UPDATE: Ukrainian President Volodymyr
An agreement on the withdrawal of troops from the towns of
The construction of a pedestrian bridge at Stanytsia Luhanska, to
be completedby November;
Final steps for
the preparation ofholding a summit in the Normandy format, with dates to be announcedsoon.
The president also stressed that the Steinmeier formula will only apply to local elections, held under Ukrainian law, and those elections would only
Prominent Ukrainian foreign relations and security expert argues that the Ukrainian president led himself into a trap by giving out promises about a swift resolution of the Donbas conflict during his election campaign.
“[Foreign Minister Vadym]
In response to the question about the buzzword of recent weeks, the “Steinmeier formula”, Kapitonenko argues that the issue received “too much attention in Ukraine”. He stresses that the formula is about concessions by both sides within the context of Minsk agreements, but the most fundamental issue is of “substance
But Kapitonenko reasons that this discussion
Ukrainians don't want to pay. We want peace without paying. This is the main reason of all political struggles, of all emotional reactions from Ukrainian politicians at various levels.
Kapitonenko stresses that this reluctance is today reflected in debates around the Steinmeier formula, but tomorrow will concern the question of ceasefire
Responding to the popular question of red lines, Kapitonenko remarks that “
“Resolving Donbas conflict is part of a much broader problem
–our vision of future relations with Russia. Nobody discusses this topic seriously,” reasons Kapitonenko.
Concerning the haste with which the new authorities approach foreign relations issues, the expert notes that despite some believing that the time is on Ukraine’s side, that might not
Russia's negotiating position is much stronger than ours and leaves them space for maneuver. They can push forward any conditions they like and just wait.
Trying to understand Russia’s reasoning, Kapitonenko envisages they have reservations and they don't trust any Ukrainian administration, which is why they wanted to see and test how credible Ukrainian promises were by starting with the prisoner exchange which the scholar believes to be the first step in further negotiations, the step that helped build minimal trust for further concessions. He argues that in their view the previous Ukrainian president did not fulfill what he had promised which
Is Ukraine ready to fulfill the Minsk Protocol in Russian edition: firstly with the autonomy to the Donbas, adoption of laws on amnesty and special status, elections, and only then the return of control over the border and Russian troops leaving Donbas?
The expert is certain that will be the essence of Moscow’s negotiation position and Ukraine will just have to deal with this difficult issue.
Kapitonenko also commented on
“We need a true strategic partnership with the U.S. based not so much on ideology and appeals to values but
ratheron pragmatic long-term interests,” he said.