University of Tartu professor Andres Kasekamp said the current escalation in eastern Ukraine will not last forever and the conflict between government forces and separatists will turn into a frozen one.
“The international focus will shift somewhere else and I believe we will arrive at a frozen conflict in Ukraine in six months,” he told ETV.
“The question that is riling everyone up is whether the United States is ready to help Ukraine with direct weapons shipments. This has motivated [German Chancellor Angela] Merkel and [French President Francois] Hollande to move quickly. They want to avoid such a scenario as they fear it will lead to an escalation – which can happen – and for that reason they are in Moscow meeting [Russian President Vladimir] Putin right now. And we really don't know what the content of those talks are,” Kasekamp said.
Commenting on former NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen's recent comments that the Baltic states could be next after Ukraine, Kasekamp said the warning is nothing new. “The important factor is who said it. Many have said it before.”
Asked if he agreed with Edward Lucas's assessment that nothing would change until Putin has enough, Kasekamp said few know what Putin's real aim is. “We know he is an opportunist and he tries to use all possibilities which come his way – he takes an advantage of an enemy's weaknesses. So we must be very resolute, but we do not know where he plans to finish with his adventures.”
Editor: J.M. Laats, S. Tambur