Prospects of lifting the sanctions against Russia become more entrenched, as political divisions in the Ukrainian leadership make it unable to fulfil its part of the Minsk agreements, according to Bloomberg. According to the authors of the material Henry Meyer and Ilya Arkhipov, the situation is aggravated by the renewed criticism of Russia’s actions in Syria.
The article notes that the deterioration in the prospects for a weakening of the sanction had at a very bad time for Moscow, as oil prices continue to fall and the country facing the longest recession in two decades. In 2016, according to analysts surveyed by Bloomberg, Russia’s GDP will decrease by 0.7% and the economic recession will last for the second year in a row.
The President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko is concerned about economic problems and disagreements in government, but because, apparently, not able to meet the obligations on granting greater autonomy to Russian-speaking regions in the East of the country, according to the material Agency. According to a senior source in the presidential administration in Kiev, Poroshenko failed to garner a two-thirds parliamentary majority for constitutional reform, as three of the four parties forming the ruling coalition, oppose it.
Additional complexity in the internal politics of Ukraine caused the resignation in early February the Minister of economic development and trade of Aivaras of Abromavicius, who said that his efforts to fight corruption were sabotaged, the authors note.
At the end of last year the representative of Russia in the contact group on settling the situation in Ukraine was appointed by former speaker of the state Duma Boris Gryzlov. In January he met with Poroshenko, and then followed a series of negotiations with the participation of France, Germany and Ukraine.
In late January — early February, several high-ranking Western politicians have hinted at the possibility of lifting or easing of sanctions. U.S. Secretary of state John Kerry, speaking in Davos, admitted the possibility of the implementation of the Minsk agreements in the coming months, which would have opened the way for the lifting of sanctions with Russia. Following this, the Minister of economy of France Emmanuel macron expressed hope that sanctions will be lifted “this summer”.
The French position was confirmed by agriculture Minister Stephane Le Foll said Paris would welcome the abolition of restrictions. “Of course, I really want the lifting of sanctions, French President françois Hollande wants it, and all the government shares this point of view,” the Minister said.
The last of the politicians on 4 February about the prospects of lifting the sanctions, said Prime Minister of the German land of Bavaria Horst Seehofer. He said that “in the foreseeable future, the sanctions will be lifted”, adding that in the matter of implementation of the Minsk agreements must be “soberly assess the situation”.
Hopes for cooperation between Russia and the West were broken after the failure of negotiations to resolve the crisis in Syria and the increasing number of refugees due to the onset of the government troops with the support of Russian aviation, according to Bloomberg. Sunday, February 8, Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel said that she was “not shocked and appalled” by the human suffering caused by the Russian offensive and the bombardment.
Press Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov, commenting on the statement by the head of the German government, said the lack of reliable evidence about the victims of Russian air strikes on the civilian population. “As for the words of the Chancellor on the alleged casualties in the air strikes by the Russian Air-space, then certainly we should pay attention to the fact that despite the huge number of such statements until now nobody had presented any credible evidence these words,” he said.
The European Union, extend the sanctions for another six months pending the implementation of the Minsk agreements, will have to return to this issue in June. Us sanctions indefinite and does not require constant renewal. They may be revoked by the decision of the White house.
Bloomberg sources in the Russian government privately told us that they did not expect a breakthrough in the Ukrainian direction. A senior European diplomat in Moscow told the Agency about the skeptical attitude to the progress of negotiations without reaching a significant compromise, noted the desire of the Russian side to the lifting of sanctions.
The desire of Moscow to end the sanctions stated and analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. “The brutal economic reality makes the reset of relations with the West the subject absolutely necessary for Russia”, — said a senior economist of the analytical Agency IHS Global Insight Lilit Gevorgyan. Given the fact that large companies cut off from international financing, and energy sector restrictions, Russia “really need” for sanctions to be lifted, said Nomura International analyst Tim ash.
In the coming weekend in Munich will host the annual security conference, which will be attended by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. On the sidelines of the forum topic the implementation of the Minsk agreements will try to promote the U.S. and European States, writes Bloomberg. The Agency notes that Merkel and Hollande, which helped to achieve the Minsk agreements are pessimistic about the prospects for their implementation.