15:41 Nov. 21, 2016
The Baltic States also acknowledge the need for the Western unity on Ukraine as they are the first to feel Putin's danger
A high-ranking Ukrainian official warned that less support from the US to Ukraine – as it battles Russian aggression – could contribute to a much more destabilized region and have far-reaching effects, DefenseNews reports.
"This equilibrium, if it is ruined, then it could actually lead to drastic consequences in other parts of the world," Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, the vice prime minister for European and Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine, told Defense News in an interview Saturday at the Halifax International Security Forum.
Klympush-Tsintsadze said the hope is to show president-elect Donald Trump the importance of not accepting the 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea, and that supporting Ukraine in its fight against Russia helps to stabilize the entire region.
"If Ukraine is not protected, if we are not continuing, for example, non-recognition policy of illegal annexation of Crimea, if we are ruining this, just one single part of it, how do you ensure the non-proliferation regime working further," Klympush-Tsintsadze questioned.
She also noted that the lack of a strong reaction from the Western world to Russia's invasion in Georgia in 2008, "made it possible for Putin to invade Ukraine in 2014," and that is now translating to an intense fear among the Baltic States that they are Putin's next target.
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Trump, since his election, has had phone conversations with both Putin and Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko. Klympush-Tsintsadze said the president invited Trump to visit Ukraine. She noted that "even though we have had the luxury of attention and clear engagement on a very high level of [US] Vice President Joe Biden," President Barack Obama never visited the country during his eight years.
When asked what Ukraine might do should Trump pull back US support of Ukraine, Klympush-Tsintsadze said, "First and foremost, we are counting on ourselves, so it's not that we are sitting there and waiting for someone to help, that is very important to understand. It is the Ukrainian Army that is holding the Russian aggression right now without foreign boots on the ground."