I’d add this as an update to my earlier post on Ukraine, but I think this deserves a little extra attention on its own. The White House is wasting no time in signaling its acceptance of regime change in Ukraine, and perhaps sending a message to Moscow with an envoy to Kyiv:
Deputy Secretary of State William Burns will travel to Istanbul, Turkey on February 24, and to Kyiv, Ukraine from February 25 to 26.
In Istanbul, he will meet with Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu to discuss the broad range of bilateral and regional issues on which Turkey and the United States are in regular contact, including the Syria crisis, counterterrorism, and the Cyprus settlement process.
In Kyiv, he will consult with key Ukrainian leaders, the business community, and civil society on U.S. support for Ukraine’s efforts to secure a stable, democratic, inclusive, prosperous future. He will also honor the memory of the victims of the tragic events of last week. He will meet with a range of political, business, and civil society representatives, including Acting President Turchynov, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, and the deputies of the Verkhovna Rada, and will urge the new government to take all steps necessary for free and fair presidential elections in May. He will urge the rapid formation of a national unity government that represents the wide array of stakeholders in Ukraine’s domestic political discourse, and encourage immediate steps to undertake the critical reforms necessary to restore Ukraine’s political and economic health. The Deputy Secretary will be accompanied by representatives of the Department of the Treasury and the National Economic Council, who will work in concert with partners such as the EU and the IMF to discuss needed financial support while a new government implements the difficult steps necessary to reform the economy. The Deputy Secretary will encourage all Ukrainians to continue their efforts to write a new chapter in their history that leads to a Ukraine that is democratic, sovereign, prosperous, and free to choose its own future.
This can’t be just a coincidence — and it may send a signal from Turkey as well to Moscow to stay out of Ukraine. Turkey shares the Black Sea with Ukraine and Russia, and they may have an interest in ensuring a westward-looking policy from Kyiv in the future.
Jeryl Bier and I are on the same wavelength:
The Obama administration is wasting no time in showing support for the new government forming in Ukraine.
It looks like Obama is trying to get ahead of Vladimir Putin for once. Let’s hope so.