What You Need To Know:
✓ Ukraine Govt needs to strongly condemn the actions of the Right Sector in West Ukraine
✓ Right Sector shootout will be used as an argument for not supplying Ukraine with foreign weapons
✓ Russia is the greatest threat facing the United States as Putin's ambitions extend far beyond Ukraine
✓ President Obama made a mistake calling Ukraine a regional crisis, it's a global crisis
John Herbst, Director of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Program, spoke with Hromadske about US strategy towards Ukraine and the implications of the shootout in Western Ukraine on American military aid being sent to the Ukrainian armed forces.
“This is very dangerous for Ukraine without reference to weapons from the United States.”
Herbst strongly condemned these actions by Right Sector, who got into a shootout with security forces loyal to MP Myhailo Layno, reported to be heavily involved in the lucrative contraband trafficking around European border regions close to Mukacheve.
Herbst believes that there should be a strong reaction from the Ukrainian government, for the sake of the country, and not just based on impact of American arms sales to Ukraine. In his view, this situation is very dangerous, and that the Ukrainian government needs to properly commit itself to fighting corruption: “So that there is no excuse for extremists with arms to go after corruption, because the government doing that.”
Speaking on American interest in Ukraine, Herbst clarifies that Congress is ‘waking up’ to the fact that the greatest threat to the United States is not ISIS, Iran or China but Putin’s Russia. Specifically, Herbst identifies the revisionist tendencies of the Kremlin, who want to re-write the post-Cold War global order to their benefit.
“The West is slowly waking up to the fact that Mr Putin’s ambitions go far beyond Ukraine,” Herbst stated. “He has said many times… that they believe they need to change the rules that were established at the end of the Cold War.”
Herbst references the Baltic States, who are members of NATO, as targets of Putin’s ambition and Kazakhstan, which Putin called an ‘artificial state’.
“Putin is on the march, and we need to stop him.”
Hromadske International's Nataliya Gumenyuk and Ian Bateson spoke with John Herbst on July 12, 2015.