Russia has underestimated the unity of the EU member states to step up against Russian aggression, says Merle Maigre, the security adviser to President Toomas Hendrik Ilves.
She told ETV's “Välisilm” that Europe has been resolute in its reactions to Russian interference in Ukraine. She said she hopes Thursday's meeting of EU foreign minister will continue the line.
After talk of elevating sanctions, new limits on Russia could be on the cards instead, after the fresh attacks.
Speaking about the new push by the separatists, Maigre said the conflict has morphed from a hybrid war into a conventional war. "A new aspect of the conflict is a psychological side, to scare and be brutal,” she said, pointing to the attacks on civilians in Mariupol.
Russia's long-term aim is not to conquer Crimea or even the Donets Basin region, but to control Kyiv, she said, adding that she would not be surprised if Moscow were to drop the conflict in Ukraine for control over the government in Kyiv.
Maigre said Russia is pressing for direct talks between the separatists and the Ukrainian government as then Russia can say it is a civil war and nothing else.
Editor: J.M. Laats