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Discussion: (2 comments)

  1. Nikolas Gvosdev

    In November, 2004, I had written that the Orange Revolution would falter unless it could be shown that “westward-oriented policies would generate results. And here the United States and the European Union would have to lay down clear benchmarks for facilitating Ukraine’s closer integration with the Euro-Atlantic world — and be prepared to commit real resources.” A year later, I noted “There is no substitute for determined investment if the United States is to secure the benefits of ‘regime change’ [in Ukraine].” (
    A decade ago, the United States and Europe decided Ukraine was too expensive and didn’t make the committed effort to fundamentally shift Ukraine’s orbit, which discredited the Orange Revolution in the eyes of enough of the swing voters who cast their ballots for change in 2004 and which paved the way for Yanukovych’s political resurrection in 2006. I don’t share your optimism that “the IMF, EU, and US would step forward with a deal that could get Ukraine through its short-term crisis and lay the foundation for longer-term reforms” if Ukraine were to get a change in leadership, because this didn’t happen before in the 2004-2006 period–and at a time when Russia was weaker and the U.S. and the EU were in a much stronger economic position than they are today.

  2. Thanks for the comment Nick. They say that second marriages are a triumph of hope over experience. But perhaps both the US and the Ukrainian opposition have learned some lessons.

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