‘Ceasefire announced by Kiev might be a prelude to the bigger military operation’
RT:The Austrian President praised Vladimir Putin's peacemaking efforts. Do you think it makes any difference?
Alexander Nekrassov: Of course it does. The situation is currently so confusing. The ceasefire is not holding there, nobody really knows what is going on. I think in all this confusion there has to be some rationality coming in. I think President Putin is starting to do that and his comments made in Austria on Tuesday introduced some sense of order into this crisis because at the moment neither the government in Kiev nor the Western countries really know how to proceed and what to do. In that sense, it is for Russia now to start a sort of a streamlining the whole process there. Anything to do with some sort of certainty will probably help everyone.
RT:Since the beginning of the crisis the West has been pointing the finger at Russia for not doing enough to de-escalate tensions. Are they going to acknowledge this step by President Putin?
AN: Poroshenko has already welcomed this decision by President Putin. I think on the face of it at least some public comments, some of the Western officials will be praising this as well. Unfortunately, this sort of propaganda bandwagon in the media goes out of control most of the time, and for example, as for the downing of the helicopter, I think we will hear again the same sort of accusations coming from certain Western media outlets that it was Russian arms that have been supplied to fight and this was one of the Russian systems used to down this helicopter, though everybody knows that this system has actually come from the arms depot in Ukraine itself. So on the one hand, yes, there will be positive response that already is coming, on the other hand, we will see people doubting the real intentions of Russia and even maybe saying that it is all a game, that Putin is playing a game. It will be, unfortunately, a different response and some of it will be very much biased.
RT:The ceasefire in the east appears to have been floundering from the outset. What can be done to convince both sides to stop the violence? And where does the broken ceasefire leave the peace talks on Ukraine between Kiev, the self-proclaimed regions and Russia?
AN: What I am hearing from my sources is that basically this ceasefire was announced because President Poroshenko is planning to sign the economic part of the Free Association Agreement with the EU on Friday, so it a sort of gives him a peace initiative to show to Europe and quieten down some of his critics. But, unfortunately, what some people are saying that it might be a prelude to a new much bigger operation against the anti-government forces in the East. Obviously we do not know yet, but unfortunately some signs are telling us that this might be a case because, according to some sources, there is a movement of the Ukrainian government troops, they are reinforcements on their way to the Eastern part, so we might assume that there will be more fighting coming out after this ceremony.
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