Rob Portman knows the U.S. needs to rethink its failing Ukraine policy, but he is wrong in the way he spells out in his letter (The U.S. Needs to Rethink It’s Failing Ukraine Strategy, June 3 Journal).
He mentions Ukrainian sovereignty, a stable, democratic and prosperous future. It is hypocritical to call for Ukrainian sovereignty and democracy while we supported a coup overthrowing its elected president.
The bottom line; most Americans want to live their lives and don’t care about non-threats like Russia, but they feel powerless to do anything about it. So the Rob Portmans will continue to waste American lives and money to feather contributors nests and it will be accepted like the sun coming up in the morning.
Love, Fritz Groszkruger
Regarding your editorial “The Russians Are Coming, Again” (May 29): The cease-fire in Ukraine isn’t legitimate, and Russia’s success in exploiting it demonstrates the need to rethink our approach.
President Obama and some of our allies seem motivated more by the desire to keep the conflict out of the headlines than to take meaningful action to address it. If that’s the goal, then the cease-fire has been somewhat successful, although the Russian violations are increasingly difficult to ignore. While visiting Ukraine last month, I was given evidence proving how the combined Russian-separatist forces have made a mockery of the February cease-fire.
The failed cease-fire demonstrates the effectiveness of Russia’s strategy and exposes the weaknesses in the Western approach. Both Minsk I and II contained no shortage of processes and procedures to promote a peaceful resolution. What they didn’t contain was any credible way to enforce the terms of the agreement. Thus, while Ukraine adheres to the cease-fire, Russia is able to violate it, while enjoying the moral and legal equivalency it grants.
The administration and some EU members have become so fixated on ensuring the “successful implementation of the February cease-fire,” they’ve lost sight of the broader policy objectives, which should be the defense of Ukrainian sovereignty and support for the economic and political reforms Ukraine needs to build a stable, democratic and prosperous future. Meanwhile, the president maintains his de facto embargo on any of the defensive weapons Ukraine needs to defend itself and force Russia to negotiate in good faith. Simply saying you have a cease-fire doesn’t make it so. It’s time the architects of our current policy realized that.
Sen. Rob Portman (R., Ohio)