France and Germany: The other bad guys in the Trump-Ukraine call
by Tom Rogan
When it comes to the July 25 phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the U.S. domestic response is predictably partisan: Many Democrats see Trump as the bad guy, and many Republicans see this as a scandal-in-name-only.
But one element from that call should unify Democrats and Republicans. Namely, Trump and Zelensky’s agreement that France and Germany are not adequately supporting Ukrainian sovereignty. President Trump began the exchange noting that the United States does: much more than the European countries are doing and they should be helping you more than they are. Germany does almost nothing for you. All they do is talk and I think it’s something that you should really ask them about.
Trump is right. President Emmanuel Macron and Chancellor Angela Merkel speak about supporting Ukraine’s democratic rule of law, but as on many difficult global issues, they do not adequately match action to words. Germany is especially problematic here. But don’t take my word for it, take Zelensky’s. Responding to Trump, the Ukrainian leader observed, Yes you are absolutely right. Not only 100 percent, but actually 1000 percent and I can tell you the following; I did talk to Angela Merkel and I did meet with her I also met and talked with Macron and I told them that they are not doing quite as much as they need to be doing on the issues with the sanctions. They are not enforcing the sanctions. They are not working as much as they should work for Ukraine. It turns out that even though logically, the European Union should be our biggest partner but technically the United States is a much bigger partner than the European Union and I’m very grateful to you for that because the United States is doing quite a lot for Ukraine. Much more than the European Union….
What Zelensky is referring to here is the Macron-Merkel effort to push Kyiv into new concessions to Putin in order to advance a peace process for southeastern Ukraine. But what Macron and Merkel should be doing is the opposite — putting pressure on Putin to pull out his GRU forces from Ukrainian territory, and to withdraw from Crimea. That means enforcing European Union sanctions more effectively, and preparing new sanctions in the absence of Russian remedial action. Putin does not respond positively to weakness.
All observers should fix on this area of the phone call. Here at least, Trump and Zelensky are absolutely correct.
(c) Washington Examiner