November 9, 2016
IIP, International Investment Partners, Sergey Nosenko, Sergii Nosenko
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Sergii Nosenko gave an interview to “Apostrophe”

Presidential election took place in the United States, and now the whole world is waiting for a reboot of political relations. Dash of Trump and the failure of American sociologists, the high voter turnout and the rise to power of the Republicans in America: what Ukraine should expect from the new American President? “Apostrophe” asked these questions to the senior managing Director of international investment company International Investment Partners (IIP) Sergii Nosenko, who is personally acquainted with the specific of American and Ukrainian political life.

— Sergii, lot of people in Ukraine put on a victory of Clinton, expecting that she as President will do more to support us, including in the conflict with Russia. At the same time, there is an opinion in the media that Moscow supported Trump during the campaign. Are these theses true? And should Ukraine be wary of the policy of Trump?

— This is rather mediastamp than the truth. Both candidates focused on their constituents more, than Ukrainians can imagine it.

Americans elect the President in the first place for themselves, and the new President have to work with the American voters and to talk about their needs. And only then use the foreign markers. It is often the opposite for some reason in Ukraine, and, in my opinion, this is a negative factor.

Clinton talked more professional about international problems and had more confident look in this context. However, in the social unit the policy of Democrats have serious and objective claims – in particular, the Obamacare program in the health sector. Health insurance has become more expensive, and insurance coverage has decreased.

The conservative part of the electorate voted for Trump, because he wants a clear immigration policy — they are afraid of the influx of migrants, reduction of workplaces because of the transfer of industrial production from the U.S. to China and other countries, they are tired from dynasties in the close community of American politics. Moreover, believe me, Americans care this much more than the war between Russia and Ukraine.

As for the attitude of two candidates towards the Ukrainian question, here it is also necessary to understand that in the interest of the USA are on the first place for them. And the position of Ukraine is formed according to those interests. “Merge” or to protect Ukraine can both Trump and Clinton, depending on their own interests and policy and communications of the Ukraine. It is important to understand that the behavior of Russia in relation to Ukraine, to Syria – is also a result of the foreign policy of Democrat Barack Obama, and the fact that the top democratic party has effective contacts with Russia. Therefore, Ukraine has all the chances to benefit from any developments at the appropriate level of involvement and professionalism.

— It seems that the US election is, primarily, the big show, where the essence of the essay is often lost on the background of the personal charisma…

— It is important to understand that the attitude of US citizens towards elections is not as sacred as in Ukraine – that is the difference. However, there is a common — populism and the show brings to the polls people who are satisfied with such a policy, those who knows it and speaks that language – this is in the US and in Ukraine.

But if for the Democrats as more left-wing party, populism is almost normal, for Republicans – it is very atypical. The phenomenon of Trump is based on shortage of ideas for running the world in the post-industrial time. He is literally the personification of this problem. And victory Trump as personality in this election may lead to far-reaching consequences for the entire civilized world, for Europe, because the United States, one way or another, create trends, including in the format of discussions between voters and politicians. Generally speaking, for Trump voted those who wanted new updates: government, economic prospects. The same trend we see in Ukraine – there is a request for real economic performance of politicians in society.

In the circles of Americans with high-income there is very high level of frustration in these elections, moreover, the higher the income, the higher the level of frustration. But, despite all of this, everyone in American society understands that the foundations of the state, ideological base, philosophy of law and business — will remain unchanged. That means that the loss in the elections is not a tragedy for one of the two parties. In Ukraine, losing the election often means the loss of business for sponsors of political forces, the threat of criminal prosecution.

Lot of people now say that the elections “broke” America; people with high incomes had a lot of disappointment with the level of discussion during the campaign, the same populism… However, it is very important to understand that in the US, and in Ukraine the election campaign is one thing, but policy after the election is another. Americans are voting, knowing that one candidate — the populist “left” means that he will  increase the role of the state in social security and the other populist and “right”, but he relies on the basic white population of the United States, advocates for the creation of new jobs.

— Based on the election results, we see that there are clear differences in the political orientations of voters, depending on skin color and region of residence.

— Yes, of course, there are historical structures in which some States vote Republican, others Democrats, and in this political geography – the ratio in the amount of white and African American, more educated and less educated citizens, more affluent and people with low incomes.

The region has much more importance due to the nature of the electoral system. Voters vote for candidates, and based on the results the so-called Electoral College is forming, and the ratio of electors of one candidate or the other decides the outcome. In the US system “winner takes all”, it means that if a candidate wins in a state he gets all the electoral votes from that state, and not in proportion to the voting results. There are larger States that have more effect on the election results, there are smaller, there are States where the outcome is predictable, there are so-called swing states, which is the main struggle in the course of the campaign.

The same specificity we have in Ukraine, and the two key candidates play on these differences, as well as in our country. But, again, in the US, it does not lead to tragedies and separatism as in Ukraine.

— What, in your opinion, will develop relations between Ukraine and America? How Ukrainian politicians should build effective communications with the new administration of the President of the United States, with the state Department?

— It would be easier with the Democratic Party, as the whole party apparatus was involved in the campaign and would have an impact on Clinton. With the Republicans, it will be more difficult – Trump was more into the offline campaign, the party has been involved much less. Accordingly, those who support the party based on its ideological foundations, feel uncomfortable. It is also important to note that the Republicans in the election received a majority in the Senate – the upper house of Parliament, which gives them greater power than Obama had.

In general, the level of awareness of Americans about the foreign policy situation, including relations with Russia and Ukraine, is quite high.

On the one hand, it is difficult to understand for the American establishment, I’ll quote one of my friend, “why Russian should be considered enemies as they look quite civilized and some even speak good English”.

On the other hand, at the end of September, the lower house of Congress passed a law in support of Ukraine, which established that US sanctions will not be removed from Russia as long as Ukraine does not regain control over the Crimea – about which Ukrainians speak much less than on the subject of Donbass. Therefore, further relations between Ukraine and the USA will largely depend on how professionally the Ukrainian diplomats and politicians will be able to convey to the American establishment their interests, goals and objectives.

Lot of people in USA know that Russians occupied part of Ukrainian territory and understand the difference between Ukrainians and Russians very well , know that Ukrainians are protesting sharply, if you compare them with Russians. You can notice this even at the level of household contacts with taxi drivers, waiters and so on.

Overall, I believe that the influence of Americans on Ukrainian politics is greatly overrated. They need credible partners, those who are willing to take responsibilities. Yes, there are certain reputational filters, with whom to communicate and with whom – it is not necessary, but they always take into account that they deal with state representatives who was elected by the people. No one takes off the Ukraine its own problems, the need to defend its own sovereign economic and political interests. So pressure from the United States, for example, in Ukraine, is present more in the minds of those who are unable to make their own decisions, who needs “big brother”.

Source: Trump and Ukraine: what to expect from the winner of the presidential race in the USA. Expert Sergii Nosenko explained whether Ukraine is afraid of victory Trump