Ukraine as bargaining tool: Putin offering Obama deal on Ukraine - Times

18:04 Aug. 18, 2016

Putin offering Obama deal on Ukraine - Times

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and U.S. President Barack Obama, rear, attend the COP21 UN Conference on Climate Change in Paris, Nov. 30, 2015 (AP photo)

A step back from Ukraine in exchange for restraint of Russia's courtship with Turkey

Russia is trying to negotiate with the United States on Ukraine before the election of a new American president, Roger Boyes writes in his article titled "Vultures are circling for lame-duck Obama" published by The Times  on August 17.

"The Kremlin leader appears to favour Donald Trump, if only on the grounds that he would "normalise" relations with Moscow, but may now be calculating that Hillary Clinton will win. That would signal a tougher line on Ukraine," says the article.

Read also Ukraine's Ambassador struggles to stay silent about Donald Trump

"He thus hopes to strike a deal with Obama in these last few months. This could be something along the lines of: step back from Ukraine and we will restrain our courtship with Turkey.

Moscow calculates that the US cares more about keeping Turkey firmly inside NATO than it does about maintaining a stand-off over the illegal annexation of Crimea. And all the signals from western Europe at the moment are that the Europeans care more about Recep Tayyip Erdogan honouring his migration pact than about speeding Ukraine's access to the EU," Boyes goes on to say.

"Perhaps Obama won't be sufficiently interested in such a trade-off; his time is running out fast.

Putin knows that it would be worth making a pitch, though. Didn't Ronald Reagan make effective use of his lame-duck period by talking to Mikhail Gorbachev in a way that laid the foundation for the end of the Cold War?" concludes the author.

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