lllia Ponomarenko: Ukraine’s Friend & Foe of the Week
Editor’s Note: This feature separates Ukraine’s friends from its enemies. The Order of Yaroslav the Wise has been given since 1995 for distinguished service to the nation. It is named after the Kyivan Rus leader from 1019-1054, when the medieval empire reached its zenith. The Order of Lenin was the highest decoration bestowed by the Soviet Union, whose demise Russian President Vladimir Putin mourns. It is named after Vladimir Lenin, whose corpse still rots on the Kremlin’s Red Square, more than 100 years after the October Revolution he led.
Ukraine’s Friend on the Week: Franziska Brantner, Germany’s Green Party member
As the latest events show, the German idea to invite President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia to the upcoming European Union summit has failed.
In many ways, this happened thanks to the strong opposition from the bloc’s members like The Netherlands or the Baltic countries.
Once again, history’s most successful union of democracies has gone deeply split — and again, because of Russia and its money.
The Russian-German gas pipeline project Nord Stream 2 is very close to being completed. And despite all the fears and warnings voiced for years over this deal with the devil, the outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel does her best trying to reinstate the Kremlin as a credible partner with no bloodstains on its suit sleeves.
But in reality, this drive towards “business as usual” turns against Berlin itself — and politicians in Germany do understand this.
“The problem is that thanks to Nord Stream 2, Germany has lost all credibility as a representative of European interests,” as Franziska Brantner, a Green Party representative of Green told the Financial Times.
“Some EU member states really wonder whether the German government is acting in the interests of Europe or just those of German business.”
That is a fair point, but unfortunately, such a sentiment is not embracing the high corners of Berlin. As a result, Europe is now standing a step away from an unprecedented rise of its political and economic dependence on the Kremlin and Russian natural gas it loves using as a weapon.
Brantner’s voice of reason in this mayhem, however, totally deserves credit as our country’s friend.
Ukraine’s Foe on the Week: Ted Galen Carpenter, a National Interest magazine author
It is secret to no one that National Interest, the U.S.-based magazine, has been hand and glove with the Kremlin for years, and that it is frequently used as a Russian propaganda mouthpiece.
However, sometimes, this publication can surprise even its most informed opponents.
In a June 28 piece, author Ted Galen Carpenter has come as far as to trying to persuade his readers that “Ukraine is is a dangerous and unworthy ally” to the U.S.
He continued attacking Doug Klain and Anders Umland, the opinion leaders advocating international assistance to Ukraine amid Russia’s ongoing war against it.
“Despite the growth of pro-Ukraine propaganda, the country fails to warrant inclusion as an important U.S. ally, either on the basis of strategic benefit or moral credentials,” the author says.
He again accuses Ukraine of corruption and the “rise of authoritarianism,” under which he means sanctions and criminal investigations against pro-Kremlin powerbrokers like Viktor Medvedchuk.
Therefore, according to Carpenter, the U.S. should not help a peaceful nation attacked by the world’s second-biggest military power that occupies 7% of its territory.
For this outstanding specimen of shameless selling black for white, Carpenter deserves the symbolic Order of Lenin.
Yes, Ukraine is still not ideal in its pro-Western reforms and combating corruption.
But, compared to Russia and Belarus so greatly beloved by Carpenter, it is an island of freedom, the good hope of the future of which is worth all efforts of this world.