Kremlin wants to freeze Donbas conflict to use it as pressure upon Kyiv, - former U.S. Ambassador Pifer

The Kremlin does not want to implement the Minsk agreements.

This was announced by former U.S. Ambassador in Ukraine Steven Pifer in an interview to LigaBusinessInform,Censor.NET reports.

Pifer said that it was difficult for him as an expert to imagine the Minsk agreements implemented. The stance of Russia demonstrates that Russians do not want to implement the Minsk II agreement. They would like to preserve the conflict in the Donbas in order to put pressure upon Kyiv, Pifer believes. In addition, rebel leaders in Donetsk and Luhansk say they are not ready to restore Ukraine's political sovereignty, the expert noted, while this is the whole point of the Minsk agreements, which are the only political agreement available at the moment. So, Pifer said, the Minsk should still be attempted to implement, but with modest expectations.

Read more: If Ukraine engages in political games instead of reforms, the West may turn away from it, - Steven Pifer

Former Ambassador said that Russia has possibilities to both increase and decrease pressure in the Donbas using military instruments. The goal of Russian Federation, according to Pifer, is to put pressure on Kyiv to make it more difficult for its government to implement reforms and the Association agreement with the EU. Russia, he said, would possibly not push it to far, being afraid of additional sanctions by the West. However, the possibility of increased pressure by Russia in Ukraine is open, Pifer added.Источник: https://censor.net.ua/en/n384883