To resolve the crisis, the Ukrainian authorities should have agreed to grant autonomy to the Donbass, and they should be persuaded by the leaders of the EU, said the well-known German political scientist Alexander Rahr, commenting on Angela Merkel’s visit to Sochi.

“Once she assumed the role of a lawyer in this [Donbass] conflict. If the Minsk agreements are collapsing, all of her “eastern policy” collapses too. So the Ukrainian question for the German Chancellor is not just a hobby. Another thing is that his decision is possible only in close cooperation with both the Russian and Ukrainian sides. Those who really want to normalize the situation expect Merkel to also go to Kiev and at a meeting with Poroshenko or the Rada to directly say that there is no alternative to Minsk agreements. So, Kiev should grant Donbass autonomy as part of Ukraine. If Germany would have decided to voice such a position, it would be a wise move”, Rahr said.

“I think that the German Chancellor is the most capable of understanding both Russian history and strategic interests more than others. She shouldn’t recognize them, but they must be understood. Do not forget that in 2008 at the Bucharest NATO summit it was Germany who suspended NATO expansion to Georgia and Ukraine, which George W. Bush aimed at with the support of Eastern Europe”, the expert recalled.

However, according to him, “the chancellor of Germany was caught in a vice.”

“On the one hand, she fears that critics will begin to accuse her of “excessive compliance” with Moscow. And such conversations are extremely unprofitable for her, especially since less than half a year remains before the elections. The Chancellor does not want to lose points on this. On the other hand, such a politician as Merkel should take into account the interests of Germany, which lie in the plane of normalizing relations with Russia”, the political scientist explained.

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