British expert: Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant prevents western powers from responding to crises in Ukraine


Kyiv, September 16, 2014 – The current problems in the world politics are the direct consequence of the financial crisis of 2008. This was stated by Alan Mendoza, the founder and the Executive Director of the British foreign policy think tank, the Henry Jackson Society, during his press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

Alan Mendoza emphasized that the world politics was going through another crisis, therefore the stability of the West was threatened. This is largely due to the financial crisis of 2008, from which European countries recovered only this year. The expert named two of the most important consequences for international relations. The first is the financial factor, as the economic downturn has caused a significant reduction in defense spending. He also mentioned that spending at least 2 percent of GDP on defense is a bare minimum for ensuring national security. Another consequence of the economic crisis is a psychological change in conducting foreign policy. Countries focused on national affairs, and their citizens are of the opinion that it makes no sense to go abroad if there are economic problems at home. This became apparent during the war in Libya, when the British Parliament did not support strong government initiatives in this regard.

Alan Mendoza stressed that the most urgent problem today is not a foreign policy crisis in Ukraine, but the so-called “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL) – a terrorist organization that operates in Syria and Iraq. Western States have a hard time responding to this challenge, because after the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the citizens of Europe and the United States are skeptical of tough action on the matter. However, the expert noted that “what happened in the Crimea, shocked the Europeans, and the events in eastern Ukraine intensified the shock.” Therefore, only the joint efforts of Ukraine, the USA and the EU can resist the Russian threat.

Sharing his impressions of his visit to Kyiv, Alan Mendoza said that he does not share the opinion that Kyiv and Ukraine – is a part of Russia. “Kyiv is a European city, Ukraine is a part of Europe, and we cannot abandon them.” According to Mendoza Europe is no longer under the impression that the crisis in Ukraine is a local problem; this is why there is a need “to be here to support you, freedom and government in Ukraine.”