August 22, 2017

Another attempt of peaceful settlement in Syria once again turned out to be nondurable. Scarcely had the UN reported the reduced level of violence through ceasefire when Syrian cities were caught in fire. The bombing hit an aid convoy at Aleppo the movement of which was coordinated by all the parts of the conflict.

Syrian campaign shows that arrangements are far from being respected by all parties. Russia keeps demonstrating its military force and despite of concluded truce, expresses its absolute indifference both to international law and measures introduced by Europe as a response to the aggression.

In circumstances when the conflict at the Middle East has been escalated the situation in Ukraine falls by the wayside. One would think, the conflict passed the critical phase becoming long-running and news headlines from Donbass don’t thrill public so often. Indeed, establishing of peace, though relative, is the aim pursued by European politicians. Today Europe and the USA are far more concerned with internal problems: migration crisis, as well as series of parliamentary and presidential elections scheduled for autumn. It is no surprise that in such situation European politicians hesitate whether it is reasonable to continue sanction policy and whether there is a need in sanctions against Russia. Many states are far more interested in developing trade and peaceful cooperation than being lost in local infighting which without affecting them directly inflict appreciable damage to economy.

However, as the actions of the Russian troops in Syria shows, ceasefire in Ukraine is also delusive. Overt and cynical violation of arrangements in the Middle East throws into confusion all civilized world. Europe has repeatedly come up with the fact that Kremlin is unreliable partner in peaceful settlement matters and the latest events in Syria serve an additional confirmation of it. What then may serve as evidence that temporary peace in Donbass presages the final settlement rather than lull before the storm? Peace in Russian terms lasts shorter than negotiations on its setting and it seems that the USA and Europe become realizing that effective cooperation with Russia is a losing tactics.

All one can do is acknowledge how reasonable were the words of Otto von Bismarck, who had stated yet in 19th century that agreements with Russia are not worth the paper they are written on.

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