US Policy towards Ukraine under Donald Trump’s Administration: Problematic Issues and Prospects

  • Post category:Issue XXI

Olha Kravchenko
Researcher at the Foreign Policy Research Institute
ORCID 0000-0002-6649-0247

DOI 10.37837/2707-7683-2020-32

Abstract. The article describes and analyses the policy of the Trump administration towards Ukraine. Traditionally, the election of a new US President has some impact on the Washington’s position on Ukrainian issues, and the end of the presidential tenure serves as a reason to take stock of the results. Donald Trump’s presidency has not been marked by profound changes in the US foreign policy towards Ukraine, as it was inertially in line, for the most part, with the previous years. The American political establishment primarily views Ukraine through the prism of the security paradigm as a bulwark of deterring its global opponents, particularly Russia. Thus, the article deals with the challenges and prospects of the modern US policy towards Ukraine.
The priorities of the US foreign policy towards Ukraine traditionally consist of the issues enshrined in the 2008 U.S.-Ukraine Charter on Strategic Partnership. The article focuses on defence, security, and energy cooperation. In this regard, the United States remains the major guarantor of the territorial integrity and independence of Ukraine. In deterring the Russian aggression, the Trump administration generally follows the approach of the imposition of economic sanctions, launched during the presidency of Barack Obama. It is important to stress that the United States focuses not only on the problem of the armed conflict in Donbas but also on the attempted illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia. At the same time, the focus on security issues has its negative repercussions, as it leads to certain limitations in bilateral relations, as evidenced by the lack of large-scale joint projects and weak trade and economic cooperation that impacts Ukraine’s position in the US foreign policy priorities. In the meantime, regardless of the name of the future US President, Washington’s support for Ukraine will be maintained. The close involvement of the United States in the negotiation process for the settlement of the conflict in Donbas and de-occupation of Crimea would significantly influence the course of events, but it is difficult to predict whether this prospect will become a reality.
Keywords: US foreign policy towards Ukraine, Trump administration, strategic partnership, U.S.-Ukraine bilateral relations, process of impeachment.

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