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Trump, Merkel express support for Minsk Accords process

After her March 17 meeting with U.S. President Trump, German Chancellor Merkel told reporters that they plan to make more efforts to fulfill the Minsk Accords, which have reached an impasse. She referred to ensuring a secure and sovereign Ukraine from one end, as well as improving relations with Russia once problems are resolved. She stressed that Trump supports the Minsk Accords.

 

The next day, Ukrainian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Mariana Betsa issued a statement that the Russian government has yet to fulfill any of the 13 points of the Minsk Two agreement and its political will to do so is “absolutely absent.” “The events of the last month became a revealing demonstration of the Kremlin’s intent to continue the course towards escalating the armed conflict that it started, as well as its disinterest in upholding the obligations  it took upon itself,” she said.

 

Zenon Zawada: The Minsk Accords are at a complete dead end. That Trump and Merkel reiterated their support for them indicates they have no other plan in mind to resolve the war in Donbas. Meanwhile, Trump has yet to reach a breakthrough in relations with Putin, as he had promised during his presidential campaign. Western leaders are going to continue to avoid the Donbas situation for as long they can, until the fighting becomes intense enough that it will begin to draw media attention again. And then they will return to trying to implement the impotent Minsk Accords, in an effort to show the public they’re doing something in a situation where very little can be accomplished.

 

It’s worth noting that a frozen conflict, which we view as among the best outcomes for the warfare, is no longer a likely scenario. What’s more likely now is a permanent conflict that constantly plays in the background of Ukrainian politics, and just below the radars of the Western media, which is used as a useful geopolitical lever by the Kremlin. Putin will exacerbate and decelerate the conflict in order to achieve his geopolitical goals at any given moment.

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