leadership to do or not to do. […]
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