WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Biden pivotal U.S. figure dealing with ousted Ukrainian president Yanukovych

It has emerged Vice President Joe Biden was the Obama Administration's key figure in dealing with the now ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

According to the Associated Press, the Veep spoke to Yanukovych via telephone nine times over the past three months.

Whether these telephone contacts influenced the nature or timing of Yanukovych's hasty departure from Kiev may never be known.

Why did President Obama assign his Veep to the task? We can speculate. Perhaps because President Obama reserved for himself conversations with Vladimir Putin, and figured it would complicate things to also be talking to Yanukovych? Perhaps because of Joe Biden's longtime contacts with Yanukovych, dating back to their first meeting in 2009? Perhaps because the Veep has faced such situations with authoritarian Slavic leaders before, as when he confronted Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic?

For example, when then-Senator Biden was calling for sanctions and NATO air-strikes against the Serbs, and allowing weapons to flow to the Bosnian Muslims. Under pressure, Milosevic invited the senator for a conversation.

According to Biden's account in his book, PROMISES to KEEP, Milosevic insisted the Serbs were victims, not oppressors. Biden responded with the allegations of Serbian atrocities.
Finally, according to Biden in his book, "Milosevic could tell I had just about had it with his lies, and at one point he looked up from the maps and said, without any emotion, 'What do you think of me?'" Biden: "I think you're a damn war criminal, and you should be tried as one."

Anyway, here's the Associated Press account about Joe Biden's dealings with Yanukovych...


Posted at 7:34am on February 25, 2014 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Mike from Delaware
Tue, Feb 25, 2014 8:45am
That's where our former Senator Joe Biden always shined the best. His strength has been in these foreign affairs negotiations.

I guess Obama is trying to give Biden an opportunity to be in the spotlight and NOT put his foot in his mouth, to help him if he runs in 2016 for Prez. My guess is, Obama would prefer a President Biden to a President Hillary [if I remember correctly the Obamas don't get along real well with the Clintons].

Mike from Delaware
Tue, Feb 25, 2014 8:47am
I'm not up-to-speed on the pros and cons of what government should be running the Ukraine, so have no opinion on whether Yanukovych steping down is a good thing or not.

Tue, Feb 25, 2014 3:21pm
I think Biden would make a good replacement for Yanukovych. I'll be glad to chip in on his moving expenses.

Tue, Feb 25, 2014 3:29pm
"That's where our former Senator Joe Biden always shined the best. His strength has been in these foreign affairs negotiations."

LOL. Biden is always given credit for being an "expert in foreign affairs" yet what has he actually accomplished? Robert Gates says the same thing in the BusinessWeek article.

...former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who wrote in a recent memoir that the vice president has been "wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades."

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