Back with billions: why Petro Poroshenko goes to the USA


Poroshenko’s visit to Washington will begin on March 30. He will attend the nuclear security summit and will meet with the leadership of the United States, said the press service of the President. Who of the American leadership Poroshenko will be meeting have not been reported. But we already know that on April 30 in the us Congress would have a discussion on Ukraine, and on 1 and 2 April planned activities of the summit, the first of which is the lunch on behalf of President Barack Obama for heads of delegations arrived. Russia from participation in the summit refused.

During the visit, will be discussed three topics: getting Ukraine tranches from the International monetary Fund (IMF), the Minsk agreement and the Ukrainian government, says Mr. Artisyuk, expert of the Ukrainian International centre for policy studies. Poroshenko’s visit took several months, it was assumed that the President would present a new Cabinet and a new Prosecutor General, but this does not happen, the expert notes.

Personnel issue

Poroshenko hoped that his departure to Ukraine for the new government is formed, and the Cabinet headed by Arseniy Yatsenyuk will resign. “In the Ukrainian interests on March 29, the new government must be declared”, he said March 23. But the plan failed: the head of the presidential faction in the Parliament Yuriy Lutsenko said that the vote on the Prime Minister may take place until 31 March. Deputies from the faction Yatsenyuk “popular front” and did offer to hold a vote on a new government on 5 April. To this day Poroshenko’s visit to USA will be completed, but in the country he’s not coming back — he scheduled a trip to Japan.

USA at the beginning of the crisis the government insisted that the Ukrainian government should be formed as soon as possible, and U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt was in favour of the appointment of a government of technocrats. As a Premier the USA, according to Ukrainian experts and media, supported the candidacy of the Minister of Finance Natalie Jaresko (U.S. citizen). At the end of last year she managed to negotiate with the international creditors of the country about the settlement of the Ukrainian debt.

But representatives of the presidential faction “Block of Petro Poroshenko” has officially announced his nomination for the post of Prime Minister, current Chairman of the Parliament Volodymyr Groysman. To nominate Jaresko was not sufficient support of deputies Lutsenko explained.

Yatsenyuk has deliberately delayed the story of the resignation of the government, thus spoiling Poroshenko’s trip to the U.S., believes Artisyuk from the International centre for policy studies. In his view, the U.S. may support the candidacy of Groysman, if the President will be able to explain the delay in his appointment of regular internal political debates, says the expert. But if the United States will continue to insist on the candidature of fact, on his return Poroshenko in Kyiv, the situation with the government once again changed.

Yatsenyuk will remain Prime Minister, but Jaresko’s the end of it, I’m sure Arabic Balazs, visiting scholar, Carnegie endowment for international peace. From the U.S. perspective, Ukraine needs reforms, and who will hold less significant, he explains. If the Cabinet of Groysman will do this, Washington will support him. The main goal of the U.S. is a stable and functional government rather than early elections, which become more likely as the tightening of government crisis, he said.

Price of the visit

From the formation of the government depends on the provision of assistance to Ukraine from the USA and the IMF. The IMF approved the program of crediting of Ukraine’s economy using the mechanism of the eff (Extended Fund Facility — EFF) for a total volume of $17.5 billion for a term of 4 years in March 2015. The first tranche under the new program at $5 billion, Ukraine received 13 March 2015, the second at $1.7 billion — August 4. Receiving the third IMF tranche of $1.7 billion will allow the country to attract another $2.3 billion of financial assistance — $1 billion in guarantees from the U.S. government, as well as credit tranches from the European Union and the world Bank.

“In the U.S. are waiting for Ukraine, but we must find the power to elect a new government. We’re talking about $1 billion in loan guarantees the U.S. in the case of appointment of a new government, a new program for defense of the state, approved in Congress. There is no solution — no guarantees of the United States and the program,” the statement Poroshenko said Monday at a meeting with the faction, writes “Ukrainian truth” (publication and refers to one of the participants). “Help to return from the U.S. from $3 billion to accelerate reforms,” said the President.

March 17, at a traditional briefing in Washington, Deputy Director of the IMF external relations Department William Murray said the Fund is not considering a complete stop relations with Ukraine, but is still waiting for certainty with the status of the government and the continuation of the reform programme. “Once we see more certainty, we will continue to work,” he said (quoted by the UNIAN Agency).

Interesting conversationalist

In the past two years, Ukraine was among the five top priorities of the international policy of the USA, no other country, except Syria, have not received as much attention of U.S. President Barack Obama as Ukraine. This is stated in the report of the Ukrainian Institute of world politics, “Audit of the Ukrainian-American relations” in Kyiv on March 29.

With the beginning of the year five times Poroshenko spoke by phone with U.S. President Joseph Biden, and in January and February personally met him in Davos and Munich. The wife of Ukrainian President Marina Poroshenko, in March, addressed to U.S. first lady Michelle Obama’s call to join the campaign for the liberation and the return of Ukrainians who “illegally held in detention in Russia”, including Hope Savchenko.

But now the West starts losing patience with the Ukrainian authorities, and only the constant threat of military escalation in the Donbas and Russia’s position does not allow partners to “throw” Ukraine considers Arabic (similar views are expressed by the authors of the report of the Institute of world policy). During his visit to Moscow last week, U.S. Secretary of state John Kerry reiterated that Washington supports the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine and does not recognize the annexation of Crimea to Russia.