Tuesday, May 16, 2017
The military conflict in eastern Ukraine remains muted, but the breakdown of economic ties, trade, and supplies of power and water makes a political rapprochement look even more remote. Moscow had hoped for direct engagement with President Donald Trump's administration but little has happened, and the four-party (Russian-Ukrainian-German-French) talks process remains in place.
- Narrowing economic options will further limit independent decision-making by rebel leaders.
- The French presidential election result and the likely outcome of German elections allow four-party 'Normandy format' talks to continue.
- If Ukraine perceives continued Western support, it may act more assertively towards the rebels.