April 20th, 2017 – Fort Russ News –
The Kremlin has no desire to recognize the Donbass as an independent state. Instead, the country’s leadership intends to conduct a “gradual” integration of Donbass, writes Bloomberg.
According to the agency, this integration will completely separate Donetsk and Lugansk regions from Ukraine. This is the opinion of three people who claim to be close to the leadership in Moscow, noting that this is the “real strategy” of Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Ukraine.
Bloomberg points out that the Russian leader effectively uses the United States position of uncertainty in the Ukraine, which practically “buries hopes for European mediation of the peace agreement and exemption from sanctions in the near future.”
Moscow is gradual and consistent in its actions, the agency points out; using the economic blockade by Ukrainian activists as political cover, to build key economic relations with the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republic.
It is noteworthy that, they claim, a State Duma deputy from the party “United Russia”, Konstantin Zatulin, in conversation with the author of the article, noted that the government has already made “the next step is the separation of Donbass”.
How Bloomberg sees the situation
It is also claimed that his words were mirrored by a former officer of the Kremlin, Alexei Chesnakov, who currently consults the Putin administration on policy in the Ukraine, as well as a senior government official, speaking on the condition of ‘anonymity’.
Furthermore, two Western diplomats working in Moscow, claim that Putin’s strategy includes the creation of new ‘operational levers of control’ over the Donbass. Chesnakov, commenting on this, is quoted as saying that the response is “always ready” – “Every time, when Ukraine gives us a reason for their implementation.”
Press Secretary of the President of Russia, Dmitry Peskov, has commented on the Bloomberg data and called it “naive and primitive news.”
“The very question is a bit absurd. Over the years, President Putin and other Russian officials have said that Moscow is not trying to integrate the breakaway republics of Donbass. Therefore, these publications – are somewhat naive and rather primitive”– said Peskov.
He stressed that the Kremlin wants to have “possible influence, with partners to Kiev, to find a way out of the consequences that have arisen as a result of civil war and revolution.”
“It’s an internal Ukrainian problem,” – Peskov said.
Officially, Russia does not recognize proclaimed DPR and LPR. However, in mid-February, Vladimir Putin signed a decree on recognition of documents that have been issued by the authorities of the republics, including passports, marriage certificate and others. According to the decree of the President of the Russian Federation, these documents are accepted for the duration of the time that it takes for the settlement of the conflict in the Donbass.
Ed: It is unclear how Bloomberg was able to gather claimed information from current employees of the Putin administration. A consultant would generally not have authority to speak to the media, on matters within his professional capacity.