Actually, the West has all the necessary levers of pressure on the Ukrainian leadership to begin to resolve the armed conflict in the Donbass, the German political scientist Andreas Umland said.
At the same time, he assures that Western leaders do not fully understand the situation in Ukraine in their attempts to push Kiev towards compromises. The expert drew attention to the fact that French President Emmanuel Macron and White House head Donald Trump are now coming to the fore in the Donbass settlement, although Berlin, according to him, has always been very interested in the Ukrainian situation, and this will not change even with the departure from politics of Angela Merkel.
“Today, we are observing Washington’s activity, although there, as you can see, there is confusion in the form of Trump’s statements about returning to the G8 with the participation of Russia and the tough position of Congress, both parties”, – Umland explains.
At the same time, he believes that the main problem is that the Western approach on the Ukrainian issue may simply not be accepted by citizens of Ukraine itself: “You can build on what Zelensky wants and what he doesn’t want, his team is ready to compromise with Moscow or not, but there is a peculiarity – Ukrainians will not accept significant compromises”.
In this regard, he recalled the protests organized by the radicals in Kiev near the walls of the Ukrainian parliament in 2015, when they considered a bill on the special status of Donbass. Umland believes that this protest was precisely the will of the people, and not a planned action. Moreover, he does not rule out that the situation could be repeated, if the new Ukrainian leadership will try to go for a settlement of the armed conflict.
“The West has enough tools [pressure] at its disposal: IMF tranches, European support, diplomatic onslaught”, – he concludes. “However, in Ukraine there are enough people who disagree with such compromises and will go to the streets with weapons in their hands”.