“Hands” of Ambassador Nuland: State Department Puts Kiev on a Short Leash


Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ

19th May, 2016


Experts believe that the new US Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, is, first and foremost, a servant of Victoria Nuland. Most likely, the main Ukrainian “baker of cookies” is playing safe before the change of US administration. The nominee of Marie Yovanovitch for the role of Ambassador, May 19th, was today proposed to the Senate by President Barack Obama. After consideration of this issue in the Senate, she will replace Geoffrey Pyatt.

Given the underwhelming success of the current Ambassador, Geoffrey Pyatt, and the difficult political situation in Ukraine, Nuland will be happy to strengthen her position and, simultaneously, obtain more opportunities for direct control.

“I have a feeling this change promotes Victoria Nuland, with Marie Yovanovitch as her closest assistant. When she worked in Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, and Ukraine, there was a different kind of revolution. We can assume that its purpose is the confirmation of the continuation of current policies in Ukraine, whatever the new administration is. A figure will be chosen that has already proved that they will support the power of Maidan”, said Vladimir Vasiliev,  chief researcher of the Institute of USA and Canada.

“The permutation’s sum has not changed, we understand that the center of all decisions in Ukraine, both foreign and domestic, is in the United States, so the change of Ambassador, by and large, does not have much impact on relations between the US and Ukraine. The country will remain in the vanguard of the States, and the instability that the US is trying to support on the territory of Ukraine, to delay forces from Russia, will continue via the actions of the new Ambassador. In my opinion, this appointment also indicates that all attempts to somehow manage the chaos from the previous Ambassador were not successful.

It can be assumed that this appointment should make Ukraine more effective, although I feel that nothing will change. In my opinion, the personality of the Ambassador does not affect the policy pursued by the United States. At least, after the change of the US Ambassador to Russia, the steps that are performed by the Ambassador, by and large, don’t change,” commented Nikita Danyuk, expert at the Institute of Strategic Studies and Predictions at the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia

Marie Yovanovitch is the daughter of a Canadian immigrant from Russia, who moved to the US in early childhood. A few years after graduating from Princeton University, she joined the civil service and quickly rose to Deputy Director of the Department for Russian Affairs at the State Department.

She has experience in Ukraine and other countries of the former Soviet Union, including in Ukraine: from August 2001 to June 2004. She has also worked in Armenia and Kyrgyzstan. One of the main tasks that she performed, regardless of position, has always been “helping countries in the transition to democracy”.

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