Ukrainian intelligence chief explains why US and Russia have stopped Donbas negotiations

The Kremlin has decided to stop negotiations on the Donbas and to push for better conditions because the Normandy Format countries and the US have not agreed to Russia’s demands, Ukraine’s former foreign intelligence chief Nikolai Malomuzh said in an interview with InfoResist news outlet.

“In this situation they [the Russian government] have decided to raise the stakes, so to speak, in the geopolitical game, in view of the fact that there needs to be a stronger argument for continuing the dialogue again, but now in a new format,” Malomuzh said.

Malomuzh noted that Russia is still in negotiations concerning other problematic issues, such as Syria and Iran, i.e. “the world’s extremely sore problems. They feel that the US, Europe and other countries are currently very concerned by other problems. These are nuclear programs: North Korea, of course, where the process is already underway, Iran accordingly, and Syria. And Ukraine is somewhere between tenth and twentieth place”.

The expert believes that if, for example, Russia reaches an agreement with Germany and France concerning Iran, then in future the Kremlin will be able to raise the issue of the Minsk process on more favorable terms.

Malomuzh is also of the opinion that a freezing of the conflict is now taking place in the Donbas. However, he says that Ukraine is not trying to deal with the matter in other ways, but has stopped with the Minsk process.

“Because not much depends on our geopolitical game. This all could have been when the issue concerned systematic violations when Crimea was annexed or the war directly in the Donbas, or the shooting down of the Boeing. That is, there were arguments for the consolidation of the large countries. Today we have very few of them, and the president is taking a tactical stance,” he said.

The cessation of negotiations and the use of another tactic in the Donbas could be related to Moscow’s negative reaction to the negotiations of Poroshenko, Merkel and Macron.

Earlier, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin announced that Russia and the US would be taking a break in their discussions on the Donbas.

  Donbas, Normandy Format, USA, Russia