Russia’s foreign policy interests are much broader than the primitive desire to occupy Ukraine in a bloody war, political scientist Ojars Skudra told LETA.
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He stressed that even if Russia were to conquer Ukraine, it would still turn into a zone of guerrilla warfare, so Russia’s current foreign policy must be viewed from a much broader perspective than just conquering the territory.
He believes that the meeting of Russian and Ukrainian officials in Paris is clearly a good sign, meaning that Russia is interested in resolving the situation through diplomatic channels.
Ukraine on Thursday welcomed Russia’s plan to resume talks in early February, saying it was “good news” and a sign Moscow wants a diplomatic solution to the current crisis.
On Wednesday, senior Russian and Ukrainian officials met with representatives of France and Germany in Paris.
“The good news is that the advisers have agreed to meet in Berlin within two weeks, which means Russia is likely to remain on diplomatic channels for at least the next two weeks,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleba said after meeting with reporters in Copenhagen his Danish colleague.
Although there are “no significant changes” after Wednesday’s meeting, “the agreement to continue talks is good,” the minister said.
At the same time, he called for strengthening Western military and defense cooperation with Kiev.
“While I’m a big proponent of soft power, I fear this is actually the time to use force,” Kuleba said. “A strong Ukraine is in itself the best deterrent.”
The minister also commended the US government for “consulting with us before talking to the Russians.”
At the same time, Denmark on Thursday announced an aid package for Ukraine worth 550 million kronor (EUR 74 million) from 2022 to 2026.
“Any country can do something if it has the political will, and if it doesn’t, it finds excuses not to do anything,” Kuleb said, hinting at Germany’s refusal to supply arms to Ukraine.
At talks in Paris on Wednesday, Russia and Ukraine agreed that all parties must respect the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine and that new talks will be held in February.
The agreement was reached after more than eight hours of discussion, which was hailed as a “good signal” by a French diplomat.
Russia denies allegations that its troops have invaded Ukraine. According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Moscow is taking a defensive stance over fears that Kiev is getting too close to NATO.
At a December 7 video summit, US President Joe Biden warned Putin that the United States would impose unprecedented sanctions on Russia should it attack Ukraine.