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US seeks to freeze Donbass conflict in wake of Poroshenko’s defeat, says expert

US envoy Volker is trying to freeze the peace process as well as the conflict itself, the Russian expert noted

MOSCOW, May 29. /TASS/. Washington’s policy is aimed at freezing the conflict in southeastern Ukraine, Director of the Center for Current Politics in Russia Alexey Chesnakov told TASS commenting on the Internet conference held by US Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker on Tuesday.

"Judging by yesterday’s statements made by Volker, the United States has set the course for freezing the conflict in southeastern Ukraine," he said. "By asserting that Ukraine cannot do more for the implementation of the Minsk agreements than it has already done, he actually urged Kiev to do nothing more to comply with the UN resolution on Donbass. Volker is thus trying to freeze the peace process as well as the conflict itself."

"Having supported Pyotr Poroshenko during the election, Volker was evidently taken aback when his candidate suffered a complete failure. He is concerned because he doesn’t know Zelensky well enough and fears that the new Ukrainian president, being a populist, will heed the Ukrainian people’s opinion and implement the Minsk accords," the expert stressed.

"Volker needs a pause to exert pressure on Zelensky and convince the ‘people’s servant’ that his people are mistaken and that war is actually a good thing," Chesnakov went on to say. "To confirm that Washington is not interested in resolving the conflict, one could mention the fact that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo did not raise the Ukrainian issue at the recent negotiations in Sochi at all."

The political guru was also surprised about where Volker got information on a potential Normandy format meeting in July. "Of course, experts and representatives of the Normandy Four leaders maintain permanent contacts, and their meetings or telephone conferences are possible," he said. "I believe, however, that holding a summit in July, with the lack of any positive steps on the part of Kiev, is unfeasible.".