U.S., Russia silent after Belgrade meeting on Ukraine

2017/10/9 15:10:17

Analyst: “…despite Putin's desire to pull out of Ukraine, there is little he can do without seriously damaging his own fortunes, and there is little impetus on any side for a major change from the status quo.”

 


KYIV, Oct 9, 2017 - U.S. special envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker met with the Kremlin's point man on Ukraine, Vladislav Surkov, in Belgrade, Serbia, on Oct. 7. It was the second meeting of the two men tasked with forging an end to the armed conflict in eastern Donbas.

 

RFE/RL reports that Belgrade was chosen as the site of the meeting as Volker had refused to meet in Russia and Surkov could not go to the EU due to Ukraine-related sanctions.

 

The meeting comes after Russian president Vladimir Putin put forward a suggestion that UN peacekeepers be utilized in the conflict, as had been recommended by Ukraine for some time already. However, no details of this meeting have been released.

 

Analyst James Hydzik added: “Very little was expected of the Belgrade meeting, as Putin's UN peacekeeping proposal changed little on the ground. The extent of the differences between the Russian proposal and the previous Ukrainian ones were the subject of an Oct. 7 article in The Economist, which echoes our position that despite Putin's desire to pull out of Ukraine, there is little he can do without seriously damaging his own fortunes, and there is little impetus on any side for a major change from the status quo.”

 

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