Wednesday, July 26, 2017
French President Emmanuel Macron initiated the call, signalling a determination to revive the four-party 'Normandy format' talks which had ground to a halt. Kyiv lodged a formal protest with the UN on July 21 at what it called an "intensification of Russia's aggressive actions", following an upsurge in clashes with rebel forces that left nine Ukrainian soldiers dead.
- Kyiv's caution on making disadvantageous concessions exposes it to external pressure to contribute more to the peace process.
- If the government has to make concessions on the conflict, political push-back could break up the ruling bloc and force early elections.
- Lack of progress in resolving the conflict will preserve but not strengthen sanctions against Russia.