Washington fears that Ukraine is nearing a political implosion, an article in Politico read. Privately, US officials have said that a government collapse in Ukraine could make implementing the Minsk agreements impossible, at least before President Barack Obama departs the White House.
The process to implement the deal reached by Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany was initially supposed to be completed by the end of 2015.
"The worst thing that could happen right now is for the government to collapse and to have new election because everything will spin into chaos, and the whole system will get locked up," an unnamed administration official told Politico.
The government nearly collapsed in the beginning of 2016, but Yatsenyuk managed to repel calls for his resignation from President Petro Poroshenko and nearly survived a no confidence vote in parliament. But Poroshenko is barely more popular than Yatsenyuk. According to the article, that was a concern for Biden who said he spent thousands of hours talking to Ukrainian leaders by phone.
"Our message, is you have to have a government that functions. You can’t have disarray. Otherwise, support from the international community is going to evaporate. So that’s the main point: 'You guys have got to figure this out,'" a US official was quoted by Politico.
According to Moscow’s ambassador to Washington Sergei Kislyak, Kiev is not implementing its share of the Minsk agreements. This position is also gaining support across Europe.
"The implementation of Minsk now is more or less frozen," a European diplomat told Politico. "Unfortunately, the Ukrainians are now actually carrying a big part of the responsibility of the blockage, because of the crisis in Kiev."
Difficulties with the implementation of the Minsk agreements surfaced when the Ukrainian parliament made an attempt to pass measures to guarantee autonomous status for Donbass territories controlled by independence supporters. Violent protests broke out in Kiev, leaving several people dead, the article read.
"Minsk is now in tatters. Western attention at the highest level is gone due to the migration crisis and the Obama administration's priorities lying elsewhere," said Andrew Weiss, a former Clinton White House national security aide. "The whole thing just looks really messy."