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This UABA Blog page provides information and commentary on issues that are relevant to the organization and its members. Although the blogs are public, comments can only be made by members. If yoiu wish to join the discussion, you are welcome to become a member.

The comments expressed on these blogs represent the opinions of the authors and not that of the UABA.

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  • 21 Nov 2014 12:49 PM | Myroslaw Smorodsky (Administrator)

    Obama adviser: Arms for Ukraine ‘on the table’

    A top Obama adviser said Wednesday that the administration is considering lethal arms for Ukraine and said he believed it could deter Russia from further aggression against the Eastern European nation. Deputy national security adviser Tony Blinken acknowleged though that the administration has been reluctant to act, fearing that Russia could step up its support for armed separatists.

    "Part of the reason has been that in our judgment, as much as we're able to throw at the Ukrainians in terms of lethal support, unfortunately if the Russians choose to, they will outmatch that easily," Blinken told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at a hearing on his nomination for the No. 2 post at the State Department.  "That said, what we've seen in recent days and in recent weeks, including the blatant violation by Russia of the very agreement it's signed, the Minsk accords, [defensive lethal assistance] remains on the table. It's something that we're looking at," he added. 

    Republican lawmakers are urging the president to consider providing Ukraine with lethal arms, over fears of a new build-up of Russian military forces along its border.   The Hill  


  • 18 Nov 2014 8:56 PM | Liudmyla Mozgova (Administrator)

     The sticking plaster Russia-Ukraine gas payment deal will unpeel in March with the intensity of the likely next row dependent on a judgement from a legal panel in Sweden. The potential is there for a far more tangled dispute next year as unresolved issues resurface on the question of payment which determines gas supply for Ukraine and onward to Europe. Last week, talks between Russia and Ukraine brokered by the European Commission led to a temporary agreement on a gas price, a debt repayment schedule and a resumption of gas supplies until the end of March - a fix to the disagreement over a 2009 bilateral supply contract.   REUTERS.   Read More


  • 18 Nov 2014 8:52 PM | Liudmyla Mozgova (Administrator)

     Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko says his country is "prepared for total war" as fighting continues around the pro-Russian rebel stronghold of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine. Fresh volleys of artillery fire were heard across many parts of Donetsk overnight, fuelling fears of a military build-up amongst rebel forces.   ABC News.   Read More


  • 18 Nov 2014 8:45 PM | Liudmyla Mozgova (Administrator)

     President Obama edged closer to describing Russia’s military incursions in Ukraine as an invasion, saying on Sunday that the Western campaign to isolate Moscow would continue, though additional sanctions were unnecessary for now. Speaking to reporters at the end of the annual meeting of the Group of 20, an organization of 19 industrial and emerging-market countries along with the European Union, Mr. Obama said the Russians were supplying heavy arms to separatists in Ukraine in violation of an agreement Russia signed with Ukraine a few weeks ago.   The New York Times. Read More 

  • 18 Nov 2014 8:42 PM | Liudmyla Mozgova (Administrator)

     If someone had told you last fall that Russia would soon invade a neighboring country, annex part of it and occupy another chunk, you might have been skeptical. You certainly would not have believed that, in the face of this shattering of the accepted world order, the Obama administration would generally consider its Russia policy to be a success.   Washington Post.   Read More


  • 18 Nov 2014 8:40 PM | Liudmyla Mozgova (Administrator)

    The Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously passed the Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014 today by a vote of 18 to 0. The legislation was introduced by Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Ranking Member Bob Corker (R-TN) and it imposes broad sanctions on Russia’s defense, energy, and financial sectors, as well as increasing military and non-military assistance for Ukraine.    Read More

  • 18 Nov 2014 8:36 PM | Liudmyla Mozgova (Administrator)

     The Ukrainian National Information Service (UNIS), the Washington public-affairs bureau of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), is sponsoring the "Ukrainian Days" advocacy event in cooperation with the Ad Hoc Committee for Ukraine.  For more information, you can go to the UCCA website site:  Read More

  • 18 Nov 2014 8:32 PM | Liudmyla Mozgova (Administrator)

     On Oct. 26, Ukraine held snap elections to Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament. A key reason for the snap elections was to restore the legitimacy of the parliament after members of the outgoing parliament voted for the so-called dictatorial laws on Jan. 16. The legitimacy of the newly elected parliament hinges on whether elections were fair.  While a number of reputable organizations such as OSCE reported that elections were not fraught with fraud, rumors of fraudulent elections continue to circulate in the media. In this post, we use statistical tools to assess whether such rumors have any foundation.   Washington Post.   Read More


  • 18 Nov 2014 8:23 PM | Liudmyla Mozgova (Administrator)

     Russian President Vladimir Putin got a blunt message when he approached Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper for a handshake at today’s Group of 20 summit in Brisbane, Australia. “I guess I’ll shake your hand but I have only one thing to say to you: you need to get out of Ukraine,” Harper told Putin, the prime minister’s spokesman Jason MacDonald said in an e-mail. Putin’s response to the comment wasn’t positive, MacDonald said, without elaborating. Putin and Harper talked briefly, according to Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov. “Indeed Harper told Putin that Russia should leave Ukraine,” Peskov said by phone today in Brisbane. “Putin told him that this is impossible because they are not there.”   Bloomberg.   Read More


  • 18 Nov 2014 8:16 PM | Liudmyla Mozgova (Administrator)

    Global temperatures are rising, but the former Soviet Union’s frozen conflicts show no sign of a thaw. On the contrary, the ice is expanding. Russia’s support for the election held by separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk – key cities in Ukraine’s Donbas region – indicates that the Kremlin has decided to create another semi-permanent “mini-Cold War,” this time in rebel-controlled areas of Russia’s most important neighboring country. But freezing Ukraine’s legitimate government out of the region is potentially far more destabilizing than the Kremlin’s support for the other ex-Soviet breakaway territories: Moldova’s Transnistria and the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.    Project Syndicate.  Read More

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