The strategic goal is to thwart the attempts of Ukraine to become part of the European community. This is stated in the annual analysis of threats to peace and stability, represented by DCS, USA Dan Coates. According to the temporary charge d’affaires to the OSCE Kate Byrnes, for the last three months, Russia has increased the accommodation in the Donbass prohibited by the Minsk agreements, heavy weapons by 750%. This occurs against the backdrop of the ongoing investigation into the death of an American observer of the OSCE SMM, what the Trilateral contact group (TAG) agreement in Minsk on April 26. Since then the TAG has not met. No activity in the channel direction. Hand, in fact, has put the negotiation process on pause, while in the United States will not determine who in the state Department and the White house will be responsible for the Ukrainian direction, and in France and Germany the elections are over. More than others in the period of uncertainty interest is Russia. While others are busy with internal problems, the Kremlin is increasing its forces in the Donbas, violating Minsk agreement. “Today” figured out when you can restart the “Norman format”, and who besides France and Germany, for it can connect.
Minsk paused. The last meeting of the TAG was held in Minsk on April 26, three days after the tragic death of an American observer-paramedic SMM OSCE. Two days later, the Deputy head of the OSCE in Ukraine Alexander hug said that the tragedy was no accident. According to him, the explosive device on a section of road on which the vehicle was moving the CMM, laid deliberately. While the investigation is ongoing in parallel, the verification process of the statements of those who have committed crimes against Ukraine, but which in law can be pardoned for the release of our hostages.
“Today (April 28 – Ed.) finally started verification. We are talking about several hundred citizens, so this monitoring will take time,” he wrote in his Facebook Vice-speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s representative to the Humanities subgroup of the TAG Irina Gerashchenko.
Since then, the work on the Minsk negotiation platform virtually stopped. The Kremlin and supported the militants don’t want to sit at the negotiating table, while continuing to increase its heavy weapons in the occupied territories of Donbass. “Over the last three months of SMM documented an increase of 750% prohibited heavy weapons on the territory controlled by the militants. Last week the SMM saw the deployment of 44 weapons units, 42 units of the number specified weapons was located on the territory not controlled by the government of Ukraine”, – said yesterday temporarily d’affaires to the OSCE Kate Byrnes.
American colleagues burns of N. I. in the published annual analysis of threats to peace and stability, the strategic goal remains the failure of the attempts of Ukraine to become part of the European community. “Moscow will keep influence on Kiev to disrupt the attempts of Ukraine to integrate into the Western institutions. President Vladimir Putin is likely to put pressure on Kyiv through multiple channels, including through actions in the East of Ukraine militants. Moscow also seeks to undermine the fragile economic stability of Ukraine and to preserve its political resplendant”, – said the head of the N. I. Dan Coates, in presenting the report.
Experts believe that the full open escalation in the Donbas Russia is unlikely, given the unpredictable nature of the new U.S. President Donald trump. “More profitable and less risky for the Kremlin the option of continued “investment” in the internal destabilization of Ukraine. The position of the main advisers to Putin such that the Donbass should “push” in the Ukraine, and on terms which are very clearly spelled out in the Complex of measures on implementation of the Minsk agreements”, – wrote in his blog for “Today” program co-Director of foreign policy and international security Razumkov Center Alexei Miller.
Attention, trump says. The Minsk process – derived from the “Normandy format” negotiations on the Donbass. If the “Norman format” we will see the progress in the Minsk process can move forward. The main thing for Ukraine at the first stage – the cease-fire, the withdrawal of heavy weapons, the withdrawal of all Russian troops from the Donbass and gaining control over the border. But Russia is in no hurry to fulfill their part of the Minsk arrangements in this part.
Vice-speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Iryna Gerashchenko has told that “Putin and Russia want to use the electoral processes in Europe, to put the channel and its derivative Minsk format on pause”. But, in fact, on a break these formats were set back a couple of months ago. Vladimir Putin openly relied on the leader “National front” marine Le Pen.
“During the recent telephone conversation between the leaders of “Norman Quartet” (April 19 – Ed.) in the end, Putin asked Francois Hollande: “who do you think will be President of France?”. Hollande replied: “Not the guy you want”, – told the “Today” source in the Ukrainian dipkrugah.
If Le Pen became the new President of France, in an interview with “Today” said the President of the French Center for the study of political action (CERAP) Nicolas Tenzer, in the “Normandy format” of negotiations could be put a cross.
“I congratulate the Emmanuel Macron on his election as President of the French Republic and thank you for your uncompromising support of Ukraine in conditions of Russian aggression. With this victory Ukraine has received ally in the Norman format in the struggle for the resumption of sovereignty and territorial integrity”, – wrote in his Facebook Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko after the election of Macron President of France.
Himself Emmanuel macron while nothing is said about the future participation in the Normandy format. Not the voice of Makron and specific proposals for the possible format update or modify approaches to negotiations with Russia. Experts suggest that a macron can make a “normaski format” a certain dynamism. But qualitatively to revive the new French President it is unlikely the role of first violin in the negotiations with Russia will continue to play Angela Merkel. At the autumn elections, she has all the chances in the fourth time re-election to the post of Chancellor.
With regard to the States lately we see the unusual still the activation of Washington in the Ukrainian direction. Impetus was given by the meeting of the head of the Ukrainian foreign Ministry Pavel Klimkin and U.S. President Donald trump. The White house received the Ukrainian diplomat in the oval office on the evening of may 10. Interestingly, met Donald trump with Pavlo Klimkin immediately after talks with Russian foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Obviously, to remove possible speculation of critics who accuse trump in relations with the Kremlin. And, according to experts, to build on this success, immediately after the two meetings, Donald trump made a post on his Twitter .
“Yesterday, one day, I met with the Minister of foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov and Minister of foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavel Klimkin. Let’s build a world!”, – trump wrote on may 12,” wrote trump.
Yesterday, on the same day – I had meetings with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and the FM of Ukraine, Pavlo Klimkin.#LetsMakePeace! pic.twitter.com/SPiIrJqI6G
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) may 11, 2017
Changes in the “channel format”. Behind the scenes were very important and interesting nuance. Before meeting with trump Klimkin held talks with the Vice-President of the United States, Mike Pence, then the Pence wrote a post on Twitter about unwavering support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
Today I met with Foreign Minister @PavloKlimkin & emphasized the unwavering U.S. support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. pic.twitter.com/RzF9GfFWDd
— Pence Vice President (@VP) 11 may 2017
According to former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine John Herbst, it seems that the Vice President becomes responsible in the States the official who will lead the Ukrainian dossier. “This is good news for Kiev. It is important that the Vice President reiterated U.S. support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. This is a clear signal that the development of relations with Moscow, Washington is not going to abandon Kiev,” – said “Today,” John Herbst.
It was after talks with us Secretary of state Rex Tillerson and VP Mike Pence Pavlo Klimkin said about the possibility of US participation in the “Normandy format” of negotiations with Russia in the Donbass. Already at a briefing in Kiev head of the Ukrainian foreign Ministry explained that this will be a key topic on the agenda of the first meeting of Peter Poroshenko with Donald trump.
“The United States is ready to continue to engage in to force Russia to implement the Minsk agreements. In what form? This can be in the form of a separate dimension, which, of course, be very closely skoordinirovanno with the “channel format”. It may be a variant of the parallel involvement of the United States of certain aspects of cooperation in the framework of the “Normandy format”. This can be a parallel process. That is exactly what we are discussing now”, – said the head of the Ukrainian foreign Ministry.
Experts believe that the direct involvement of States in the Normandy format, we will not see. It is likely to be about the revival of the mechanism of interaction of the USA with Russia in the format of the Nuland-Surkov. Former assistant Secretary of state Victoria Nuland, who in the state Department was in charge of Europe and Eurasia, quite often met with Russian presidential aide Vladislav Surkov, who is called the architect of annexation of Crimea, separatism and the subsequent Russian intervention in the Donbass. The U.S. has not yet decided on a successor to Nuland. Temporarily it is the position of former US Ambassador to Armenia John Heffern. Besides, according to Mikhail Pashkov, States await the results of the French elections (parliamentary) and elections to the German Bundestag.
Therefore, according to the head of the parliamentary Committee on foreign Affairs Hanna hopko, in the next couple of months progress in the “channel format” should not wait. “While we are in a period of uncertainty. Western policy and a specific strategy for the peaceful settlement of the situation in the East of Ukraine is studied. I think at the G7 summit, this issue will also be discussed. Plus in a new Administration, people who have already started to work, and that will take office will be to study the Ukrainian situation will be more acquainted with that file, to have a plan a, plan B and a clear strategy that focuses on results and concrete progress. I think we will see the position of the Macron and his new Administration, and after that, perhaps some activation of the “channel four”, – said the “Today” Anna hopko.