Brent Scowcroft Center Resident Fellow Erik Brattberg writes for the Hill on why the United States should not let Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko return his country empty-handed while it figures out the best way to respond to the crisis:
In his address before a rare joint session of Congress, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko was unequivocal: Ukraine is under attack from Russia and in need of strong U.S. support to defend itself against Russia. But despite all the cheers and standing applause on Capitol Hill, Poroshenko is likely to return to Kiev empty-handed as Washington continues to dither over how to best respond to the crisis.
The backdrop to Poroshenko’s visit to Washington is of course the conflict in his home country that has now taken over 2,600 lives and that continues to take even more despite the presence of a cease-fire agreed on by both parties. Facing an increasingly heavy Russian military involvement in eastern Ukraine and little Western support, the Kiev government had little choice but to enter into negotiations with the pro-Russian rebels on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s terms a few weeks ago.