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US puts spokes in Ukrainian settlement’s wheel

March 23, 2015, 18:09 UTC+3 Zamyatina Tamara
© EPA/OLEG PETRASYUK

MOSCOW, March 23. /TASS/. The United States has been putting spokes in the wheel of the Ukrainian conflict’s settlement process and the implementation of the Minsk Accords achieved by the Normandy Quartet’s leaders on February 12, polled experts have told TASS.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in last Saturday’s interview to the Rossiya television news channel said that the Americans pay lip service to the Minsk Accords, while in reality they do a great deal in order to interpret the concluded documents in their own way.

Although the Minsk Accords provide for a dialogue between the authorities in Kiev and the leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics over the modalities of holding local elections, the Ukrainian parliament (Verkhovna Rada) on March 17 unilaterally voted for a corresponding resolution. In that document the territories of the self-proclaimed republics were referred to as "unilaterally occupied" territories. On the same day US Vice-President Joe Biden congratulated Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko upon the Verkhovna Rada’s resolution contradicting the Minsk Accords. In a telephone conversation Biden confirmed that the United States was sending equipment and instructors for training Ukraine’s national guardsmen. Simultaneously, the commander in chief of NATO’s allied forces in Europe, General Philip Breedlove, claimed that the West was obliged to help Ukraine by sending defensive equipment. Against this background last Saturday and Sunday saw more frequent fire attacks against the Donetsk and Lugansk republics’ territories by the Ukrainian armed forces.

Sergey Karaganov, a member of the OSCE’s Panel of Eminent Persons on European Security, has told TASS that US policies towards Ukraine looked extremely cynical. "Washington is determined to fight the war in Ukraine to the last Ukrainian. At the same time the White House does not care a bit about the future of Ukraine as such, because geopolitical issues are in focus first and foremost," he told TASS in an interview.

"The United States has suffered moral and political defeats in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. Now it is about to impose a similar role on Russia by pulling it into the Ukrainian crisis. The United States’ far reaching aim is that of causing the maximum harm to the Russian economy. By accusing Moscow of neo-imperial policies the United States has been trying to pose obstructions in the way of Russia’s growing influence in the post-Soviet space," Karaganov said.

"Washington’s ultimate objective is to drive a wedge into the EU as deeply as possible and to make Europe still more vulnerable to the United States. This explains why Washington ignores both the letter and spirit of the Minsk Accords, initiated by the leaders of Germany and France," Karaganov said.

Deputy director of the RAS Institute of US and Canada Studies, Pavel Zolotaryov, sees not the slightest chance the White House might suddenly develop a liking for the Minsk Accords. "Firstly, this is so because the United States is not a party to the Minsk process. Secondly, Washington dislikes the Minsk Accords because they are hardly realistic for the people the United States has propelled to power in Kiev. Poroshenko and his team are reluctant to comply with the Minsk Accords, and in this they rely on support from the White House. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has found a very diplomatic way of formulating the issue - Kiev’s and Washington’s interpretation of the Minsk Accords demonstrate a striking similarity and it remains to be seen who is in the lead. Now it has become very clear that it is Washington who sets the tune," Zolotaryov said.

The president of the National Strategy Institute, Mikhail Remizov, has no doubt that the United States will not confine itself to sending military instructors to Ukraine. Washington will be stepping up its military presence in Ukraine and building up military and technical assistance to Kiev, precisely the way it has been doing in relations with Georgia. Washington’s aim is to preserve Ukraine as an apple of discord between Russia and the West, as the zone of Russia’s greatest vulnerability. Therefore, as soon as the military-technical balance has changed in Kiev’s favor, a resumption of hostilities between the Ukrainian army and the Donetsk and Lugansk militias may follow. This is most likely in April or May," Remizov told TASS.

And the president of the Russian Centre for Geopolitical Problems, Colonel-General Leonid Ivashov, recalls that the US National Security Strategy the US Congress approved of last February contains more than a dozen references to Russia as an aggressor posing a threat to the United States. "Also, throughout the post-Soviet period NATO has never carried out outspokenly anti-Russian exercises as intensive as today," Ivashov says. "All these are sure signs Washington is determined to use the crisis in Ukraine to try to drag Russia into a war."

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