(FIIA) The French-German-Russian-Ukrainian top-level encounter could not and did not deliver a prospect of resolving the conflict in Donbas, but the limits of the possible are now clearer. No certainty, but the “draw” may push the parties closer to a sustainable ceasefire.
In 2019, Russia’s European diplomacy went from one achievement to another. In June, Russia was invited to return to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the voting rights in which it had lost in 2014, following the annexation of Crimea. In August, French President Emmanuel Macron started his advocacy campaign for re-engagement with Russia. By December, the last remaining obstacles on the way to completing the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline had been removed. In view of these developments, statements that the crisis over Ukraine still has a significant impact on European-Russian relations no longer sounded completely credible. […]
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