Ukrainian interest. Sensitive Europe, Nuland’s hearing, and encouraging Lavrov
The desire of some German and French politicians to demonstrate foreign political breakthroughs in relations with Russia ahead of the elections causes irritation of the official Kiev. Victoria Nuland has explained to the U.S. congressmen the situation with the anti-Russian sanctions. Statements by Sergei Lavrov could push Ukraine to certain actions.
European politicians live and work not only taking into account the opinion of voters, but also keeping in mind the forthcoming elections. In 2017, France will elect the new president and Germany – the new composition of Bundestag. Therefore, for the current leaders of Germany and France, it is critical to demonstrate some results on publically sensitive issues.
Angela Merkel, who is trendy nowadays, expects progress in the implementation of the Minsk agreements as early as this June
That is why we have been seeing recently the increased activity in Berlin and Paris on searching for a settlement of the Donbas conflict in the context of Western interests. First of all, this is about the resolution of the Senate of the National Assembly of the French Republic, who called the French government to gradually lift sanctions against Russia. This decision is unlikely to result in concrete decisions at the EU level, but it surely tickles the Kremlin’s vanity. This is also about the calls of Frank-Walter Steinmeier to encourage Russia to resolve the Donbas conflict with the easing of sanctions, which is more like a will to encourage the predator to obedience feeding him meat dripping with blood. Angela Merkel, who is trendy nowadays, expects progress in the implementation of the Minsk agreements as early as this June.
Much more unpleasant for Ukraine is all the fuss initiated by the European Union around the visa-free regime for Ukraine, Georgia and Kosovo. France, Germany and Italy started a geopolitical and bureaucratic game with this visa waiver. As a result, the lifting of visa travel to the EU for Ukrainians will be considered no earlier than September.
Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland during a hard talk with the members of Congress not only recognized the presence of the Russian military in Donbas but also stressed that the U.S. and the EU are preparing the extension of sanctions against Russia
Washington is also following closely the developments around the Minsk agreements. Barack Obama's national security advisor Susan Rice expressed hope that they can be implemented even during Obama’s tenure in the White House. The image of a peacemaker president initially selected by Obama leaves its mark on U.S. foreign policy, and this suggests that the next American leader will be much tougher in the dialogue with the Kremlin. Meanwhile, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland during a hard talk with members of Congress not only recognized the presence of the Russian military in Donbas but also stressed that the U.S. and the EU are preparing the extension of sanctions against Russia.
Revived dialogue between Naftogaz of Ukraine and Gazprom on the prospects of a resumption of gas supplies has caused suspicions of another "treachery" of the Ukrainian authorities and assumptions about some fat bribe of the Kremlin paid to the Ukrainian government. However, the position of Ukraine’s energy monopoly is quite clear: on the European markets, we can buy cheaper gas than that offered by Gazprom, so they are in no hurry to resume relations with Russia in the energy sector.
Noteworthy is a statement by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who stressed that Russia does not intend to attack any NATO member states. This traditionally demagogic passage contains a rational grain for Ukraine: the official Kiev needs to intensify efforts on its Euro-Atlantic path because Russia, as a subject of international relations, is unlikely to disappear from the political world map. We need to learn to defend our interests even being that close to an aggressive neighbor.