Hurt: the West should build common Russia policy
Deputy Director of the International Center for Defense and Security Martin Hurt said he has no high hopes for new talks on Ukraine in Minsk as Western nations do not have a common, long-term policy towards Russia.
“Germany and France would probably rather see an end to the military conflict than sees Ukraine restore its territorial integrity, including over the Crimea,” he told ETV on Tuesday morning.
He said it has already been voiced that the main aim is to stop the fighting. “That does not necessarily mean parliament and government in Ukraine and Kyiv should be swapped out, but what it does mean is that the eastern areas are lost and so is Crimea.”
Hurt said Russia has so far been successful in the war and it has no reason to push for peace, adding that Ukraine has not yet lost the fight.
“I personally believe nothing good will become of it and the agreement will not hold. Why should the future agreement hold if the Minsk Protocol failed and no cease-fire ever arrived?” Hurt said.
He said that Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande have to be seemed to be doing all they can before they can move on to the next options, which would probably mean the tightening of sanctions, not weapons for Ukraine.
“Currently it is Russia who is running the show and who is active. Western nations are responsive. In that sense, it would be useful for the European Union and Nato to work out a common Russia policy.
EU foreign ministers agreed on Monday to postpone new sanctions until Wednesday, February 18, so as not to affect this week's talks in Minsk.
Speaking about possible weapons aid to Ukraine, Lithuanian FM Linas Linkevičius said that Ukraine is faced with an outside enemy who has already answered a similar question and has sent weapons. “High tech and heavy weapons, it is cynical that this is taking place during talks,” he said.
Philip Hammond, the UK's foreign secretary, said his country currently has no plans to send weapons to Ukraine, prefering more sanctions instead.
Keit Pentus-Rosimannus, the Estonian FM, said the decision to postpone sanctions was made by Ukraine. She said the new sanctions blacklist more people, including a few who are very close to Russian head Vladimir Putin.