Ukrainian interest. Missile escalation, disappointment in Minsk, and understanding in Warsaw
Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile exercises became an important factor in international relations. The meeting of Normandy Four foreign ministers in Minsk was a predictable formality. Warsaw received Petro Poroshenko with high interest.
It seems Ukraine have found Russia’s weak spot, thus paving way a classy foreign policy trolling. Test launches of anti-aircaft missiles over the Black Sea not only caused the flow of misunderstanding, but also resulted in direct threats from Moscow’s military chiefs and top officials. However, the threats remained on paper but their tone has become a litmus test for understanding the algorythms of Vladimir Putin and his team. Although Ukraine was never mentioned in this year’s annual address of the Russian president to the nation, this does not indicate that the Kremlin is willing to leave Ukraine alone. Quite the contrary, Russia is likely to intensify its pressure on Ukraine, making use of the current period of turbulence in international relations. Moscow does not allow any possibility of Crimea’s return to Ukraine and constantly emphasizes its stance. The official Kyiv should demonstrate a wide range of efforts toward the restoration of its territorial integrity and sovereignty.
A successful completion of the sliding of the Arch, or the special confinement, over the damaged fourth power unit of Chornobyl NPP was really a symbolic event. Petro Poroshenko noted the scale and quality of international cooperation, at the same time expressing regret that the consequences of the Chornobyl disaster have not gone anywhere, are not the biggest problem for Ukraine today. Indeed, it is the ongoing conflict in Donbas which remains the most serious challenge to the survival and development of Ukraine.
Meeting of the Normandy Four top diplomats in Minsk was just a formality on a difficult path toward the conflict settlement in Donbas. While Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin stressed readiness to defend Ukrainian interests in the drafting of the road map, his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, was not even looking for opportunities to compromise. Not even a minimum advance was achieved as a result, while the format of negotiations is becoming less and less efficient. If we consider that Francois Hollande has no intention to run for his second term, while Frank-Walter Steinmeier in February will become president of Germany, it is necessary to talk more actively about the changes.
Petro Poroshenko visited Warsaw to honor the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Ukraine and Poland. In 1991, Poland became the first country to recognize Ukraine's independence. Although today the Polish-Ukrainian relations see not the easiest times, Poroshenko's visit to Warsaw was quite productive. Ukrainian and Polish presidents in unison criticized the European Commission’s energy policy, while the heads of military agencies signed a cooperation agreement. A highlight was the meeting between Petro Poroshenko and Jaroslaw Kaczynski, chairman of the Law and Justice party, who in fact concentrated in his hands all the power in Poland.