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France's President Francois Hollande, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L-R) walk for a family photo at the presidential residence in Minsk on February 11, 2015

Ukraine Finds Itself Pressured by US, Europe to Honor Minsk Accords

© AFP 2016/ MAXIM MALINOVSKY
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The West has begun to pressure Ukraine to accomplish its part of the Minsk agreement, German geopolitical analyst Alexander Rahr pointed out, adding that the major European powers need Russia to solve the Ukrainian economic crisis.

As the Minsk agreements hang in the balance, Ukraine has suddenly found itself under pressure from the West, German political analyst Alexander Rahr, scientific director of the Russian-German Forum, writes in his opinion piece for The Huffington Post.

Ukraine is deliberately delaying the process, apparently believing that it can force Europe and the US to further prolong anti-Russian sanctions. At the same time, President Petro Poroshenko is presenting Ukraine as a bulwark of the "free West" against "aggressive Russia".

For a long time, the US and Europe have been turning a blind eye to Poroshenko's self-contradictory narrative, but the situation has changed and Kiev's approach no longer satisfies the West.

"In particular," Rahr writes, "the US needs Russia as a partner in Syria in the fight against Islamic terrorism. As long as the geopolitical conflict in Ukraine continues to brew, trustworthy cooperation in the Middle East is impossible. The US wants a stable, independent and democratic Ukraine. Washington does not understand why the [Ukrainian] government is losing the fight against corruption," Rahr underscores.

Western policymakers have called upon Kiev to implement its part of the Minsk deal and provide the breakaway regions with autonomy in accordance with the agreement.

Kiev would be able to reinstate full control over the state border "throughout the conflict area, starting on day 1 after the local elections and ending after the comprehensive political settlement," the text of the Minsk agreement reads.

Simultaneously, influential voices in Germany have emerged urging the initiation of negotiations with Russia and the Eurasian Economic Union to create a common economic space stretching from Lisbon to Vladivostok.

According to Rahr, that would have helped solve the Ukraine economic crisis.

"The West can not shoulder the financial burden alone," the analyst emphasizes.  

He calls attention to the fact that it is the first time when Poroshenko has come under fire from the US. He suggests that the Ukrainian president is likely to find himself in an even more awkward position if Donald Trump is elected. If Trump wins the US presidency, he may seek to establish working relations with Moscow, Rahr assumes.

Strategic Forecasting, Inc. (Stratfor), a global intelligence company, echoes Rahr in its recent analysis on the matter.

"The West is… divided over how to handle the Ukrainian conflict," Stratfor's report states.

"Although the United States has stood firm in backing Ukraine and pressuring Russia, several countries in the European Union are losing interest in maintaining sanctions on Moscow and have called on Ukraine to do more on its end," the report highlights.

Stratfor's analysts cite Vice President Joe Biden, who signaled last Tuesday that "no fewer than five EU members" are prepared to relax the sanctions on Russia. He added that Washington had specially appealed to Germany, France and Italy to prolong the measures.

On September 17 Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico called upon the EU to end sanctions against Russia, stressing the measures have been ineffective and harmful for the EU states' economy. He also highlighted that Ukraine is doing less than Russia to meet its obligations under the Minsk deal, Reuters reported.

"When speaking about the implementation of the Minsk agreement, it needs to be said clearly that both parties are violating it. Actually, if we were to do an inventory of how Ukraine is meeting it, you would have to say Ukraine is meeting it even less than Russia," Fico told the media outlet.

On the other hand, the West is about to lose its faith in Ukraine, political commentator Bernd Johann noted in his op-ed for Deutsche Welle.

"The conflict with Russia, among other things, serves as an argument to divert attention from shortcomings in its reform policy. Often one can hear the statement that the West could soon leave Ukraine to its faith," the commentator warned.

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Tags:
economy, trade, agreement, cooperation, Minsk protocol, Petro Poroshenko, Robert Fico, Joseph Biden, Germany, Europe, United States, Ukraine, Russia
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  • ViTran
    What - nearly 3 years too late; 200,000 Dead, 5 Million Injured / Homeless; Regions covered in Un-exploded munitions and land destroyed for 100,000 years due to use of depleted uranium

    Oh and 40 Million people ready to walk West rather than starve !
  • ViTran
    "The West can not shoulder the financial burden alone," the analyst emphasizes.

    Who organized the Coup ?? .. Sorry China was not there !
  • chrrev
    so the most corrupt country on the planet can't understand why Ukies are not solving the corruption problem in Ukraine... mind boggling hypocrisy in DC., where Biden & co are only too happy to benefit hugely from the corrupt Porky.
  • Glamoureus
    Poor analys.

    Ukraine is about two things; 1 divide Russia into micronations such as Estonia Litaunia Ukraina all the way to as kosovo, breakdown of all national possible control (too small to survive)

    2nd is gas to Europe, in order to divide Ukrainian region into smaller micronations US needs the support of EU and EU needs gas. We already see micronations as Lughansk, Novorussia creating.

    Here is the interesting part, Russia supported Federation of these micronations, something that US did not forsee. As Crimea turned out to be federalized instead of micronationalized. US got panic and the Minsk agreement was accepted. With Condition for autonomous regions to be able vote and elect of they want to federalize.

    Nazi-junta in Kiev government cannot allow loosing control of these regions so the shell its people, rapes, abducts, violates every single human right there is.

    EU realized they made a big mistake and the easiest way out is keep friends with Russia.

    Northstream2 will in the end be a escape got for EU to offer Russia on condition to take over Ukraine mess and not federalize.

    The big question is if Russia accept or not, not by turning of gas transit for Ukraine because such action will in deed divide Ukraine in east Russia and West Outlaw "Ukrine".

    And I bet EU is not to keen on having West Ukraine
  • tobi.gelando
    This we could see coming for a long long TIME !!! The sanctions hurt the west more as Usa / Nato / EU !!!! And now the big joke of the last decade "Russia has to help Ukraine on its Feet"
    :) ha, ha, ha ..... The west think Russia is mental ??? I don't believe so !!!
    Mr. Hollande Fr. Merkel the people in the street now's it will come this way !!! You and Obomga have stay trial for war crime in "den Haag"
  • amalgam
    Hah! Don't you love these EU fantasists.
    No point talking about Ukraine until your US masters tell you what to do.
    It might also be worth considering this, you broke Ukraine so you bought it. Why should Russia now pay the bill?
    Next you'll demand the people of the Donbass pay for the bombs that you allowed to be dropped on them.
    You poor fools, cheered when you hit Russia with sanctions; not so cheerful now are you? Still, it is interesting to watch you as your empire crumbles, a little bit Neroish, yes?
  • anne00marie
    Has Sputnik been taken over? It is more like having another form of main stream media propaganda, as the stories seem so old and devoid of facts relating to the current situation.

    Sorry, but there are so many articles today, that seriously do not make sense, in the time frame.
  • michael
    re the image; three of the four (cretinous) horsemen of the (proposed) apocolypse? :)
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