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    Ukrainian FM Klimkin 'Overestimates the Results of Talks With Trump'

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    The United States is considering increasing pressure over Russia and taking an active role in the Ukrainian settlement, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said, commenting on his visit to Washington. According to experts, Klimkin misinterpreted the results of the talks.

    On Thursday, Klimkin paid a visit to the White House, including speaking with US President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence about the situation in the war-torn Ukrainian region of Donbass.

    "One of the most important political messages was the real intention to be engaged in mounting pressure over Russia. There are some very interesting ideas. I will discuss them only after they are coordinated with our friends," Kilmkin said in an interview with the Ukrainian broadcaster TSN.

    "Of course, there are economic leverage tools and sanctions. But it is only one of the dimensions," he added.

    According to the minister, Washington will coordinate further steps on de-escalation in Donbass with Germany and France.

    In an interview with Radio Sputnik, Russian political analyst Alexander Asafov suggested that Klimkin’s statements about his talks in Washington are nothing but rhetoric.

    "Pavlo Klimkin said there are new ideas of pressure over Russia by the US and other countries. In fact, this is just a figure of speech for his visit. The fact that he was standing by Trump for several minutes does not mean that Klimkin knows US tactic and strategy. Whatever they are no one filled him in on Washington’s goals on Russia during such a short visit," Asafov pointed out.

    According to the expert, the US currently sees Ukraine as a tool to put pressure over Russia.

    "Trump is simply using Ukraine as an argument to prepare for talks with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin. He cannot just give up this trump card which can be used to pressure Russia. But we should pay attention to what [Ukrainian President] Petro Poroshenko said. Yesterday, he expressed regret that the White House has not yet appointed a supervisor on Ukraine," Asafov said.

    According to the expert, Klimkin overestimates the importance of the Ukrainian problem for Washington.

    "He tried to explain his visit to the US with some very important goals achieved. This is not true. I guess Klimkin overestimates the importance of the Ukrainian factor for the US. Of course, it is important as part of a bigger picture for future talks between Washington and Moscow, but it is not of priority importance. As for his statement on France and Germany, he meant that Trump should consider decisions made during the Normandy Four talks. I guess this is what he wanted to say, but he twisted the meaning of the talks with Trump," he said.

    Meanwhile, according to Andrei Sidorov from the world politics department of the Lomonosov Moscow State University, Klimkin’s talks with Trump and Pence will not significantly change Washington’s stance towards Moscow.

    "Sanctions [against Russia] are already in place. They have not been removed. Thus, formally speaking, pressure [on Russia] already exists. What else could they do?" Sidorov told Sputnik.

    According to him, such rhetoric is unlikely to result in a "greater number of sanctions and other hardline moves."

    On the same day Klimkin met with Trump and Pence the US president held talks in Washington with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

    Sidorov pointed out that as the president of a superpower, Trump is interested in the Ukrainian settlement and this is why he wants to work with all parties involved.

    "This is not a policy of double standards. This is rather a signal that the Trump administration still doesn’t have a clear vision of its strategy on Russia," he suggested.

    Commenting on the West’s support for Ukraine, Sidorov noted that currently the US and the European Union are decreasing financial assistance for Kiev.

    "Currently, the West is turning its financial support for Ukraine into moral support. Of course, the West provides significant moral and information support for Kiev, but financial assistance is decreasing. As a result, pressure [on Russia] will continue to remain moral and is unlikely to increase," he said.

     

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    talks, sanctions, Pavlo Klimkin, Donald Trump, United States, Ukraine, Russia
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