Three former American ambassadors in Kyiv offered to take advantage of the coronavirus distribution to “return” Crimea to Ukraine. Stephen Pifer, John Herbst and William Taylor made this statement on the pages of NPR.
According to ex-diplomats, the current situation with the pandemic “gives an unexpected opportunity” to end the conflict in Ukraine.
The authors of the message believe that with the spread of COVID-19 and falling oil prices, the U.S., in close cooperation with the leaders of Germany, France and Ukraine, should make a proposal to lift international sanctions against Russia if the conflict in Donbass stops.
“A strong push from the United States will now help break this impasse. The crisis of the coronavirus may give the Kremlin grounds for consent,” they added.
At the same time, if the Crimea “returns” to Kyiv, “other sanctions may also be lifted,” the former diplomats said.
Relations between Russia and Western countries have deteriorated after the state revolution in Ukraine in 2014 and the return of Crimea to Russia. At the same time, Kyiv launched a military operation against the residents of Donbass. The Ukrainian authorities, the U.S. and the EU, as well as a number of other countries, laid the responsibility for the situation on Russia and imposed sanctions.
Moscow has repeatedly stated that the procedure of reunification of the Crimea with Russia was in line with international law, and that Russia is not a party to the internal conflict.
Individuals, companies and entire sectors of the Russian economy have been subject to sanctions. Since then, the restrictions have been repeatedly extended and the sanctions lists have been replenished.