Wednesday, May 14, 2014
As the Ukrainian crisis persists, those in Kiev have held a meeting to discuss the future of their country. The separatists fighting for autonomy and consequent absorption into Russia spurned the meeting and still hang on to their demand and the installations that are under their control.
Clearly, the consequences are dire already. Three main ones stand out for attention:
• The interim government of Ukraine says that the annexation of Crimea by Russia earlier this year cost Ukraine at least 1tn hryvnya (£49.3bn; $83bn; 60.5bn euros);
• Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin says that he [Russia, invariably?] would not support a US and European proposal to extend the international space station beyond 2020 but US space agency Nasa, which relies on Russia to ferry astronauts to the station, said it had not yet received any official notification on changes in space co-operation;
• Russian troops moved to begin constructing a pipeline to supply Crimea with water weeks after Ukraine cut off supplies.
We can see how the situation looks like at this stage. The imposition of sanctions on Russia won’t necessarily deter Russia from ensuring that the US and EU don’t drag their NATO war machine to its backyard. In consequence, the threat regarding the international space station will definitely alarm the US for it to tone down on its belligerence. The US can’t do without advanced technology (more so, one deriving from space exploration).
Meantime, the US Vice President’s household has begun benefiting from the situation. As reported by the BBC, a private oil and gas company in Ukraine (Burisma) announced this week that it has appointed Hunter Biden, the youngest son of US Vice President Joe Biden, to its board of directors.
The company, founded in 2002, is controlled by a former energy official in the government of deposed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.
The move has raised some eyebrows in the US, given the Obama administration's attempts to manage the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.
Biden was in Kiev last month to extend the US’ hand of support to the government. Any quid pro quo (one good turn deserving another) happening here? I am reminded of Dick Cheney, former Vice President under George Bush and the Haliburton contracts in Iraq after the pushing out of Saddam Hussein!!
Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Politics is good for those who know how to do it.
We will continue to monitor the situation to see how the tide flows.