The Joe Biden administration will be prepared to push Ukraine on reform and even provide a bit of tough love, according to former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Steven Pifer.
He said this during a webinar organized by the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council, according to an Ukrinform correspondent.
"It seems to me that President Biden will be prepared to push Ukraine on reform and, perhaps, provide a bit of tough love. He will be pushing Kyiv to take steps that will be politically hard but are still going to be necessary if Ukraine is going to be a successful state and realize its full potential," Pifer said.
In this context, he noted that there have been some concerns in Ukraine and in the West, in particular, about a slowdown in Ukrainian reforms in 2020, a pause in the implementation of the program with the IMF, and the persisting influence of oligarchs.
At the same time, Pifer said, there have recently been some other signals. "President Zelensky has now moved against Mr. Medvedchuk, which, I think, is a good thing," he said.
In addition, Pifer said that Ukraine could make moves on its own regarding domestic reforms and anti-corruption measures. "Those are going to be key to a better life for Ukrainians. But also they are going to build a kind of successful state that will be better able to resist Russian aggression," Pifer said.
In this regard, he said: "Joe Biden is a kind of partner that Ukraine needs right now."
Pifer served as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine from 1998 to 2000.