Several electoral cycles will take place at once in the next few weeks and their results will determine the further political course of the Eastern European region, especially of its post-Soviet part. We are talking about local elections in Ukraine (October 25), presidential elections in Moldova (November 1) and the most important, the election of the head of the White House in the United States (November 3)
Despite the fact that in a week and a half the Ukrainians will elect only local representatives, this electoral procedure has riveted a lot of attention from outside players. In fact, the voting results are to become the most representative sociological cut for the president and his party’s level of support among the population of Ukraine and will also act as citizens’ consent with the current economic and political course of the country. In addition, it will become clearer what do alternative political parties have for revenge.
It is important for Washington to understand how strong the positions of the current government are and whether politicians of the new generation in Kiev can act as a long-term support force; a force it will be possible to work with and solve the entire range of urgent tasks in the Ukrainian direction. A stable political situation in the country, according to experts, is the main basis for advancing within the framework of the Minsk agreements, as well as determining the final parameters for pacifying the situation in the eastern regions of the country.
If the Ukrainian case is more about monitoring processes, then the presidential elections in neighboring Moldova seem to attract much more close American administration’s attention They also compel it to make much more efforts ensuring a correct electoral race course and outcome from the point of view of US interests. Another distinguishing feature between the political situation in Kiev and Chisinau is the more pronounced position of the Kremlin on the Moldovan field, which is represented by the current head of state and the party of socialists loyal to him.
A striking confirmation of Washington’s largely unprecedented attention to the electoral situation in Moldova was the news of the October 9 telephone conversation between US Deputy Secretary of State David Hale with the main electoral competitors who are Igor Dodon and Maia Sandu. During the conversation, the American official focused on a free and fair electoral process, political competition and illegal foreign support elimination.
Taking into account the recent interview of the US Ambassador to Moldova, Derek Hogan who said plus or minus about the same, we can note the desire of the State Department to demonstrate equidistance from the race participants and the desire to “only” provide the most balanced and sterile conditions for organizing the voting process. At the same time, it is obvious that the theses made public are addressed in the bulk of their current authorities and look like a “storm warning” in case someone is tempted to use the administrative resource uncontrollably, as well as to give a lift to Transdniestrian voters.
Meanwhile, despite the current line of conduct in the post-Soviet direction, the outcome of the elections for the post of head of the White House will be of decisive importance in determining the place of Ukraine and Moldova in the US foreign policy course. If Donald Trump remains in office, further strengthening of Washington’s position in this regional direction is unlikely to be of great interest to the administration of the incumbent president, who is used to acting on a larger scale. And in this regard, Ukraine can be extremely instrumental, in particular for the energy confrontation with Moscow in European markets.
If Joe Biden’s wins, the approaches to Ukraine and Moldova, on the contrary, may be significantly revised, and the pendulum will swing in the direction of building up the potential of Washington’s influence in this region. As a result, we will most likely see more pronounced support for the confrontational policy towards Moscow, increased involvement of American diplomacy in negotiating mechanisms to resolve internal conflicts, expanding the range of bilateral interaction and communication channels with Kiev and Chisinau, including the institutions of special representatives (envoys) of the State Department.
One should also expect an increase in the level of military-political cooperation with the two countries and a strengthening of the North Atlantic Alliance role in regional processes. It is worth noting that the demand for a more tangible NATO presence in the Black Sea basin is growing year to year. If earlier this issue was raised exclusively at the level of the eastern members of the bloc, then at the current stage Kiev is actively calling for military containment and cordoning off Russia in the Black Sea, ready to provide its resource capabilities for the most rapid deployment of the alliance’s infrastructure.
Although the electoral processes are in their active phase, nevertheless, the set of indicators clearly testifies to Washington’s unflagging interest in this post-Soviet region. Apparently, Ukrainian and Moldovan folders are increasingly reaching the high tables in the American administration and are demonstratively marked with a part of the pro-Western political areal.
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