12:32 Oct. 31, 2016
US Vice President Joe Biden leads the administration's support of Ukraine. Will the US politics change after the presidential elections?
No one in the U.S. government has wielded more influence over Ukraine than Vice President Joe Biden. As the Obama administration's point person on Ukraine policy, he has rallied support for Kiev in the face of Russian military intervention and cultivated a personal rapport with its leaders. But he has delivered tough love as well, delaying financial aid more than once over concerns about rampant corruption.
With Biden's tenure as vice president about to expire, the next U.S. president will have to decide who will take up his unique role as Kiev's go-to guy. The transition comes at a pivotal moment for the festering war in Ukraine, America's increasingly tense rivalry with Russia, and Europe's growing fatigue with Kiev's incessant corruption.
The new commander in chief will take the oath of office on Jan. 20, 2017, against mounting alarm at the State Department, the Defense Department, and Congress over Russian behavior in Ukraine and elsewhere. From Russia's indiscriminate bombing of the Syrian city of Aleppo to its hacking of the Democratic National Committee to its support for armed separatists in eastern Ukraine to its nuclear saber rattling, U.S. diplomats, senior military officers, and lawmakers are increasingly arguing for an aggressive tack against Moscow.