GENEVA – The Ukraine crisis has evolved from acute to chronic. The main question – Will Russia dare to invade mainland Ukraine? – has been answered: Not now. So, now what?
Obviously, the Kremlin did not expect the West’s firm and united reaction to its annexation of Crimea. President Vladimir Putin’s phone call to US President Barack Obama on March 28 clearly demonstrated Russia’s eagerness to discuss “de-escalation.” Putin’s main objectives now are the removal of Ukraine’s blockade of Moldova’s pro-Russian breakaway region of Transnistria and Ukrainian “federalization” (a euphemism for the Kremlin’s back-door strategy to gain control over the country’s eastern and southern regions).