What does this do to Minsk II?
Kiev is twisting in the wind at this point. In addition, Putin has canceled the Normandy Four meetings that had been planned for the sidelines of the G-20, which is a reasonable move after Kiev’s backers grossly abused the Minsk II accords as a sanctions trap for Moscow. NATO’s France and Germany, which were supposed to guarantee Kiev’s compliance to the ceasefire, have never done their job, and shamelessly exhibit little concern or embarrassment.
Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May has reached out to Putin to discuss repairing relations in their post-Brexit new world, and the UK’s Foreign Minister Boris Johnson was quick to follow up on this topic with Lavrov two days later. The game board is changing.
Germany’s FM Steinmeier meets Lavrov on August 15th, as his boss Merkel is also leaning toward normalization with Russia. What we may be seeing with these recent Kiev provocations is an attempt to delay Western rapprochement with Russia by using the only card it feels it has to play – cranking up the hostilities with the Republics to force the West to intercede on its behalf. This is a dangerous roll of the dice, nonetheless.
Prime Minister Medvedev has said that a break in diplomatic relations is definitely a possibility if Kiev’s attacks continue AND the West does nothing to stop them. If Moscow were to walk out on Minsk 2, where would that leave the Western manipulators and their puppet government in Kiev?