Ukraine's Hopes and Challenges: Ukrainians worry they're the big losers in the US election - Washington Post

17:17 Nov. 17, 2016

Ukrainians worry they're the big losers in the US election - Washington Post

Ukrainian officials were caught off-guard by the results of the election (UT photo/Emil Durov)

Ukrainian officials are looking to tamp anxiety about a Trump term and to make Ukraine's case to the president-elect and his Republican Party

News on Donald Trump's victory came as a bombshell that echoed all the way from the Potomac to the Dnepr, writes Andrew Roth for the Washington Post.

Ukrainians met the news with anxiety and concern, partly because of the things the US President-elect said about their country during his elections campaign.

Among those things he said: That he would befriend Russian President Vladimir Putin, who "is not going into Ukraine" and that "the people of Crimea, from what I've heard, would rather be with Russia than where they were." As to lifting US sanctions on Russia? "We would be looking at that."

And then there's former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, whose previous job was as political spin doctor for ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, now hiding in Russia.

But one week after the election, the truth is that nobody in Ukraine's government wants to discuss the things Trump said. Necessity, in this case, dictates thick skin and a timely bout of amnesia, as Kyiv looks to make its case to the president-elect and his Republican Party.

Trump and President Petro Poroshenko spoke for the first time on Tuesday, and Ukrainian officials, optimistically, are hoping to arrange a personal meeting between the two in New York in February, when Ukraine chairs the UN Security Council.

There are two premises as to why not all is lost. First, that the president-elect was exaggerating, speaking ad hoc when he made statements during the campaign that don't reflect his real foreign policy.

And second, that a deep bench of hawkish Republicans would nudge Trump's foreign policy toward Ukraine and away from Russia

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