16:31 27.01.2021

Ukraine should raise issue of involving United States in 'Normandy format' – U.S. expert

3 min read
Ukraine should raise issue of involving United States in 'Normandy format' – U.S. expert

Ukraine should raise the issue of involving the United States in the 'Normandy format' at the level of the U.S. Secretary of State, his deputy, or national security adviser, Managing Director of the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement Michael Carpenter has said.

"Personally, I have doubts about the usefulness of the position of a special representative. I do not see that this institution contributed to the development of diplomatic initiatives in consultations with Moscow. I believe that it would make more sense for Ukraine in the Normandy meetings, at the level of foreign ministers or their deputies or at the level of national security advisers, to raise the issue of involving the United States in this format, but not in the person of a special representative, as an application or an observer, but somewhere at the level of the Secretary of State or his deputy, or a national security adviser who would have his place at the negotiating table so that he is not separated from the rest of the negotiators," Carpenter said in an online discussion during Kyiv Security Forum on Wednesday.

In this context, it is extremely important to have an informed, professional and competent United States ambassador to Ukraine, he said.

"Limiting our influence by delegating diplomatic functions to a special representative at the same time so that the ambassador only deals with internal reforms will be a disservice and will contradict what I said at the beginning that these are two sides of the same strategic medal," the expert said.

Carpenter said new thinking is needed regarding the resolution of the conflict in Ukraine.

"The process is stuck and remains at an impasse for many years, there is almost no development. But from a broader, strategic prospective it is important to recognize that what is happening in the Minsk diplomacy is not disconnected from what happens with processes of the internal political in Ukraine development. And this is crucial to understand. We want to achieve success in the Minsk talks or in diplomacy regarding this conflict, if it is to take on a different form, this should all be synchronized with the fight against corruption, the fight for reforms, the unification of political forces in Ukraine to support democratic institutions and rule of law, " he said.

The expert said that over the last few years, the pro-Russia network of politicians and businessmen in Ukraine has become increasingly widespread and influential, both in the media and the economic sphere, and in terms of general political influence, and this significantly complicates diplomatic efforts regarding Donbas, since the growing influence of pro-Russian forces on Ukraine's policies complicates negotiating with the Kremlin from a position of strength.

"I cannot say what the Biden administration will do concretely in this regard, but in my opinion, the United States should be more actively involved in the diplomacy process, this is vital," Carpenter said.

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