Kerry and sanctions



Analysis & Opinion

Article by: Vitaliy Portnikov

The US Secretary of State John Kerry has spoken about the possible lifting of sanctions against Russia in the next several months if there is full and comprehensive implementation of the Minsk agreements.

This statement by John Kerry has given rise to numerous interpretations, even speculation that the sanctions against Russia will be lifted. However, the wishes of the US administration are not sufficient reason to believe that the Minsk agreements will be implemented.

Of course, Barack Obama would love to finish his term in office as a successful president. The politician who began his White House tenure with a Nobel Peace Prize simply cannot leave unresolved conflicts for his successor. This is why it is so important for Obama to stabilize relations with Iran and to lift sanctions against that country. For him, that kind of resolution is proof that complex security problems can be resolved without war.

In this manner Obama is demonstrating a different approach from that of his predecessor, George W. Bush. And if a “hot” conflict with Iran takes place after all it will be seen as the result of the short-sighted policies of future US presidents. Obama would never admit that this conflict could result from his own mistakes. Obama would like to use a similar approach with Russia. To use only sanctions — “soft power” — to force Russia to give up further expansion in Ukraine and to leave the Donbas. Even if it is only a formality. But Obama would be able to demonstrate once again that it is possible to negotiate even with such people as Putin. That it is even possible to influence them.

This, of course, implies more pressure on Ukraine to fulfill the Minsk agreements. But it does not mean that we have to give in to this pressure. Because I am convinced that Putin will not give Obama any opportunities. Putin will never agree to leave the Donbas on US terms. Only on his own. And for Obama to agree to these terms would mean to lose face instead of demonstrating success. The most recent negotiations between Vladislav Surkov and Victoria Nuland have demonstrated that once again.

This would be true even if the Europeans end up demonstrating “absence of unity” and remove sanctions against Russia and even in the event that the Minsk agreements are conditionally implemented without returning control of the border to Ukraine. The Americans will be able to agree to lift sanctions only when Ukraine really does regain control of the Donbas. John Kerri knows this very well and understands that lifting sanctions is not that simple.

Translated by: Anna Mostovych
Source: Espreso TV

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  • Oknemfrod

    Not sure how much John Kerry really “understands”. He appears to be interested only in attaining some formal peace agreement, no matter how essentially empty, that would allow him to get a shot at his own Nobel Peace Prize, the real interests and well-being of Ukraine be damned.

  • Dirk Smith

    Further evidence of the overall ineptitude of this failed administration once again ‘kicking the can’ down the road to avoid handling a critically serious situation. This fraudulent administration has enabled the gay dwarf to become the monster he now is. Removal of the missiles in Poland/Czech Republic, their “reset” with fascist ruSSia, and Odumba’s open microphone with Medvedev confirms this naive policy of appeasement. Had Mitt Romney won the election in 2012, we definitely wouldn’t be where we are now; which is reliving 1938.

  • Rods

    Firstly, what must be understood is that US political ambitions by individuals or parties may or may not coincide with what is right and acceptable for the independent, free, democratic, and brave Ukrainians. Ukrainians must decide and set their own agenda. Don’t let the US or anybody else ‘sell down the road’. You and your children’s and grandchildren’s futures, deserves much better, where the international politicians act, for their own political expediency and popularity, and for winning their elections! What is very apparent for all Western politicians is that all that counts is their own domestic popularity and their subsequent population’s votes. Ukraine and any other country is essentially irrelevant as you can’t vote in their elections!

    Personally, the amoral stance by Obama, Kerry, Nuland, Cameron, Hollande and especially Merkel, disgusts me, where to all of them it is acceptable for a foreign country to invade Ukraine and murder over 9000 or your population and it is business as usual. Germany thinks it is entirely acceptable to sell over €100m of arms, to Russia, to potentially help with further killing while operating as a ‘peacemaker’. This is the caliber of politicians that Ukrainians is having to deal with and is likely to rebound on western politicians in the future, but as your history illustrates only too well at a great cost to your people.

    To me what has been equally slow and totally unacceptable is the slow response by your politicians and corrupt officials to an invasion of your country and an absolute priority in robustly in providing training and equipment at all levels in defending Ukraine against this cruel foe. In so many levels this sadly has all the characteristics of the farce and novel by George Bernard Shaw “Arms and the man” and the operetta “The Chocolate Man”. Your brave defenders deserve better, with your brave Cossack traditions and so many outstanding brave actions, exemplified by the Cyborgs at Donetsk airport.

    I know from contact with your armed forces that things are still negatively bad for them despite the outstanding efforts and wonderful generosity from so many of the civilian population is time of personal hardship for themselves, where the government’s continued selfish response is woeful.

    It is a personal sadness, to me, that as a country and people, you deserve better, than the way the domestic or international politicians have treated you and your country. Unfortunately, this means that you are largely standing alone in ultimately standing up individually and collectively as a men and women to demand the best for you and Ukraine. Stay steadfast to what must be done and you will prevail.

    Glory to Ukraine.

  • Czech Mate

    I don’t think that Kerry really “understands” … if you get my drift. It usually is a sign of totalitarian states or corrupt regimes who can afford such incompetent characters in position of power because the real power is concentrated in the hands of the very few at the top.

    Everything has been said below and before here. I am just extremely angry how Obama prepared the world stage for future disaster making sure he won’t be part of it anymore.

    If you don’t want wars and military resolutions to various conflicts and standoffs (which in itself seems only right) then you have to be ready still. You have to be ready to SHOW the bastards the real stick and your willingness to use it, especially when they’re laughing at your face while you dangle that oh so sweet carrot in front of them…

    Keep calm and Kerry on, brothers!