President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s visit to the United States was the most important event of recent weeks. Official Kyiv has been lobbying for so long to get face-to-face time with the White House that the very fact of the event was seen as a major success. The Ukrainian delegation reported many important agreements in Washington. However, we have the impression that for Zelenskiy personally, the conversation at the Oval Office was quite uncomfortable, and to some extent even disappointing.
Our impression is very subjective, and we do not have an inside track on what happened during the visit, but in his public speech promptly after his return Zelenskiy sounded very critical about the West. Even at the joint statement about the U.S.-Ukraine strategic partnership, it was said clearly that Ukraine has problems with the Security Service (controlled by a close friend of Zelenskiy). The statement also mentioned regular attacks by his administration on anti-corruption agencies, and corporate governance, with a nod to the crude replacement of the Naftogaz boss earlier this year.
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