11:55 Oct. 11, 2016
"The American side is trying to get a deal done with Russia before Obama leaves office," top Ukrainian official says. "And next year there could be a completely new Europe
The shaky cease-fire in eastern Ukraine has reached a "tipping point," a high-level Ukrainian government official says.
The official's comments underscore how geopolitical events—from the war in Syria to the rise of nationalist parties across Europe—have tested international resolve to maintain sanctions on Russia.
"There is no alternative" to the current cease-fire, the official said during a closed-door meeting Wednesday in Kyiv with a small group of foreign journalists, including one for The Daily Signal. The official spoke on condition of anonymity due to diplomatic concerns.
"The conflict in the Donbas could be resolved very easily," the official said, referring to Ukraine's embattled southeastern region on the border with Russia. "It's up to Russia … but you can't be so naïve to think that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin will relinquish control of the Donbas. He wants to show that Ukraine is a failed state."
Russia has been a party to the cease-fire's inception and implementation, even though the Kremlin insists Russian troops are not involved in combat operations in Ukraine.
Ukrainian diplomats and lawmakers are increasingly worried that European and American allies will prioritize Russian cooperation in Syria over resolving the conflict in Ukraine.