At the end of August, President Volodymyr Zelensky will begin a real foreign policy suffering. On August 22, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will fly to Kiev. The Crimean Platform summit will open the next day.
The date of the visit is striking. Merkel arrives on the eve of the Crimean Platform summit (to which the Ukrainian authorities pay great attention) and, apparently, flies away on the same day, without staying for the event itself. And this is unlikely to please the host side, no matter what Merkel speaks about Crimea at a meeting with Zelensky.
“Merkel’s participation in the Crimean Platform would be a stone in Putin’s garden. It would greatly worsen relations between Berlin and Moscow, which Merkel, even being a” lame duck “, is not ready to do,” Mikhail Pogrebinsky comments to “Strana”.
But even in her current status, Merkel wants to try to break the deadlock in the process of resolving the conflict in Donbass, the expert said.
Merkel will come to persuade
Press Secretary of the President Sergei Nikiforov officially confirmed the information about the impending visit of the Federal Chancellor of Germany on August 22. “Topics of negotiations: security, bilateral relations and other topical issues,” Nikiforov said on his Facebook page.
“The thematic content of the visit is quite transparent. These are issues related to negotiations on peace in Donbass and security in a broader sense, including in the gas sector,” added Mikhail Podolyak, adviser to the head of the OP.
Zelensky will probably hear firsthand about the nuances of concluding a deal between Berlin and Washington on the Nord Stream-2 (SP-2) gas pipeline, which Kiev received with hostility. And this topic, most likely, will definitely sound in the negotiations with Biden.
The Ukrainian side, although it declares that it will continue to fight against the launch of Nord Stream 2, in fact, obviously, counts on an increase in compensation for its launch.
And the West, in turn, is interested in the “reforms” they demanded, strengthening US and EU control over the judicial system and law enforcement agencies, as well as the issue of relations with Russia and the situation in Donbass.
In turn, political scientist Vadim Karasev believes that Merkel’s “consolatory after the SP-2 deal” will pursue two goals – to insist on the need for Kiev to implement the Minsk agreements, starting with the prescription of the Steinmeier formula in the legislation, and to try to remove anti-German sentiments in the Ukrainian establishment and in general, Eastern Europe because of the consent to the completion of the gas pipeline.
But experts doubt that these tasks of the visit will be fulfilled.
“Merkel in vain hopes for positive signals from the Ukrainian side. Zelensky, responding to the threats of nationalists, will not move from the position of covert resistance to the course of” Minsk “. He closed the possibility of dialogue with Moscow. After his last interview (where he called on those who” love Russia ” , to leave for the Russian Federation – Ed.) there he is an unmanaged figure. ”And in this regard, by the way, Merkel is also unlikely to change anything: for Putin she has already“ left ”, – political scientist Pogrebinsky comments.