Ukraine Prime Minister to United States: Help Us

Ukraine Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk, who has seen Russian aggression in his country’s Crimea region remain unchanged in recent days, has spoken out on what he hopes the rest of the world — particularly the United States and Britain — will do to remove Russian troops from his country.

As the Ukraine prime minister prepares to travel to the United States to visit the White House and the United Nations National Security Council layer this week, he hinted that perhaps the invasion by Russia into the Crimea region is more than his country can handle alone.

The Ukraine prime minister told parliament in Kiev that he wanted the United States and Britain to support Ukraine both diplomatically and militarily. The Ukriane prime minister cited a 1994 treaty that saw Ukraine dispose of its Soviet nuclear weapons as proof that Ukraine has looked out for western interests in the past and that it now is time for the Western world to return the favor.

It would seem that while Ukraine has diplomatic support from Western countries, military support might be something that is not being actively considered right now. However, this is not to say that the United States is not willing to flex its muscles.

Though perhaps the Ukraine prime minister would seek for more military support, U.S. troops are currently in Poland, not far from the conflict, and are participating in war games in the country.

U.S. government officials say that the war games were planned well in advance of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, but this doesn’t change the fact that the military’s presence there may have some diplomatic impact.

Even though the Ukraine prime minister is requesting military support, past conflicts in the area have proven that Western powers are not going to be anxious to participate. When the ex-Soviet state of Georgia lost territory in 2008, the United States steered clear of the conflict in an effort to avoid a return to the Cold War.

While Reuters is reporting that U.S. and Russian foreign ministers have conversed by telephone, it does not appear that Russia is willing to budge in negotiations. The U.S. State Department said that Russia has issued a statement that condemns the U.S. financial aid being sent to the “illegitimate regime” in Kiev.

Former Ukraine president Viktor Yanukovich insisted at a news conference in Russia that he was still the legal head of Ukraine, despite being ousted after a series of bloody protests that saw him removed from power in February.

Image via Haaretz.com