Home Editorial Will the conflict in Eastern Ukraine hamper efforts to improve US relations with Russia?

Will the conflict in Eastern Ukraine hamper efforts to improve US relations with Russia?

COMMENTARY 23.10.2017

US relations with Russia are still hampered by conflicts in Eastern Ukraine. Recent developments show that the United States will still impose sanctions on Russia before it withdraws its troops from Eastern Ukraine.

Armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine has been going on since 7 April 2014. The war in Eastern Ukraine occurs as a civil war between Ukrainian troops and the forces of the People's Republic of Donetsk (DNR) and People's Republic of Lugansk (LNR) which proclaimed its independence from Ukraine. The battle briefly subsided on February 12, 2015. After the situation improved, a volatile battle occurred again since Russia sent its troops.

A statement on the continuing sanctions against Russia came after President Donald Trump on Tuesday met with Ukrainian President, Poroschenko. Following the meeting, the US Treasury announced the addition of sanctions that include banning individuals or US entities from doing business with the defense, intelligence, mining, shipping and rail industries, and restrictions on cooperation with Russian banks and energy companies.

Responding to Washington's statement, the Russian government responded with a challenging statement. In addition to ignoring the latest sanctions imposed, Russia said it would reply to US action.

Russian government Spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, as reported by the Russian news agency -TASS said that the additional sanction from the US is not very constructive. The Kremlin also thinks that Washington does not want to really solve the problem in Ukraine.

The confrontation of this statement reminds us to the past cold war between the Soviet Union and the United States. However, the current geo-political atmosphere will certainly not be possible to restore the cold war in the past.

For a few days ahead, we are very likely to see diplomatic steps between Washington and the Kremlin, related to efforts to improve relations between the two, as both Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin have stated.

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