TRUMAN Index of Ukraine-US relations: Lack of relations and de-oligarchization test

Given that a new president was elected in the last three months, we might have expected this quarter to see a lull in Ukraine-US relations, but this was not the case. This included attention-grabbing statements from President Trump’s lawyer and ex-mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani, aimed at newly-elected President Zelensky’s circle and the removal of US Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch just a few months before her term ended, who was replaced by a former US ambassador to Ukraine, William Taylor, as chargé d’affaires. TRUMAN Index of Ukraine-US relations in April-June 2019 showed slightly negative dynamics. It is 1.04.

“It’s clear that what is lacking in Ukrainian-American relations is—Ukrainian-American relations,” – comments author of  Ukraine-US section Alyona Getmanchuk. “There’s US domestic policy, where, at the highest level, Ukraine is seen as a source of compromising materials.”

The challenges that face Zelensky with regard to the US are far more serious than those that faced Petro Poroshenko at the beginning: both because of the end of the Mueller investigation without any consequences, because of growing sanctions fatigue, and because of what he has inherited from the previous administration, some of whose representatives openly want to move into the new one.

A real test for the newly elected president will be de-oligarchization of politics, especially resistance to Kolomoisky and maximum distancing from the oligarch, whose destructive role in reforming Ukraine is recognized by the United States. There will be a lot of questions from Americans regarding major appointments that do not fit into the logic of de-oligarchization.

The Congress will continue to play an important role in deterring Russian aggression and obstructing possible rapprochement between Trump and Putin. But further support for Ukraine will require intensified efforts by Ukraine’s leadership in delivering results in the fight against corruption, respect for rule of law, de-oligarchizing, and so on.