US President Joseph Biden should take advantage of his meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to begin restoring America's reputation as an ally that keeps its promises, the Financial Times says in its editorial.
The article says that two events have dented Kyiv's faith in Washington.
"One was Biden's deal with Germany's Angela Merkel in July to allow completion of Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea to Germany — seen in Kyiv as a sellout. The project frees Moscow from relying on a Ukrainian pipeline for its lucrative gas exports to Europe. That jeopardises billions of dollars of transit fees to Kyiv, and removes a key constraint on further Russian military incursions in Ukraine. The other was America's mishandled pullout from Afghanistan — another country Washington had backed, on a far larger scale, to carry out liberal reforms and prevent a return to domination by anti-democratic forces," the authors of the article say.
According to them, "if Washington shows any sign of compromise over Putin's territorial ambitions towards Ukraine, Beijing will hardly take seriously the idea of US support for Taiwan — which president Xi Jinping has pledged to reunify with China."
"Biden should use his meeting to reaffirm support in three ways. First, he should spell out consequences for Moscow if Russia uses Nord Stream 2 to undermine Ukraine. Second, the US should provide further economic backing. With foreign investment still deterred by the Russian-fomented conflict in Donbas, Kyiv is looking for US-guaranteed bond issues to finance infrastructure and other projects. Washington should also commit to provide additional deterrent military technology, raising the cost to Russia of further aggression in Ukraine," the editorial says.