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WSJ: the US will figure out Russia’s readiness to stop war in Donbass

WSJ: США выяснят готовность РФ прекратить войну в ДонбассеVolker look, the Kremlin is ready to get the ball rolling, the newspaper said.

When on Monday, the U.S. envoy Kurt Volker will meet with his Russian counterpart to try to restore peace in Eastern Ukraine, sit in front of him is not an ordinary diplomat. Vladislav Surkov, an influential adviser to the Kremlin, which, according to the ex-militant leaders and officials, played a major role in the promotion, organization and management of Pro-Russian separatists in the Donbass. This is stated in the article, James Marson, political columnist of the newspaper The Wall Street Journal.

The author reminds that participation in the annexation of Crimea, a top adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin is under sanctions by the US and the EU.

“Putin – the father of the separatists, and marmots – their babysitter,” the WSJ quoted former head of the SBU Valentin Nalyvaychenko, who held this position in the first 15 months of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

After the Russian invasion in August of 2014 and the first Minsk agreements Surkov went to Donetsk to talk to local leaders about the new conditions and to check the work done. At the meeting, willing to continue fighting warlords Surkov retorted in response to criticism of the agreements of Minsk: “What’s the alternative? Go and fight if you want. Let’s see how long you can last” – the words of Putin aide another action, at the time, “the head of the security forces” Andrey Pinchuk.

Again, says the WSJ, citing Pinchuk, Surkov arrived in Donetsk in February 2015 – after the second Minsk agreement to resolve a conflict between two local warlords and visit advanced.

“The peace agreement has largely frozen the front, but did not stop clashes at some points. Despite protracted negotiations mediated by European officials, progress on the part of the political reintegration of the region is small. In 2016 Surkov met for a breakthrough in the situation with top state Department diplomat Victoria Nuland and he is still linked to militants. Last November in Moscow, Surkov was a guest at meeting ex-Russian “militias”, judging by the photos and the words of two of the leaders of the separatists. His talks with Nuland, according to friends with them people, seem to have led to some progress towards the potential return of border control to Kiev, but everything came to a halt when the trump won the election and Nuland went to the office,” writes the author.

Russia says that she has influence over the separatists, but denies that it can control them, and tries to present the conflict as a “civil war,” writes columnist.

“But many on both sides of the longstanding conflict, and observers from the West, confident that the goal of Russia is much larger. They say that in fact Moscow wants to exchange the peace in Ukraine on guarantees of Kiev on neslaganje with the West and the easing of international sanctions,” the article says.

According to the WSJ, citing the words of one of the former leaders of insurgents Alexei Alexandrov, who lives in Crimea and claims that the Kremlin “left”, all the separatist movement is just a bargaining chip in the geopolitical game with Moscow. And while the Kremlin will not receive his, he would continue to add fuel to the fire of the stagnating conflict in order to destabilize the situation in Ukraine, the publication adds, according to Nalyvaichenko.

“The authorities in the U.S. and Europe say they won’t negotiate (with Russia – ed.) about political options of Kiev. The Russian invasion turned the Ukrainians against Russia, polls show, and this makes any political concessions to Moscow is impossible for Kiev”, – said the author.

According to Marson, Surkov did not answer the questions that were directed to a press-service of the Kremlin.

When 21 August Minsk will host a meeting of representatives of Russia and the USA, the Walker will try to find out, the Kremlin is ready to depart from the current status quo and find a solution on the conflict, told the WSJ anonymous official in Washington.

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