MOSCOW, April 8. /TASS/. The United States’ Joe Biden-led administration will not offer the status of NATO’s ally to Ukraine, because it would entail risks of an open clash with Russia, the director of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Fyodor Voitolovsky, said at a meeting of experts with the deputy chief of the presidential staff Dmitry Kozak on Thursday.
"The Biden administration will not offer to Ukraine the status of an ally outside NATO. This status implies the country having it can count on major military assistance in case of a crisis situation. The risks to security, the risks of an open conflict with Russia are unacceptable to the US. Nobody is going to send US soldiers there and share the risks the Ukrainian leadership’s irresponsible behavior might entail," he said.
Voitolovsky said the United States "is not interested in getting deeper involved in the settlement process or participating in the conflict directly in case of its escalation."
"Kiev’s expectations the United States might agree to provide greater military assistance than now are absolutely illusory. There is no reason to expect that the United States might support Ukraine’s admission to NATO, either, because the country has unsettled territorial problems," he stressed.
Voitolovsky drew attention to the fact the United States was using the conflict in the east of Ukraine as a means of pressure on Russia and its European allies, whom Washington is trying to mobilize in the face of an ostensible Russian threat.
"It is an important instrument to drive a wedge between Russia and the European Union. It gives the US an instrument to have a say in the Ukrainian crisis-related processes, to derive dividends from it, but at the same time to make no political investments into it and to create no risks to its own security," the expert concluded.
Zelensky the populist-nationalist
The head of IMEMO’s Post-Soviet Studies Center, Eduard Solovyov, stressed that the Zelensky administration’s policy was addressed to the domestic audience and depended on external legitimation.
"The worsening of the situation in Donbass is addressed to the internal audience, its ultimate aim being to fuel nationalism and populism. Zelensky depends on external legitimation. After Biden’s victory he has been keen to demonstrate to the United States his effectiveness and importance," Solovyov said.
After his victory in the presidential election Zelensky decided against forming a new political trend and gave up attempts to produce an impression of a "populist peacemaker."
"Ever since his victory he has catered to the expectations of political elites and popular masses. We have been witnessing Zelensky’s transformation from populist peacemaker to populist nationalist," Solovyov said.
About the role of the OSCE in settling the situation in Donbass the chief of the disarmament and conflicts settlement section at the IMEMO’s Center for International Security, Andrei Zagorsky, said that proper conditions should be created for the organization’s officials to thoroughly investigate incidents in the region. "There is a possibility of establishing certain functions to not just put on record the very instance of certain violations, but possibly to investigate these violations and contact all partis to the conflicts to prevent such violations from evolving into more serious incidents. This function may be performed by OSCE representatives, too," he speculated.
The OSCE representatives must have hot lines connecting them with the parties to the conflicts locally and at a higher level, Zagorsky said. However, for creating such mechanisms there must be the corresponding will of the OSCE member-countries concerned.
"The organization is unable to do anything on its own," he said.
Zagorsky believes that thorough investigation of violations on the engagement line might help ease radicalism in Ukraine, which is largely fueled by media rumors about numerous incidents, and eventually improve mutual understanding between the West and Russia over Donbass.