Analyst: “…we see little prospects for a diplomatic breakthrough and a greater likelihood of worsening tensions.
Photo: The Secretary of State arrives in Moscow, greeted by Ambassador John Tefft, who was previously the United States ambassador to Ukraine
WASHINGTON/KYIV, Apr 12, 2017 - U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will visit Moscow today to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Concorde Capital informed clients in an online advisory earlier today. They will discuss the political situation in Syria and Ukraine, among other key topics of concern. Ahead of the meeting, U.S. President Trump said the U.S. is not conducting a full-scale invasion of Syria, despite Tillerson stating last week that the U.S. will be acting to replace Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad.
Tillerson had a phone consultation with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on April 11, during which Tillerson reiterated U.S. support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity, as well as the fulfillment of the Minsk Accords, including a total ceasefire, reported the Presidential Administration’s website. Tillerson also stressed that no trades would be conducted to resolve the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria. They agreed on the need to maintain sanctions until Ukraine’s territorial integrity is fully restored.
Concorde analyst Zenon Zawada added: “Today’s meeting will mark a critical moment in U.S.-Russia relations. In light of Tillerson’s statements. Geopolitical trades were the single instrument that Trump could have used to reach some agreement on peace with Putin. With Tillerson taking that option off the table, he will be very restricted in any efforts to convince Putin to end the warfare in Ukraine and Syria. We don’t expect he will convince Putin to stop backing Assad.
“It’s significant and symbolic that Tillerson conducted a phone conversation with Poroshenko on the eve of his visit to Moscow. We see this gesture as part of Trump abandoning the isolationist foreign policy he declared during his presidential campaign towards an awkward balance with the neo-conservative wing of the Republican Party. This transition is being influenced by Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and close advisor. Today’s meeting will indicate whether the awkward balance will lead to a full embrace of neo-conservative foreign policy, which is based on expanding Western influence and values into the non-Western world.