Poroshenko, Merkel, Hollande to gather without Russia
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko plans to visit Berlin on August 24th and participate in the trilateral talks with President of France Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Moscow hopes that the meeting won’t oppose the Minsk process and Russia’s participation in it. “Today it is not time for hints and diplomatic games. The situation is too serious. We hope that leaders of Ukraine, France, and Germany won’t discuss sending some signals to Russia, whether it will be a bad or good signal,” Konstantin Kosachev, the Head of the Federation Council Committee for International Affairs, says.
Alexei Martynov, Director of the International Institute of the Newest States, also thinks that the agenda of the Berlin meeting won’t include a question of hurting Russia. “In Washington, discussions have been already held about the idea of two or more Ukraines. They just talk about the possible division of Ukraine in the near future. I think this meeting on August 24 will be dedicated to this issue. If Ukraine is divided, there are plenty of interests of the neighboring states, Poland and Germany. I think that the main leitmotif of this meeting is this, because the signal from Washington can’t be controlled by anybody, neither Ukraine nor the European countries.”
Meanwhile, Konstantin Sivkov, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Missile and Artillery Sciences, thinks that “any war happens not because Poroshenko, or Obama, or Adolf Hitler wants it, but because objective conflicts are formed. Those conflicts that are antagonistic, and that in Ukraine can in no way be settled amicably, they are still preserved. The current political regime formed in Ukraine cannot ensure a positive ongoing development of the Ukrainian economy. In these circumstances, they can ensure their survival only in one way: to continue the war on the basis of ensuring the consolidation of Ukrainian society, which allows them to meet all the economic hardships that are borne by the country, thereby prolonging its existence.”
According to Sivkov, without the economy of Donbas and Lugansk, particularly the coal industry, the economic existence of Ukraine itself will be very complicated.
“The United States, even before the Ukrainian crisis, clearly decided that they were not satisfied with the Russian Federation and the current political elite, headed by Putin. They cannot solve the problem of the defeat of the Russian Federation by direct military aggression, only "soft" power can be applied, and for the use of ‘’soft" power, they need a strategic bridgehead. There is no other bridgehead along the perimeter of Russia except Ukraine where it would be possible to start such actions. Ukraine is necessary to the US as a base; that is why they made the coup. But the DPR and LPR form a buffer state, which eliminates almost completely the value of the bridgehead. Therefore, the central interest of the United States is to take control of these regions and the military and strategic base,” Sivkov thinks.
Regarding the role of the OSCE in the self-declared republics, Alexei Martynov thinks that “The DPR and the LPR may be dissatisfied with the work of the OSCE, but, in my opinion, the OSCE is doing the most that it can do all within its functionality. That is, it monitors, it captures, it reports. Another issue is that how this happening and then whether it is used or not. Someone thinks that it is not enough being done in public, but by itself the rules of the OSCE in conflict zones does not involve publicity, i.e. it is not a mandatory thing. I think that the OSCE works quite well in the south-east of Ukraine, that is, let's say, it could be worse and could not be done at all.”
Anyway, Konstantin Sivkov believes that “now there is a situation where on the one hand the combat capability of the troops has not recovered, Kiev’s authorities are not yet able to maintain effective offensive action, but on the other hand the maintenance of peace in the current environment is no longer possible, because we are looking at how the deepest economic crisis is developing in Ukraine.”
Sivkov points out a crisis of ideology in Kiev: “The most important element of any government is ideology. The Kiev junta’s ideology is radical nationalism; and it is supported by the Right Sector. And now it is the enemy. They are knocking themselves out of ideological support. Under these conditions of apparent weakening, the authorities have no other choice but to unleash the military conflict.”