Even though analysts often suggest arming Ukraine with defensive weapons, what people sometimes forget is that the West is still, by far, Russia's largest trade and investment partner. Current sanctions against Moscow only forbid the export of a limited number of services and technology to Russia—leaving most of Russia's trade with the West intact. In particular, they do not limit Russia's crucial energy exports to the European Union.
Deal envisages creation of ‘safe zone’ in Syria, allows US jets to use Turkish baseA landmark agreement between the United States and Turkey—that allows US jets to use a Turkish air base to launch strikes against Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) militants and envisages the creation of a “safe zone” in war-ravaged Syria—is a step in the right direction, but also raises some important questions.
Yet the actual number of IDPs remains unknown and is likely to be higher, since the official figure includes neither displaced people living in the non-government controlled area (NGCA) of Donetsk and Luhansk, nor IDPs whose registrations have been cancelled.
In fact, internal displacement is a relatively new phenomenon for Ukraine. Until fighting broke out in eastern Ukraine more than a year ago, the country's experience with forced migration had been limited to relatively small numbers. Any government faced with such a rapid and large-scale displacement would be hard-pressed to respond quickly and effectively. Unfortunately, experience suggests that displacement is likely to become a long-term problem.
Earlier this year, Ukraine signed a major deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF agreed to loan $17.5 billion over the course of the next few years in exchange for sweeping reforms and restructuring of the country's sovereign debt. While progress on the reform front is reasonably steady—the IMF is expected to approve the next $1.7 billion tranche at the end of July—negotiations with creditors turned out to be harder than anticipated.
On July 17, approximately twenty people in Lviv staged a blitzkrieg demonstration with banners demanding greater autonomy for Halychyna in western Ukraine. The action lasted no more than five minutes, but was presented on Russian pro-Kremlin channels as a 300-strong demonstration blocking one of the city's central streets. Rossiya 24's report deemed it "Kyiv's new problem."
Atlantic Council’s J. Peter Pham says President has important reasons to visit Kenya and EthiopiaUS President Barack Obama’s decision to visit Kenya and Ethiopia this week underscores the strategic significance of these two sub-Saharan nations to the United States, says the Atlantic Council’s top Africa analyst.
Obama arrives in Kenya, his late father’s homeland, July 23.
“Beyond that personal tie to Kenya, this is arguably the most strategic itinerary of the President’s four trips to sub-Saharan Africa,” said J. Peter Pham, Director of the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center.
Faced with profound economic difficulties and the government's slow progress with reform, Ukrainians are critical of everything the government is trying to achieve. Day after day, contagious Internet memes paint a picture of doom and gloom, adding to the growing disillusionment with the Euromaidan. But it's too soon to lose faith, and it's time to look south.