Experts: West to drop Russia sanctions despite Minsk deal
Foreign leaders are guided by the interests of big Western business.
The West is interested in lifting sanctions from Russia but does not have enough leverage to ensure the implementation of the Minsk agreements on a Donbas settlement, Gorshenin Institute's experts have said in the article entitled "Crisis in heads" and published on LB.ua.
They noted that most complaints about the non-implementation of the Minsk agreements are addressed to Ukraine whereas none of the parties had implemented at least one provision of the agreements.
What is most important for the West is to remove the Ukraine factor from its relations with Russia, the experts concluded.
While putting pressure on Ukraine, Western leaders are guided by the interests of big Western business, they said.
In their opinion, large players on the Western financial market are interested in making financial interventions in Russia when its government and monopoly companies' shares are slumping. "Russia is already teasing the West by suggesting a possibility of privatizing VTB, Rosneft and Sberbank," they said.
"Today's economic conditions for big foreign capital's arrival in Russia have never been as good. The main obstacle to this is sanctions which are linked with the implementation of the Minsk agreements," they suggested.
"Certainly, a large-scale economic coming of the West to Russia will require many political issues to be considered and settled but Ukraine will be a third leg in this discussion. It was repeatedly said on many levels that the implementation of the Minsk agreements will practically remove the Ukraine factor from mutual relations between Russia and the EU and the USA," the president of Gorshenin Institute, Vadym Omelchenko, and expert Dmytro Antonyuk concluded in their article.
However, the West lacks leverage to make Ukraine pass amendments to the constitution which would satisfy Russia, the experts said.
"They would have more trouble than it is worth to block the flow of loans. Otherwise it would automatically mean a default of Ukraine and its failure to pay back the already received billions of dollars," they said.
"The West will prod, demand and insist; it will threaten with lifting sanctions from Russia and after all will do just that, at least partially. However it is not something that can scare the Ukrainian political and economic elite. On the contrary, Ukraine will readily lift its own sanctions from Russia because there are twice as many willing to do so than in the West," they said.