Tatyana Stanovaya on why the recent Russian-Ukrainian rapprochement has reverted to more hostility

Over the past three months, Russian-Ukrainian relations have been on a roller coaster; in summer 2019, we witnessed an unexpected detente, culminating in an exchange of prisoners of war in September after four years of stagnant enmity. Then, just two weeks after the first long-overdue success, a deep disappointment followed. On September 18, the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine failed to agree on a roadmap for the implementation of the so-called Steinmeier Formula, thereby postponing the prospect of a full-fledged Normandy Four summit in Paris. The carefully opened window of opportunity seems to have been slammed shut again. And the recent Ukraine-Gate in the U.S., which has seriously undermined President Volodymyr Zelensky’s position, will obviously be used by Moscow against the inexperienced Ukrainian leader.

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