Despite US/EU Support for Kiev, Economic Divorce Between Ukraine and Russia is Unrealistic

Posted April 23, 2014

MP3 Interview with John Quigley, professor emeritus of international law at Ohio State University, conducted by Scott Harris


Despite an agreement reached in Geneva between Ukraine, Russia, the U.S. and the European Union on April 17 calling for all illegal groups to disarm and evacuate occupied government buildings in eastern Ukraine, recent violence has undermined the accord. On Easter Sunday, just three days after negotiations were concluded in Geneva, three people were reported killed in an armed attack on an eastern Ukraine checkpoint manned by activists opposed to the provisional government in Kiev. Local pro-Russian groups and Moscow say the attackers were from Right Sektor, the neo-fascist group who were in the vanguard of street fighters that overthrew Ukraine’s elected President Viktor Yanukovych two months ago.

Before Yanukovych fled to Russia in February, he was the target of four months of militant protests in Kiev opposing his government’s decision to reject an economic agreement with the European Union. Ukraine is now in economic freefall, owing to large debts and reliance on Russian energy.

On an April 22 visit to Kiev, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden pledged $50 million in U.S. aid to Ukraine, as the nation awaits a $27 billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund. Biden called on Russia to withdraw 40,000 troops NATO says are massed along the Ukrainian border and warned of more sanctions if Moscow moved to annex Russian-speaking sections of eastern Ukraine, as it did in Crimea. Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with John Quigley, Professor emeritus of international law at Ohio State University, who discusses the escalating crisis in Ukraine, the threat of civil war, Russian intervention and a new Cold War. For more analysis and commentary by John Quigley, visit

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