"American Auditor" Visits Kiev
US Vice President Joe Biden once again arrived in Ukraine, and this time, with "an official visit" as opposed to "Maidan times," when he came to consult the political elite in strict confidentiality.
According to the program of the visit, on Monday he was to meet with President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, and take part in a roundtable discussion with society leaders. It was planned that on Tuesday, the US vice president will deliver a speech in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and will hold talks with the mayor of Kiev, Vitali Klitschko.
According to the information provided by the White House, during Biden's visit it's planned to assure the members of the Ukrainian government and the supporters of reform in Ukraine of "further strong support for the US in the face of continued Russian military intervention."
"One of the main goals of this trip is to remind the people of Ukraine and the world that even though a lot of international attention was paid to the Russian intervention in Syria, the United States have not forgotten about Ukraine and that Ukraine remains a central issue of our national interests," - said a source in the White House.
In addition, Washington believes that Ukraine needs reforms in security and defense, in order that it withstand "pressure from Moscow" and "Russian aggression".
"Only serious security reforms and improvement of institutional quality and capabilities of the Armed Forces can help the situation in Ukraine. This is what we aim for. This is what will eventually allow Ukraine to confront the forced pressure that Moscow is trying to apply for the past two years," - said the representative of the US administration.
Two things appear indicative against this background: 300 million dollars in military assistance, incorporated in the next year's US budget, and the practical support provided by Washington to the Ukrainian army at the end of this year were used "Humvees" dating 80s, unfit for use in combat. No wonder: the United States would have hardly missed such an opportunity to play giving up old junk for "serious military aid." But, apparently, Kiev is ready to happily accept such "lavish gifts", because Ukrainian elite "likes everything American", whatever quality it may be, whereas ordinary soldiers are left as an afterthought, if not at all forgotten.
A few days before the arrival of the "American Auditor" Biden the Ukrainian government showed surprising revival: Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk decided to "portray activities": ministers gave reports on structural reforms in their departments. The leader of public movement "Ukrainian choice" Viktor Medvedchuk believes that all this is an "entertaining show."
"Given the failure of the "people's front" in all areas and extremely low rating of the Prime Minister, there are talks about the need for Yatsenyuk's retirement. To stay in a now staggered prime minister's chair, the PM announced an entertaining show under the promising title "reports by ministers on structural reforms", after which members of the government started imitatiting reformation efforts," - said Medvedchuk.
According to him, the results of the government work are amazing: "State Fiscal Service reports collecting record amounts of customs duties, the State Treasury reports beating 12-year record for the accumulation of funds, the National Bank of Ukraine boast success on the accumulation of foreign exchange reserves, the Ministry of Social policy - a record number of citizens who have applied for subsidies, "Naftogaz", according to the prime minister for the first time in 10 years shows a break-even basis, the Ministry of Agrarian Policy assures that the country's food security is provided 100%. In short, it's an "oil painting," in order to persuade the foreign guest and the whole world that in the past year "the reformer" Yatsenyuk managed to make his own Ukrainian "economic miracle."
However, ordinary Ukrainians do not trust him, because they better than the political elite know about the situation in the country. Last year in Ukraine inflation, unemployment, prices, rates and the level of corruption have only increased.
Joseph Biden stayed in Ukraine for only 36 hours instead of the planned two full days. Kiev authorities expected Washington's support and guarantees of military assistance. But Biden made it clear to the Ukrainian authorities: Kiev will have to resolve the conflict in Donbass on his own. And as a "carrot," US promised to help the country conduct "fair democratic elections, financial aid," as for the "whip" it was the criticism of the Ukrainian leadership's unwillingness to confront corruption and carry out far-reaching reforms of government institutions.