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Monday, March 19, 2018

On the issue of Ukraine and the Donbass Moscow is laid out on the table

On the eve of talks with the US on the issue of Donbass Sergei Lavrov outlined Russia’s position on Ukraine as a whole. In fact, Moscow is to the West “to close the Ukrainian project” and return it to the place where its historical place – in the zone of influence of Russia. And it’s hard not to notice the malice in the remark that otherwise the Kremlin is prepared to wait and have this conversation in a few years.

Sunday within an interview to one of Federal TV channels of the Russian foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has made a number of significant statements on a range of foreign policy issues. Among the most notable it is necessary to highlight those related to the Ukrainian crisis.

“In this case, Moscow is ready to “forgive and forget” all the problems that she had caused”

As you know, the combat situation on the contact line in the Donbass remains difficult.

The official rhetoric of Moscow on this occasion is characterized by high stiffness level, sometimes turning into a highly ambiguous irony. It is sufficient in this connection to recall the recent comment of press Secretary of the Russian President that the Kremlin has not been “counting ammunition” at the militia, and only hopes that “they have enough ammunition in order to respond to the aggressive actions of the armed forces of Ukraine”.

The key points voiced the position of the Russian foreign Minister were the following:

First, laying full responsibility for the current military escalation on the Ukrainian side. It also stresses that largely provoked the escalation of the volunteer battalions, which, in fact, is not subject to the armed forces of Ukraine.

Secondly, it is not just distantsirovaniya, and emphasized contempt for the Kiev authorities, which resulted in comments about no intention of Sergei Lavrov to appeal to the conscience of his Ukrainian counterpart Pavlo Klimkin (and other representatives of the authorities of Ukraine).

Thirdly, the withdrawal of a significant share of responsibility for what is happening in the West. In particular, the Minister noted the objectivity and impartiality of the OSCE mission, which is “to shield” APU and dobrobiti. In fact, the Kremlin has consistently drives a wedge between Kiev and its supporting forces in the West, showcasing the latest absolute hopelessness of this project, with the result that the most reasonable solution in this situation would be to leave the game.

Fourth, a return to the idea of decentralization of Ukraine as a method of resolving the situation. Curiously, Sergei Lavrov, talking about it, not appealed to the Minsk agreements, which provide for the granting broad autonomy of republics, and to the proposals of April 2014, which among others was supported by Western countries.

While Lavrov noted that while contacts with the new US administration has already begun, officials of the State Department, with whom you can discuss the situation in Ukraine, has not yet been appointed.

In fact, the Russian foreign Minister made statements outlining Russia’s position for future work with Washington on the Ukrainian issue (that his talks with the new head of the state Department Rex Tillerson Donbass scheduled for the near future, Lavrov said in the same interview). It should be noted that this position is very hard and comes down to a few main points.

First: Ukraine is the zone of influence of Russia. Everyone else is invited to abandon the project, demonstrated in recent years their hopelessness, which only pulls the finances, but does not bring any benefits. In this case, Moscow is ready to “forgive and forget” all the problems that she had caused on this occasion.

The second: Moscow to solve the Ukrainian problem in its discretion. Tool decisions will be decentralized. What this will eventually lead to the disintegration of Ukraine or the rebuilding of the state on new principles – the case of Russia.

Third: if the West (including USA) is not ready to accept the Russian proposal, Moscow is ready to wait a few more years until he will continue “the race on the rake”. It should be regarded absolutely transparent (and rather snide) hint Lavrov with reference to the discussion of spring 2014. Three years of hard confrontation with and a variety of provocations, but in the end returned to the same.

Moscow put your cards on the table. Now move for Washington.


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