The Ukrainian leadership has found itself left out in the cold by its Western partners, who are going to hold the talks regarding the future of Donbass without Kiev, Kost Bondarenko, head of the Ukrainian Policy Institute, believes.
"[The West] has repeatedly demonstrated goodwill in negotiations with Poroshenko, trying to persuade him to settle the conflict in Donbass within the framework of the Minsk agreements… Now, perhaps, another scenario would be brought to the table, similar to that of Dayton [Agreement]. That means that big global players may recognize the Ukrainian leadership as uncooperative and endorse their own plan to resolve the crisis, which they will bring [then] to Kiev's attention. And will oblige Kiev to fulfill it," Bondarenko told Nezavisimaya Gazeta.
The Dayton Agreement was signed in Paris on December 14, 1995 to bring an end to the Bosnian War. In accordance with the agreement Bosnia was preserved as a single state made up of two parts — the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina and of the Republika Srpska, with Sarajevo as the capital. Furthermore, a 60-thousand-strong NATO contingent was deployed in the region to ensure the fulfillment of the peace accord.
In an interview with Svobodnaya Pressa Andrei Manoylo, a member of the scientific committee of the Security Council of Russia, echoed the Ukrainian analyst, suggesting that the "Dayton scenario" could be implemented in Ukraine.
"The resolution of the Ukrainian problem under the Dayton scheme is very plausible. But I don't think it would envision the creation of a federation or confederation like Bosnia and Herzegovina… If a version of Dayton begins to take shape in Ukraine, Europeans might offer to divide Ukraine into "zones of responsibility," Manoylo noted, suggesting that each zone could be controlled by either an individual European state or a group of states.
According to the Russian scholar, German Chancellor Merkel and French President Hollande are incapable of making independent decisions regarding Ukraine's fate.
Gusev believes that European powers would neither deploy peacekeepers in Ukraine, nor propose new versions of a peace agreement, since it is Washington who plays the first fiddle in the region with US Vice President Joseph Biden as regional "moderator."
On the other hand, Washington's focus has been currently shifted from the Ukrainian affairs to the US presidential campaign. The American foreign policy course toward Ukraine will depend much on who will win the White House in November — Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. In any event it is clear that Biden will no longer be in charge of Ukraine, the Russian scholar noted.
However, Gusev agreed with Bondarenko that both Brussels and Washington have grown tired of Kiev.
To complicate matters further, the Ukrainian state is close to bankruptcy, and neither Washington nor Brussels wants to take the burden of keeping the Ukrainian economy afloat, he added.
Remarkably, Washington's growing irritation with the Ukrainian government has surfaced in the Pentagon's advice "not to chase unicorns" given to Poroshenko. The remark came as a response to the Ukrainian president's statement that he "doesn't rule out" a full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine.
"What we don't see (is) this unicorn a lot of people are chasing, this idea that there's some massive short-term build up or movement about to happen," Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said, as quoted by AFP.
Fred Wier of the Christian Science Monitor underscores that "the [country's] economy remains stagnant, the fight against corruption and behind-the-scenes oligarchic rule has shown little progress, and there are ubiquitous signs that public patience is running out."
The war in eastern Ukraine remains the most worrisome problem, "highlighted by 76 percent of respondents in a recent Kiev International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) poll," Wier stresses.
Citing the KIIS survey, the journalist also calls attention to the fact that only 14 percent of Ukrainians trust the leadership of Poroshenko, while 68 percent think the state of economy is bad, and 76 percent believe that the country is headed "in the wrong direction."
"Another red flag is that support for joining the European Union — the signature goal of the Maidan Revolution — has fallen to less than half, 46 percent, while the idea of joining NATO is at 44 percent of respondents," Weir emphasizes.