The conflict “is likely to persist throughout the coming year as hopes dim for full implementation of the Minsk Agreements,” according to the report published on the U.S. Senate website.

Russia is unlikely to abandon its destabilizing actions, Stewart said, adding that “the conflict remains the Kremlin’s most effective leverage over Kyiv.”

Read alsoFuture of Normandy format, Minsk accords to be decided at G7 summit – Ukrainian diplomat“Violence along the Line of Contact probably will remain limited to smaller engagements, although Russia retains a ready capability to escalate the conflict,” the U.S. defense intelligence chief said.

As UNIAN reported earlier, citing The New York Times, U.S. President Donald Trump early May during his talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov allegedly played down his personal concern over the fighting in eastern Ukraine, noting that the issue remained important for the critics of his administration.