“I don’t think the US administration sees itself as locked in a geopolitical ‘war’ between the West and Russia over Ukraine”
Steven PIFER, Former US ambassador to Ukraine:
“I don’t believe that the White House itself has made a statement about what happened on Saturday, but the State Department almost certainly cleared its Saturday press statement with White House officials before issuing it. That statement ‘condemns the violence by government authorities against peaceful demonstrators in Kyiv’ and urges ‘Ukraine’s leaders to respect their people’s right to freedom of expression and assembly.’ Washington supports the aspirations of Ukraine’s people to integrate with Europe and their right to demonstrate peacefully in favor of those aspirations.
“US officials so far have made no mention of specific sanctions against the Yanukovych government. In the past, they have said that they do not favor sanctions. We have not, however, yet heard reactions from members of Congress. Some senators and representatives have previously expressed concern about the democratic regression that has taken place in Ukraine the past several years and have raised the prospect of sanctions. Congress has been on recess for the Thanksgiving holidays and comes back into session on Monday, December 2. We may see some Congressional reactions to the developments in Ukraine then.
Photo by Ivan LIUBYSH-KIRDEI
“The US government’s expectations are straight-forward: that the Ukrainian authorities allow peaceful demonstrations to proceed and not use force against them. Further police attacks will only complicate US-Ukrainian relations.
“I don’t think the US administration sees itself as locked in a geopolitical ‘war’ between the West and Russia over Ukraine. This is about what Ukraine and Ukrainians want. And, while Mr. Yanukovych has paused his integration with Europe, there are no indications that he plans to reverse course and seek to join the Russian-led Customs Union. Recent opinion polls and the demonstrations of the past ten days suggest that such a move would be very unpopular with a large segment of the Ukrainian public.
“The State Department announced on November 21 that Secretary Kerry would not attend the OSCE ministerial meeting due to a schedule conflict.
DMYTRO KOLCHYNSKY: “WHEN THEY STARTED TO DECORATE THE NEW YEAR TREE, UKRAINE’S FLAG WAS LOWER THAN THE PARTY FLAGS, IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN HANGING ABOVE ALL THE PARTY FLAGS, AND I AM GOOD AT CLIMBING…” / Photo from Dmytro KOLCHYNSKY’s facebook page
“Personally, I believe that his decision was due to more than just a scheduling issue. The last I heard, Assistant Secretary Nuland still plans to travel to Kyiv for the OSCE ministerial. I wonder whether other European Union states are thinking about the suggestion that Polish Foreign Minister Sikorski tweeted on Saturday that Kyiv is now not the right place to hold the OSCE ministerial. I believe he is right.”
“I do not expect sanctions from any western government at this point, since that would both push Yanukovych into a corner”
Dr. Matthew ROJANSKY, head of the Kennan Institute, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars:
“The response to the protests from the authorities is certainly disconcerting. Although some protestors are calling for Yanukovych to resign, the president should also realize that this outpouring of popular support for EU integration strengthens his bargaining position with both Brussels and Moscow going forward. Association and other options are not completely off the table, and with such strong popular support, the government can afford to act more boldly.
THIS KID IS HOLDING A POSTER THAT READS: “LEGALIZE STATE WISDOM!” – THE MAIN SLOGAN / Photo by Mykola TYMCHENKO, The Day
“I do not expect sanctions from any western government at this point, since that would both push Yanukovych into a corner and end up deepening the impact of Ukraine’s turn away from the EU. The US played a relatively small role in events up to now, as many Europeans have complained. I expect Assistant Secretary Nuland would attend the OSCE ministerial, largely in support of the organization itself, not the Ukrainian chairmanship. In any case there is no indication the US is prepared to push hard on Kyiv now to change the outcome of last week’s EU EAP Summit.
BEATING OF PHOTOGRAPHER GLEB GARANICH ON FRIDAY NIGHT BECAME A SIGNAL: THE EUROMAIDAN WOULD BE BRUTALLY DISPERSED / REUTERS photo
“The future is in the hands of Ukrainians. If they maintain pressure in support of EU integration as the January 2015 election approaches, the authorities may begin to see their own future more clearly tied to this course.”
By Mykola SIRUK, The Day