In recent months, Russia has behaved more moderately in the Donbas. At least managed to avoid escalation, similar to the fights for Ilovaysk in 2014 and Debaltsevo in 2015. Instead, the “designers” of the conflict in the Kremlin prefer the lead against Ukraine a “war of low intensity”. The Kremlin’s goal is to attract as little attention from the West, and thus create the impression that the Russian-Ukrainian conflict is “frozen”.
On the other hand, slowly but surely, with weekly shootings, poison the climate in Ukraine, and especially the mood in Russian-speaking regions of Eastern Ukraine. If this strategy does work, the speakers, first of all, part of Ukraine may fall into a prolonged economic, social and psychological depression, which will pave the way for future accession to Russia. At least, it seems that such a calculation of the Kremlin.
Given these risks, Brussels, Berlin, Paris, Warsaw, London and other Pro-Ukrainian players in the future needs to act more flexibly, accurately and decisively at the announcement, application and adaptation of economic sanctions. This raises the question: is the usual continuation of the current policy of sanctions is a sufficient answer in view of the continued Russian invasion of the Ukrainian state and military aggression in Donbas, or perhaps it would be appropriate to tighten sanctions instead of a standard renewal. Currently, the United States is gradually moving in this direction.
In addition, the EU and its member States could publicly today to let know what can be their reaction in case of further deterioration or substantial improvement of a situation on Donbass. Unlike the winter of 2013-2014, Moscow elite must now, before the possible new escalation or cooperation, to obtain clear signals about what economic sanctions or incentives to wait for its actions in Ukraine.
Brussels would announce its readiness to impose an embargo on the import of energy resources through the Russian pipeline in EU, if Russia will resume pushing deep into the territory of Ukraine. Stop pipeline from Western Siberia to Europe, the Kremlin will create huge traffic problems, while European countries are relatively easy could replace Siberian oil pipeline Arabic or other tanker. The Ukrainian army needs to provide a certain ultra-modern weapons and equipment, and adequate training that would improve the defense forces of Ukraine against Russian cyber attacks, fighter aircraft, cruise missiles, amphibious assault ships and new tanks.
But aid is not enough to at least bring the forces of the Ukrainian army to Russia. Modern weapons, equipment and training for the Ukrainian armed forces will become a reliable protection, but only a limiting factor and without having to increase the risks and costs of possible further adventures of Moscow in the Donbass or elsewhere. USA could also contribute to the support of Ukraine and Georgia in the framework of its program “Main ally outside NATO” (Moldova outside of the block since 1994).
In the case of Ukraine possible codification of obligations in the field of security that Kyiv received under the Budapest Memorandum, signed by Washington and London in 1994. Then Western States, together with Moscow, to guarantee Ukraine’s integrity of its borders in connection with the annexation of Kiev to the Treaty on the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons. The US and Britain claimed that record their security guarantees for Ukraine in the Treaty for the sake of maintaining consistency and logic of the international regime of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.
These and other measures to support Kiev can not only enhance the security of Ukraine, but also to improve the economic development of the country. International integration will make Ukraine more attractive to foreign investors. Combined with a gradual implementation (currently fully ratified) Association agreement between Ukraine and the EU, these measures will make it possible to the Ukrainian success story. This will be reflected in the country — not least in the Crimea, in the occupied territories of Donbass and Russia itself.
The successful development of events in Ukraine create conditions for the restoration of Ukrainian territorial integrity and will help to start the reconciliation of Russia and Ukraine.