Why didn’t Putin mention Ukraine in his major address? Experts weigh in

By Kirill Kurbatov


 By Kirill Kurbatov

Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 20 delivered an annual message to the Federal Assembly. In his speech, he spoke about economics, social issues, relations with Asian countries, the treaty on missiles, but he never once mentioned Ukrainian topics. About what this may be connected with, the edition Ukraina.ru talked with well-known political scientists.

Does not want to frame elections on Ukraine


According to Ruslan Bortnik , the behavior of the Russian leader is quite natural. While the election campaign is going on in Ukraine, the heads of other states are trying to distance themselves from this and not give any new assessments, he explained. Otherwise, the expert noted, certain statements can be used by various presidential candidates. But as soon as the results of the voting become known, the interest of the Russian leadership in the Ukrainian issue will increase, Bortnik believes.

Mikhail Pogrebinsky is also confident that Putin will consciously move away from any comments regarding Ukraine until the presidential election ends and it becomes clear who he will have to deal with or not to deal with. A political analyst noted that the Russian president had already made it clear that he did not want to interfere in the election campaign, did not want to be used in this campaign, and did not want to meet with his colleague Petro Poroshenko .

The future policy of Moscow towards Ukraine will depend on whether the source continues, whether the new head of state will have any accents in relations between Ukraine and Russia.

“Conducting an election campaign is one thing. However, the future president should understand that current relations with Russia cause more harm to Ukraine itself,” Pogrebinsky stressed.

It’s possible, the political analyst added, that even negative candidates relating to Russia can correct their position in case of victory. This is not necessary, but perhaps concluded Pogrebinsky.

Why did Putin ignore Ukraine in his message?

Signal for Poroshenko

Andrei Zolotarev also believes that Putin deliberately ignores the Ukrainian theme. However, in his opinion, this “silence” can be regarded as a signal for Poroshenko. The signal is that Poroshenko is dead for Putin as a politician, that he will not conduct any business or negotiations with him.

According to the political technologist, Poroshenko made it clear that he was not going to fulfill the Minsk agreements signed by him. A deception in politics, the political scientist noted, leads to the fact that all sorts of costs will sooner or later nullify the short-term benefit.

“Moscow has closed a window of opportunity for dialogue until it ascertains who will lead Ukraine for the next 5 years,” Zolotarev stressed.  

The expert added that given the fact that Kiev officially refused to allow Russian observers even as part of the OSCE missions, Moscow may question the legitimacy of the Ukrainian elections or even not recognize them.

Why did Putin ignore Ukraine in his message?

No strategy

Pavel Rudyakov, in turn, noted that from the very beginning Russia was not going and is not going to participate in the political processes in Ukraine. Now, in his opinion, Moscow has no clear strategy regarding this state.

At the same time, a more specific position regarding Kiev will need to be coordinated with other international players, now represented in Ukraine, – the United States and the European Union, the political analyst believes.

The expert also drew attention to the fact that the Russian leadership announced that it would work with any person elected to the presidency of Ukraine. But the problem is that Ukrainians cannot make free choices.

Why did Putin ignore Ukraine in his message?

According to the analyst, this election is being rigged right now. And judging by the fact that Russia does not participate and does not intend to participate in the processes in Ukraine, she is thus an accomplice to this crime and unties the hands of politicians inside the country.

“They understand that no one will stop them. You can continue to distort and distort the will of the people in their own interests, ”Rudyakov stressed.

So far, the expert continued, Moscow and Putin himself continue to sit in a geopolitical trench from which it is difficult for them to see anything, and are waiting for the result of presidential and parliamentary elections.

Just not interested

Polyexpert Alexey Popov has a completely different point of view on this. He explains the “Putin’s silence” by the fact that it is precisely today within the framework of a specific message that the Ukrainian issue is not a priority for Moscow.

According to him, the Kremlin does not consider the current Ukraine as an independent state, and it prefers to resolve all issues in relations with it within the framework of relations with the United States and the European Union. “As part of this message I decided not to mention. I would not do some kind of conspiracy from this, ”said Popov.

At the same time, the expert added that, judging by this speech, it is impossible to make an unequivocal conclusion that Moscow fully decided to distance itself from what is happening in Ukraine, since the Russian Foreign Ministry recently called the events on Maydan 2014 a coup d’état again.


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translated by and for FRN
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