Rex Tillerson, according to the Associated Press, after a meeting with the Minister of foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov concluded that Russia has shown “some willingness” to talk about a peaceful resolution of the war in the Donbass. Moreover, AP reported that the White house will send a U.S. envoy to Ukraine, Ambassador Kurt Volker, to Moscow, where he will meet with Vladimir Surkov, to discuss these perspectives. How to interpret these statements and what to expect next?
To be clear, the phrase “some willingness” is a very mild expression in English is not an obligation and not a guarantee — it’s a platitude, which can be interpreted as “Let’s see what happens.” Thus, neither Tillerson nor Lavrov did not meet the expectations of the resolution of the war that could embarrass both parties if their idea will fail. Rather, the statement of the Secretary of state shows that the USA have not forgotten about this issue and be saved. More importantly, Tillerson said it was unwise for the United States, despite its close relations and support for Ukraine. That is, the US cannot build its foreign policy towards Russia, considering Ukraine. As noted by the AP, during a relatively short meeting, Tillerson and Lavrov in the Philippines was raised, and issues relating to the Asia-Pacific region; the war in Syria, Turkey (a NATO member) and Iran (the role of enemy of the United States); the US sanctions against Russia and Russia’s response to us sanctions by reducing the diplomatic staff of the USA in Russia on 755 people and the closure of diplomatic missions of the United States.
The views of the Secretary of state Tillerson that the United States should take a more holistic approach in U.S.-Russian relations reflect the views of the President of Donald trump, who last week commented on the adoption of new sanctions against Russia that “our relations with Russia are at a constant level and it is very dangerous. You can thank Congress, those people who can’t even give us medical help!”. The last phrase was that Cognress missed the bill of the President of the trump two weeks ago, aimed at reforming health care.
President trump and the Secretary Tillerson, like their predecessors, prefer to keep his hands free hand to negotiate with other countries without the participation of Congress, often acting against its foreign policy priorities. Thus, it is not surprising that trump is disappointed that there are new sanctions, because they forbid him to revoke them without the consent of Congress.
What happens next largely depends on how there will be a meeting of Ambassador Volker in Moscow. Given that Russia is clearly suffering from the economic sanctions, it would be reasonable if the Kremlin began to make the transition from your current predicament. It is also necessary to take into account the fact that the US has clearly stated its support for the sanctions before the end of the war, and now Moscow can reach out to Volker, who represents the President, who spoke about his desire to see peace in Ukraine. All of this would be a good chance for Russia, and would allow her to begin to recover from conflict and to recover from its present “pariah status” in the international arena.
In any case, on the basis of statements Tillerson, we can be sure that the war in Ukraine is not what Washington will forget.