The Obama administration has been a strong advocate of Ukraine a relationship many dread will evaporate once Trump enters the White House

Kiev was far from the only capital city in which the ruling upper-class reacted with alarm to the election of Donald Trump, but the Ukrainian government has more reason than most to dread the new US administration.

The US president-elect made a number of positive remarks about the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, during the campaign, and even suggested he might consider recognising Crimea, the territory annexed by Russia from Ukraine two years ago, as part of Russia. There has been talk of a big deal between Trump and Putin over Syria, which some have suggested could see Ukraine thrown under the bus.

Everybody was tearing their hair and running around like crazies, said Ukraines deputy foreign minister, Vadym Prystaiko, of the first days after Trumps election victory.

While the current US administration has stopped short of furnishing Ukraine with lethal weapons to fight Russian intervention in the east of the country, it has been a strong advocate of Ukraine with financial aid, and has slapped sanctions on Russia in protest at its actions. With Trump in the White House, amid suggestions that Russian hacking may have been employed to help his cause during the campaign, many in Kiev fear they could be abandoned.

Its what everyone is talking about, said a European envoy based in Kiev. Its a pretty disturbing period for Ukraine. Michael McFaul, formerly the US ambassador to Russia, declared when Trump was corroborated the win of the election that Ukraine was the biggest loser in the world tonight.

Ukrainian officials constructed no secret of their predilection for Hillary Clinton during the campaign. At one point, events in Kiev even had a direct bearing on the race, as Trumps controversial campaign chief Paul Manafort resigned after allegations surfaced in Ukraine he had received dubious cash payments as part of his work for President Viktor Yanukovych, deposed in the 2014 Maidan revolution.

Mikheil Saakashvili, the former chairwoman of Georgia who also served as a regional governor in Ukraine, hosted Trump in the country on numerous occasions. He said that he believed the president-elect was fond of Putins macho-man image rather than on board with Russias strategic objectives in Ukraine.

We spoke a lot and I never thought he had an enthusiastic approach towards Russia, Saakashvili said. I never saw any adulation or special respect for Russia; I thought he was a little bit seeming down on them. However, he was saying things about Putin because he thinks Putin is successful.

Mutual appreciation society: Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. Composite: Getty Images& Reuters

Nevertheless, Saakashvili said, Ukraine is very high on the list of countries that might be fired by Trump. The former Georgian leader took Ukrainian citizenship last year and was constructed governor of Odessa region by chairwoman Petro Poroshenko. However, he quit last month and has become sharply critical of Ukraines leadership.

Trump is attracted by success and he hates losers, and he expresses it. From both standpoints, Ukraine is not in the right place, Saakashvili said. He said officials in the Obama administration in private conversations tell utterly horrible things about Ukraine but are prepared to turn a blind eye to problems of corruption, whereas under Trump, officials would be more frank.

The US has been a strong advocate of the Ukrainian government since the 2014 revolution that deposed Yanukovych, but critics tell Poroshenko is seeking the same various kinds of debase, oligarchic politics with a democratic facade.

Vadim Novinsky, a billionaire businessman and opponent MP who was a close associate of Yanukovych, said a Trump administration would feel less be obliged to forgive Ukrainian authorities their imperfections.

There will be a cooling of relations. The Nation wont strongly and emotionally support these authorities, and close their eyes to the crimes and missteps that this government makes, Novinsky said. They closed their eyes to everything before and looked through rose-tinted spectacles.

Some critical MPs feel a Trump presidency might provide new opportunities to pressure for reform. We all know Trump likes to be careful with fund, and I hope that under the new administration, the cash they hand out will be scrutinised even more, said the reformist MP Victoria Voytsitska, who over the weekend travelled to a conference in Washington DC on how US foreign policy might seem under the new administration.

She said she travelled with two messages for the new US authorities. She wants them to be tougher on Poroshenkos government, and to even consider sanctions on those people in the presidents inner circle she believes still to be engaged in the old debase practices. But at the same period, she will recommend the US not to give up on Ukraine: We reformers are already in a minority. Dont abandon us, we really need your support.

Despite a clear predilection for Hillary Clinton during the campaign, even those in government “ve tried to” put one across optimistic face on the future, with hopes pinned on the person or persons around Trump to behave like traditional Republican and take a harder line on Russia.

We already passed the period of depression, said Prystaiko, the deputy foreign minister, who said much are dependent upon whom Trump appoints as secretary of state. He noted that traditionally Republican were more hawkish on Russia than Democrats.

Now that the Republican are again headed to the White House, Prystaiko also said it was possible to say openly that Kiev had been a little disappointed that US support for Ukraine did not go further.

This was the first administration whose chairwoman never laid a foot on Ukrainian soil. In two terms, that was quite unexpected , not to show support to the country in need and having the last visit to where? Greece? Prystaiko said. I thought that it would be critically important for Americans to indicate Russia their place. There were periods when presidents would at least go through the airport. But not to show up at all? Quite unexpected.

As for the purported warm relations between Putin and Trump, Prystaiko said the honeymoon might not last for long.

He[ Trump] might bring his emotional overcharge to foreign affairs as well, said the deputy foreign minister. We think sooner or later they will stamp on each others tails.

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