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[Ukrainian Statehood in the Twentieth Century: Historical and Political Analysis. Kyiv: Political Thought, 1996. pp. 249-266.]

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Ukraine in US Foreign Policy Doctrines

Yevhen KAMINSKY (1-3, 5), Oleksiy HARAN (4)



At the turn of this century, the basis of US foreign policy doctrine remained the notion of isolationism, which was formulated in a Congressional Resolution as far back as 1783 as follows: "The true interest of the states demands that they be involved as little as possible in politics and quarrels of European nations."1 To this traditional category of isolationism the growth of American power in the world then posed an antipode, interventionism. The history of US foreign policy in the twentieth century is the struggle between these two approaches.



1. Terra Incognita


Up to the beginning of World War I, the "Ukrainian question" and Ukraine itself remained for official Washington terra incognita.

This may have been governed by a dualistic factor. First, in its foreign policy the United States was traditionally guided by the priority it gave federalism as a state structure.

It was quite natural for official Washington to view information about the Ukrainian struggle for political independence as something very like the American Civil War transplanted onto Russian soil. In 1919, American diplomat Polk would explain to Arnold Margolin, the Ambassador of /250/ the Ukrainian Peoples (or National) Republic (UNR) in London: "Ukraine is something like our South, and Russia plays in the Ukrainian-Russian conflict the part of our North. That is why the whole Ukrainian-Russian quarrel reminds us of the American Civil War."2 American leaders gave priority not to legal but to political factors, basing themselves on a principle enunciated by the US Supreme Court: "Who is de jure or de facto sovereign over a territory is not a legal, but a political question."3

Though directly involved in the complexities of this Gordian knot in the heart of Europe in 1917-1919, the USA did not pursue a separate policy line on Ukraine. Washington regarded it, at most, as a component of its policy toward Russia. Only to a certain extent can one speak of a US policy on the Ukrainian question. In US global interests Ukraine was relegated to a "zone of indifference." Even in Woodrow Wilson's program statements, full of sympathy for the national self-determination of peoples, the Ukrainian question failed to find a place. Predominant in Wilson's attitude toward the UNR was an unwillingness to complicate America's political choices. There were fears that an imprecise selection of priorities would lead to unwanted conflict with Russia. And this may account for US vacillation concerning the direction and essence of its Russian policy.

In the Ukrainian case, we deal with a specific triad of factors: the priority of economic relations with Russia for US business, the inability of America's Ukrainian immigrants (then numbering about 500,000) to meaningfully influence public policy; and the predominance of socialists among the immigrants themselves. Robert Lansing's State Department led official opposition to Ukrainian independence. Lansing based his views on arbitrary interpretations of the political situation in Russia by US intelligence services and diplomats, views which were often primitivized support for Russian propaganda stereotypes, dismissing Ukrainian independence as something thought up by the Germans. /251/

In their turn, leaders of the Central Rada (Council, Ukraine's highest authority) failed to define clearly their position vis-a-vis the US. They somehow overlooked Resolution 52 on Ukrainian day in the USA, passed by Congress in the spring of 1917 and signed into law by President Wilson. Speeches of the authors of the resolution in the Congress, who referred to Ukrainians as "a model of a new nation," "a race left in oblivion," and the people as distinctly identified as Poles, Russians, or Bulgarians, vanished with the wind.4 But a year and a half later, when a far-reaching draft resolution on the Ukrainian question was introduced in Congress, the bill died in committee. The complete text of Wilson's 14 points presented at the Paris Peace Conference failed to even reach Ukrainian political leaders.5 And when in the summer of 1918 the idea of forming a Russian legion was discussed on Capitol hill, Congressmen were practically unanimous in their opinion that such an entity would serve the interests of the US and indivisible Russia.6

A real attempt to open Ukrainian relations with the US was made only by representatives of the Directory (Dyrektoriya, a sort of revival of the ill-fated Rada) at the Paris Peace Conference where UNR representatives were forced to operate in the corridors. Even then, in early 1919, the UNR failed to enunciate any clear-cut foreign policy program. As Volodymyr Vynnychenko, the first leader of the Directory, put it, "The Entente, which occupied Odesa, was frightening, the Germans were terrible, and the Bolsheviks were dangerous."

Under conditions of foreign aggression and total war, the Directory included the following ambiguous point in its Declaration of December 26, 1918: "In the sphere of international relations, the Directory stands for absolute neutrality."7 This attempt to assume the pose of an outside observer at the time when a new European status quo was being recognized actually meant Ukraine's self-exclusion from the political arena. /252/

There was a chance to establish relations with the USA. American analysts warned the US Administration about the dangers of overestimating the strength of Russian antiBolshevik forces. The Inquirer analytical group set up at Wilson's behest, maintained that there was no alternative to the independence of the non-Russian nations, that Ukrainian sovereignty should be supported, and that Eastern Galicia should be allowed to join the UNR after a plebiscite. In 1919 the Inquirer group viewed the Crimea as part of Ukraine. But US leaders opted for another course.




2. On the Fringe of Interests


During 1921-1938, top echelons of power in the victorious Western countries "not a single time raised the Ukrainian issue as a separate point of their political agenda, one shattering for the unity of the USSR."7 For two long decades the Ukrainian question disappeared altogether from the agenda of serious US policy. Lacking any real levers of influence on official Washington, former UNR leaders who now found themselves in emigration concentrated their efforts elsewhere.

Even under conditions of official isolationism, the US continued to stake its hopes on one and indivisible Russia which is evidenced US recognition up to 1933 of Bakhmetiev, the Provisional government's ambassador supported by Russian émigrés, as a legitimately accredited ambassador.

Only as events unfolded in Europe, did the US begin to show more interest in Ukrainian problems. For example, G. Messersmith, the US Charge d'Affaires in Austria, on February 8, 1935 urged the State Department to take countermeasures to thwart Hitler's designs on Ukraine.9

For the supporters of Ukrainian independence the situation of 1918 recurred. They could not count on their own forces, and anti-democratic Germany was again promising "assistance." But Washington even several months before /253/ the outbreak of World War II believed that the disintegration of the USSR would merely "stimulate" a war for territorial succession.10 As two decades earlier, once again the idea of Ukrainian independence was seen through the prism of "German intrigues." In his report to the White House and the State Department of December 15, 1938, Warsaw-based American diplomat D. Biddle wrote that self-determination of the Ukrainian people was instigated by Berlin. Even some time after the German Drang nach Osten began, American policy makers were motivated in their attitude to the USSR and Ukraine more by fears of "Balkanization" perhaps than even that of a conflict with the Nazis.

Telling is the following. After meeting with Prof. Granovsky, leader of the American OUN-dominated Organization for the Democratic Rebirth of Ukraine (ODVU), deputy head of the European division of the State Department L. Henderson wrote on July 3, 1941: "I answered him that at present the US government cannot define its position on Ukrainian independence."

Only few documents of American diplomacy are marked by attempts to give a more open assessments of Ukrainian issues. D. Poole's memorandum to the leadership of the State Department of May 14, 1945 said: "...nobody can be interested in producing the impression that the US government might become a reckless supporter of the disaffected. It is essential, first and foremost at this moment, to come to an amicable settlement with the USSR. Nothing should be done that might undermine these efforts."

To sum up the US position on the Ukrainian issue in 1938-1945, one could say that it took into account the following factors: forced alliance with the Soviet Union; another split, in the Ukrainian diaspora; the opposition of the Western Allies of the USA to redrawing borders in postwar Europe; and, finally, a victory over Nazism as the main objective. Under the circumstances, US officials zeroed in on possible scenarios of further development in Ukraine and around it in postwar period, prospects for the Organization /254/ of Ukrainian Nationalists and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (OUN/UPA), etc.




3. The Ukrainian Question and the Cold War


With the war ended, the Ukrainian question was put on the agenda mainly in connection with the creation of the UN. At first, the US took a very tough stand on separate Ukrainian SSR membership. Alteration of this stand should be viewed in connection with Great Britain's position which hoped to extend representation to British colonies and thus influenced President Roosevelt's views. London's position was also determined by the highest degree of readiness to demonstrate its rejection of communist ideology. This was exemplified by Winston Churchill's famous Fulton address, and afterward by President Harry Truman's speech in New York. Whereas the British leader called for liberating East European nations, the US President cautiously said: "We believe that all the peoples ready for self-determination should be allowed to choose their own forms of government... without interference by any outside agent." This change of position, hardly noticeable at the conceptual level, found its realization in the actual situation related to Ukraine.

In November 1946, the British government raised the issue of establishing diplomatic relations with Ukraine. The US response came in June 1947 in the form of a memorandum by director of the European Board at the State Department H. Matthews to Secretary of State Dean Acheson. It consisted of two parts: "Advantages" and "Disadvantages." The former read, in part: "Establishment of direct diplomatic relations with Ukraine would give the Administration a valuable listening point in one of the most important republics of the Soviet Union," which would make it possible for Washington to obtain timely information to be taken into account in defining its relationship with the USSR. The second part of the memo pointed out: /255/ "Separate individual recognition of Ukraine would lead to greater complications in our relationship with the Soviet Union and give the Soviet government room for maneuver in its attempts to realize its own specific interests in international affairs." Proceeding from these highly pragmatic considerations, Matthews summarized his proposals in one major point: "It is expedient to refrain from making a decision on this matter until we can see whether the British have succeeded in establishing direct relations and this has brought them any advantages." Other State Department documents demonstrate that Ukraine had low priority in US strategic policy-making.

Before the White House was occupied by Dwight Eisenhower, who opted for the Alan Dulles doctrine of "liberation" (and whose first days in office witnessed Stalin's death and the end of the OUN/UPA's armed struggle), US policy on the Ukrainian question had been based on principles defined in the document titled "US Objectives Regarding Russia" prepared by the State Department for the National Security Council in August 1948.

The document emphasized that the US was not interested in fomenting Ukrainian separatism, for that could damage its relations with Russia, which would certainly render Ukraine's independence null and void. But, the document affirmed, if the Ukrainian people would themselves disclaim these arguments, this would demonstrate "the moral right of Ukraine to an independent status."

Thus, in US foreign policy, approaches to the "Ukrainian question" generally remained situational. The issue was seen exclusively through the prism of possible complications in international relations rather than that of a European "stateless people" deserving support. In trying to avoid additional problems in relations with Moscow and balancing between the policies of isolationism and interventionism, Washington would more often raise the Ukrainian issue in its ideological than political sense. The White House and the State Department viewed the Ukrainian /256/ question in terms of Russian or Soviet policies. The very word "Ukraine" was almost absent from confidential documents."

Essentially significant is the conclusion of London Professor H. McDonald that "Ukrainian Nationalist organizations never won political power or attained a degree of consolidation, sufficient to influence the strategic priorities of Western countries...; the legitimacy of the Soviet State within its 1941 borders and its geostrategic presence in Eastern Europe were taken as something indisputable."12 These words concern, certainly, both the 1917-1922 situation and events from 1938 to the early 1950s. In the early 1950s still prominent was still the stereotype of isolationism referred to by Jaroslaw Pelensky as "the concept of avoiding hasty judgments."13 At the same time, the documents show that the US State Department always kept track of developments in Ukraine.

In the early 1950s within the context of decolonizaton American analysts initiated the Captive Nations Resolution. One motivation for this was that Washington more and more often appeared to champion the oppressor, while Moscow posed as a fighter for national self-determination. On the conceptual plane, certain American pundits gradually began to break with Russocentricism in analyzing Soviet history.

Ukrainian problems found their way increasingly into American official circles. Interest was boosted by Moscow's own anti-nationalist campaigns. Washington came to be faced with the problem of working out a new conceptual approach. This was also fostered by the USSR's energetic efforts to supplant American influence in the Third World.

Rather exemplary became the creation in 1954 of the Assembly of European Captive Nations directly assisted by John Foster Dulles, and later, the American Captive Nations Committee chaired by former President Herbert Hoover.

Late in 1952, a brochure, The Spirit of Independence: America and Ukraine, was published in New York with a /257/ foreword by Senator Moody and word to the reader by Interior Secretary Chapman. An angry Soviet Embassy urgently sent its translation to the Central Committees of the Communist Parties of the Soviet Union and Ukraine as well as the USSR and Ukrainian SSR Foreign Ministries "to adopt proper measures." The greatest ire among the Communist Party leadership was raised by the senator's comparison of "the present period in the history of Ukraine" with events in the USA during its War of Independence.

Naturally, even given the global confrontation of two systems it would have been naive to hope for an American crusade to liberate Ukraine. For Washington relied at the time on the approach suggested by George Kennan: "If we both politically and economically take offensive actions not only against the Soviet regime but also the strongest and most numerous ethnic element on the traditional lands, and do so in the name of national extremists among whom no unity can be imagined and who will never be able to remain in power without relying on American bayonets... to withstand the pressure of Russian revanchism, this would mean absurdity on such a grand scale that even the recent adventure in Vietnam loses its significance."14

The first attempts to legalize American support for Ukraine's independence was made by Georgetown University Professor Lev Dobriansky in 1957-1958. The situation was favorable, given the following point in Eisenhower's 1957 inaugural address: "Our total commitment is to serve our world together with the people of all nations and nationalities... We respect aspirations of those peoples, now subjugated, for freedom."15 Dobriansky, who was well connected in Congress, based his case on the following: Wilson had been a man of theory, not action; the major perpetrator subjugating the captive peoples is the socialist system; the USA was wrong in having established diplomatic relations with the USSR; peace can be preserved only by the USSR's disintegration, but in order to accomplish this continual psychological activities are needed.16 By that time, /258/ the stake on evolutionary changes in the USSR got the upper hand in the American political thinking also. As far. back as May 19, 1952, John Foster Dulles underscored in Life magazine "the moral aspects of influence precisely due to which the USA will ruin the Soviet imperial structure."

In the summer of 1959, Dobriansky presented a draft resolution on the captive nations to Senators Paul Douglas and Jacob Javits. In July, both Houses virtually unanimously adopted public law 86-90 on "Captive Nations week." Ukraine ranked fourth on the list, which was the first official recognition of Ukraine's existence in US history. The law was designed to achieve its objective through a "war of nerves" with the Soviet Union. Its proclaimed aim, the USSR's disintegration, was to be realized by way of "demonstrating initiative, alertness, and perspicacity, as far as the main imperio-colonial state of today's world is concerned."17 It was a matter of a gradual erosion of the Soviet system.

The law was not mere lip service. From Eisenhower to Bush there was an annual ritual of Presidential proclamations on the Captive Nations, Congressional resolutions, mass rallies and protest meetings, along with articles on the topic. But at the same time, pragmatism restrained the actions of Washington politicos who feared economic and political destabilization in the USSR. For example, Secretary of State Dean Rusk sharply criticized America's Ambassador to the UN Adlai Stevenson for stating that in 1917-1922 "Soviet Russia conquered the independent non-Russian republics."18

Efforts of many years' standing eventually made the problem of subjugated Ukraine reach beyond the confines of psychological warfare against the USSR. The Reagan Administration put the nationalities issue at the center of its policy toward the USSR, and for the first time broke through in traditional American apathy on this issue. From the 1960s through the 1980s, Ukraine was frequently mentioned in The Congressional Record, the official publication /259/ of the US Congress. It was American legislators who did not allow US interest in Ukraine to wane, engaging in debates on numerous bills and statements. From 1970 to 1979 alone, there were over 150 legislative initiatives concerning Ukraine.

As far as officials in the US executive branch, they (for example, Vice-President Rockefeller, Presidents Nixon, Carter, and especially Reagan) from time to time sent congratulatory messages to Ukrainian American political organization pledging support in their struggle for liberation of the Ukrainian people. The US State Department had a reserved position on this matter up to the collapse of the USSR.

On the whole, US political circles proceeded, until very recently, from the assumption that the USSR would not disintegrate peacefully. This is well illustrated by the following estimates made by American political analysts in late 1991: "In the final analysis, the Bolsheviks have signed their own death warrant. By savagely suppressing any manifestation of nationalism and political dissent, they created preconditions for the instantaneous collapse of communism and the Soviet state after seven decades. And when the end came, nobody showed any readiness to help them."19 Meanwhile, the top US leadership offered, according to journalist Theodore Sorensen, only a few weeks before the Belovezha accord on the dissolution of the Soviet Union, "free counseling rather than the foodstuff, fuel, or finances necessary to live through the winter... Washington's emissaries preached the doctrine of saving (the USSR), feigning action."20

The final conclusion is that, first, Ukraine and its independence were not on the US foreign policy priority agenda while the USSR existed; second, a primary influence on the gradual dissolution of the Soviet Union was exerted through political-ideological methods of an erosive nature; third, official Washington was guided by the assumption of an unlikely peaceful disintegration of "the Soviet Empire"; fourth, in its "Soviet policy," most top US leaders were concerned /260/ with the inevitability of undesirable chaos and destabilization as a result of the USSR's possible disintegration.




4. Disintegration of the Soviet Union: Challenge for the United States


Restraint and inertia were typical of official Washington during perestroika, for it cared first of all about proper relations with Moscow over the problem of global security.

One of the explanations for the Moscow-centered approach in Washington was probably the fact that the initial platform of popular movements in the Soviet Union included demands for a new Union treaty, which at that time was resisted by Gorbachev, and, in fact, creation of a confederation. In Ukraine not only Rukh adhered to this, position, but also the more radical and anticommunist Ukrainian Helsinki Union. There was socialist phraseology in the documents of the popular movements and references to the "true Leninist nationalities policy." This is why the expectations of many specialists on Soviet nationalities were not about the "dissolution of the Soviet Party-state," but about some kind of "Bulgarization" of republics,21 i.e., greater republican autonomy within the Soviet context. For the West it was also necessary to test the seriousness of Gorbachev's intention to reform the Soviet Union "from above." As Zbigniew Brzezinski pointed out, the West's actual political response to secessionism should be more tempered if the Soviet Union does become engaged in a bona fide effort to redress fundamentally the existing national inequities... the West should do more then merely applaud. It should the tangibly help that experiment...22

But the most important reason for the cautious official line was the fact that the United States was determined not to undermine its relations with Gorbachev on a wide range of security issues. American policy-makers had already made a new and "revolutionary" approach: to move "beyond containment," as proclaimed by George Bush on May 12, 1989, /261/ to test Soviet "new thinking," and, if the new Soviet course should prove to be reliable, to assist its main adversary in its desire to be transformed and reformed. The United States was also afraid of the possible expansion of militant Islamic fundamentalism in Central Asia. By the beginning of the 1990s, one more argument for stable relations with Gorbachev was the Western concern for the payment of the large Soviet debt.23

Practical consequences of the previously-mentioned problems for American foreign policy began to arise in 1990; after the republican elections in March, popular movements shifted to the idea of independence. The independence of Ukraine was de facto proclaimed as the aim of Rukh in June and finally adopted by the Second Congress of Rukh in October 1990. But US officials and many leading Sovietologists still considered Ukraine and Belarus to be the main supporters of the Kremlin's attempts to preserve the Soviet Union. This created a serious gap of approaches between the Ukrainian national movement and U.S. official policy. Before 1990 there was no contradiction between American rhetoric in support of national self-determination and the program documents of the popular movements; from now on this divergence became clear.

The official policy of the United States was to broaden contacts with the republics. At the same time, answering the question about possibilities of recognition of their independence, Counsellor of the Department of State Robert Zoellick pointed out: "We do not support the 'break-up' of the Soviet Union, and I cannot speculate on the criteria of circumstances under which the US might 'recognize' the independence of entities that might emerge... there is a different situation, obviously with the Baltics, whose aspirations for independence we back."24

The Congress was probably better prepared than the administration to understand the aspirations of popular movements in the republics. First, support of the ethnic lobby was of great importance for many Congressmen. Second, /262/ many members of Congress worked in 1970-80s on human rights cases in Ukraine. They knew the situation and, moreover, they knew much about former political prisoners who now became the leaders of several national democratic organizations. They had no pro-Moscow stereotypes towards these people. The campaign for human rights provided a kind of alliance between liberal Democrats and hard-line anti-communist Republicans. They new fairly well the situation in Ukraine, new many former political prisoners who had already become leaders of several national democratic organizations. They had no Kremlin propaganda-imposed stereotypes about these people

As a result, several documents devoted to the situation in Ukraine were passed by Congress, among them the November 15, 1989 Senate letter asking President Bush to urge Gorbachev to legalize the banned Ukrainian churches, and the 1990 Joint Resolution authorizing a week of commemoration for the victims of the 1932-33 forced famine in Ukraine. The visits of Rukh leaders to the United States were of great importance as well. They helped to overcome the effects of Soviet propaganda, which tried to describe the Rukh as a dangerous nationalist movement.

In late July 1991, during the meeting with Bush, Gorbachev inserted some remarks about Yugoslavia: he wished to persuade Bush before his visit to Kiev that Ukrainian secession might lead to a Yugoslav-type war.25 Bush was worried that "Gorbachev's accomplishments [were] being lost in all this talk about independence." Therefore, he himself inserted into the draft of his Kiev speech several passages intended, as he said, to make the speech "more sensitive to Gorbachev's problems."

As Michael Beschloss and Strobe Talbott describe, the welcome of the American president in Kyiv was in sharp contrast to the reception in Moscow, "where much of the populace regarded him as just one more foreign dignitary coming to pay homage to the most unpopular man in the Soviet Union." But this did not change Bush's approach. /263/ Perhaps it even strengthened his intention to support Gorbachev. In Kyiv, Bush referred to his listeners as "Soviet citizens" and compared federalism in the United States and in the Soviet Union: "As a federation ourselves, we want good relations, improved relations, with the republics." He stressed that the United States "will not aid those who promote a suicidal nationalism based on ethnic hatred." Obviously it was aimed at Georgian President Zviad Gamsakhurdia, "but Bush also knew that there were similar ethnic passions in Ukraine, and his warning thus applied to his listeners in Kiev as well."26 If Bush was really trying to send a message not only to the Caucasus but to Ukraine as well, it was, as I argue below, a misunderstanding of the policy of the Ukrainian national movement towards ethnic minorities.

As soon as one month after the putsch in Moscow the attitude to the newly-independent republics changes.

The disagreement in the Administration was about how to get more influence in the new states: by quick recognition (Cheney) or by recognition as the reward for fulfillment of certain conditions (Baker). There was also pressure from Congress for quick recognition. The resolution adopted by the Senate on November 20 called on the president to recognize Ukraine's independence should the December 1, 1991 referendum confirm the Ukrainian Parliament's independence declaration. To a great extent, these steps can be explained not only by the understanding of new geopolitical realities but also by the coming elections.

At a meeting with Ukrainian-Americans at the White House on November 28, Bush indicated that the United States would recognize the independence of Ukraine after the referendum on December 1. Gorbachev's recognition of Ukraine's independence was not mentioned as precondition of this step. This was an important shift in American policy. However, when Gorbachev called Bush and said he was "disappointed" that the United States acted "prematurely," Baker conceded to his aides that Gorbachev's complaint about the US position on Ukrainian independence had some /264/merit; it was a bad precedent for the United States so badly to 'jump the gun'... Scowcroft agreed, admitting, 'I think we've signaled a more forward-leaning policy than we had in mind.' He warned the president that by shifting sides so blatantly, "we may prejudice relations between Kyiv and Moscow."27

But this shift was balanced by taking into account Yeltsin's new role: the United States promised to wait to recognize officially Ukrainian independence until Russia had done so. Washington made it clear to Ukraine that she still had to "deserve" recognition of her independence so vividly confirmed at the December 1 referendum.

On December 8 and 9 of 1991, the Commonwealth of Independent States was established. The leaders of the three Slavic republics first informed Bush of their decision, and then informed Gorbachev, thus angering him to become angry. From then on the Bush administration was no longer eager to support Gorbachev.

The United States expressed its support of the creation of the Commonwealth structure. In November 1991, a group of nuclear security specialists argued that "the United States still has an incentive to prefer as little disintegration as possible... the United States may have little leverage on the disintegration question. But it can try to create incentives for union rather than independence."28

On December 12, Baker stressed that US priorities which were essential for American recognition of the new states were, in the following order: (1) military and especially nuclear security; (2) democracy, and (3) market-oriented economies. Having received a positive response from the Ukrainian government regarding these principles and the international obligations of Ukraine as one of the state-successors of the Soviet Union under the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the United States recognized Ukraine as well as Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan after gorbachev's resignation on December 25. /265/




5. A Breakthrough in Bilateral Relations


The firsr years of Ukrainian independence were marked with a complicated development of bilateral relations. Washington put a stake on the relationship with Russia to handle most problems inherited from the USSR. In its relations with Ukraine the US was primarily concerned about nuclear security, preservation of the balance of forces in Europe, and Kyiv's practical actions in this direction were for some time raising queries in the West in general and the US in particular.The year 1994, which the US proclaimed the year of Ukraine, saw a turning point in Ukrainian-American relations. The signing of the Tripartite Agreement on the non-nuclear status of Ukraine gave impulse to improved relations between Ukraine and the US. But there turned out to be major, more profound, and longer-lasting factors of America's attention and good will toward Ukraine: the understanding of the fact that, with the Cold War over, the situation in Europe has become more complex in certain respects, whereas Ukraine as a state situated in the center of the continent is of no small importance; a gradual rise of great-power chauvinism in Russian political life; heed to Zbigniew Brzezinski's idea that if Ukraine again becomes part of Russia, the latter will automatically become an empire; and the realization that Ukraine's stable development is bound up with the security of Eastern and Central Europe, interest in which is an American tradition.

Essential changes in the US political course towards Ukraine, a new vision of her role in Eastern Europe were revealed in the speeches of President Bill Clinton during his visit to Kyiv in May 1995.

At the same time, there remain essential factors hampering the realization of the great potential of bilateral relations. First of all, there is the matter of social and political uncertainty in Ukraine along with constant infighting in the top echelons of power, the character of which calls forth /266/ doubts about Ukraine's prospects. Also to be mentioned are Ukraine's inconsistent and far from satisfactory progress toward a democratic, law-governed state and the feebleness of its democratic forces. Conspicuous also are Ukraine's inflexibility and the inappropriateness of some of its foreign policy principles from the perspective of building up a system of security, and, at the same time, unrealistic expectations of receiving economic assistance.

The tendency in the US to reduce the foreign aid budget and the insignificant interest of American private business in Ukraine, as a result of these factors, also militate against better relations as does the fact that that Ukraine's legislative guarantees to foreign investors remain inadequate.

Thus, the major problems of the further development of US-Ukrainian relations are now concentrated in Kyiv. At the same time, the reality is such that the US policy development in Europe will necessarily take into account events in and around Ukraine.







1 Foster Rhea Dulles, America's Rise to World Power, 1898-1954 (New /415/ York, 1954), p. 2.

2 Arnold Margolin, From a Political Diary: Russia, the Ukraine, and America, 1905-1945 (New York, 1946: in Ukrainian), p. 41.

3 G. G. Wilson, Handbook of International Law (3rd ed.: St. Paul, 1939), p. 21.

4 U.S.Congress, 64th Congress. 2nd Session. 1917. Appendix, pp. 522523.

5 M. Lasersont American Impact on Russia, Political and Ideological (New York, 1950) p. 419.

6 The Ukraine, 1917-1921: a Study in Revolution ed. T. Hunczak (Cambridge, MA, 1977) p. 358.

7 Ukrainian Sociopolitical Thought in the Twentieth Century (Munich, 1983: in Ukrainian), vol. I, p. 411.

8 Roman Rakhmany, Blood and Ink (New York, 1960: in Ukrainian), p. 54.

9 Peace and War U.S. Foreign Policy, 1934-1941 (Washington, 1943) p. 246-247.

10 C. S. Gray, "Back to the Future: Russia and the Balance of' Power, Global Affairs, Summer, pp. 41-42.

11 Foreign Relations of the United States, 1918-1951: Documents and Materials Relating to the Eve of the Second World War, vols. I, II (New York, 1948); 4 Decade of American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1956-61 (6 vols.: Washington, 1957-65), etc.

12 Anglo-American Perspectives on the Ukrainian Question, 1930-41: A Documentary Collection (Kingston-Vestal, 1987). p. xxx.

13 Jaroslaw Pelenski, "The Ukrainian Question in US-Soviet Relations During and After World War II, Suchasnist, 1962, No. 7, pp. 77-78 (in Ukrainian).

14 George F. Kennan, Memoirs, 19501963 (New York, 1972), p. 99.

15 D. D. Eisenhower, "Second Inaugural Address," New York Times, January 22, 1957.

16 L. Dobriansky, US Policy of Unfinished Liberation (Jersey City, 1966), p. 4-21.

17 Congressional Record, November 29, 1967, P. H 16052.

18 Adlai Stevenson, "Letter on Colonialism," US Delegation to the General Assembly, November 25, 1961.

19 "Speedy End Belies Durability of Communist Experiment," The Washington Post, December 29, 1991.

20 Theodore Sorensen, "Who is America to preach?" Los Angeles Times, October 24, 1991.

21 See, for example, Alexander Motyl, "The Sobering of Gorbachev: Nationality, Restructuring and the West," Politics, Society and Nationality Inside Gorbachev's Russia, ed. Seweryn Bialer (Boulder, 1989), p. 171.

22 Z. Brzezinski, "Post-Communism Nationalism," Foreign Affairs, LXVII: 5, Winter 1989-1990, p. 20.

23 The incapability of the American leadership to react adequately to the new situation may also be explained by the crisis in Sovietology. See: P. Rutland, "Sovietology: Notes for a Post-Mortem," The National Interest, No. 31, Spring 1993, p. 112. Ukrainian studies were well-developed in comparison with those of other non-Russian peoples of the USSR, but as Alex Motyl put it, "As students of Soviet /416/ ethnic relations the "nationality question" can attest, most mainstream Sovietologists and Kremlinologists considered their professional interst in non-Russians to be an exotic pursuit. Ukrainian studies, like Armenian studies, were frequently considered irrelevant to 'real' politics in the USSR, politically motivated by emigre agendas, and emotionally charged by nationalist perspectives. In a word, it was supposed to be 'unscholarly.'" A. Motyl, Dilemmas of Independence: Ukraine After Totalitarianism (New York, 1993), p. 5.

24 U.S. Congress. Senate. Commitee on Foreign Relations. Subcommitee on European Affairs. Soviet Disunion: The American Response. Hearings, 102d Cong., 2d session, February 28 and March 6, 1991, pp. 36, 125.

25 M. Beschloss, S. Talbott, At the Highest Levels: The Inside Story of the End of the Cold War (Boston etc., 1993) pp. 409, 414.

26 Ibid, pp. 414, 417-418.

27 Ibid., pp. 448-449.

28 K. Campbell, et. al., "Soviet Nuclear Fiction: Control of the Nuclear Arsenal in a Disintegrating Soviet Union," CSIA Studies in International Affairs, 1991, No. 1, pp. 69-70.





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