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“Slipping away client of Russia”. What did Obama mean?

“Slipping away client of Russia”. What did Obama mean?

President Barak Obama presented the country his annual address on Tuesday, January 12. He mentioned Ukraine twice in his presentation. However, one of his statements was perceived as ambiguous by the world community.

He said that despite the economic decline, Russia is spending a lot of money supporting Ukraine and Syria, the client states  that are slipping away from its orbit. In English it was, «Even as their economy severely contracts, Russia is pouring resources in to prop up Ukraine and Syria – client states they saw slipping away from their orbit».

Obama’s statement caused a scandal. According to “The Voice of America”, some observers assumed that these words were just a mistake of those who edited the speech.

What he said in connection with Ukraine did not surprise those who were checked up several times to be allowed to be present at Obama’s presentation. It is not to downsize the US foreign policy to 4-5 paragraphs, as it was posted on Twitter by Andrew Weiss, Vice-President of analytical center Carnegie Endowment. He added that what Obama meant was the credit which Ukraine got from Russia when V. Yanukovych was president. It is known that Ukraine refuses to give the money back, and Russia has claimed that it will sue the Ukrainian government.

Marcy Kaptur, US Congresswoman, said that Obama’s speech was “strange”.

As M. Kaptur noted in her commentary, when the President recklessly used the word Russia, not the USSR, describing the first sputnik, she thought that he just chose the wrong word. It meant attributing the space achievements only to Russia. The same thing was when he spoke about considerable resources spent by Russia to support Ukraine. It was a strange speech which she did not like very much. In her opinion, those parts of the speech needed editing.

There are more than 206 countries which are recognized by the UNO as separate countries or territories. Barack Obama mentioned Ukraine twice when speaking about the restoring of the international order in Europe. It is significant. The President mentioned ten countries, and Ukraine was among them due to its strategic importance for Europe, as the Congresswoman remarked.

Stephen Pfeiffer, US ex-Ambassador to Ukraine, also said that Obama's statement was strange. He remarked that Moscow sends its resources to destabilize Ukraine rather than supporting it.

“The Washington Post” journalist Jackson Dill wrote on his twitter  that Obama thinks that Ukraine is “Russia's client state”. That is why it is not a surprise that he does not supply weapons to Ukraine.
According to ukrinform.ru,  the White House explained the President's words in the following way:
The President meant previous long-term efforts of Russia aimed at strengthening ex-president Yanukovych's regeme in order to prevent Ukraine from advancing on the way to European integration.

He also meant the present occupation of the Crimea and large-scale efforts to support the armed groupings in the east of Ukraine and other efforts aimed at destabilization of the country.
At the same time, for the last two years, the USA has been closely cooperating with European and international partners to help Ukraine defend its democracy and territorial integrity.

The White House press release read that Obama concentrated attention on the diplomatic solution of the crisis with the help of complete fulfillment of the Minsk Agreements.

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