The Ukrainian authorities need a war in Donbas as a condition for receiving financial assistance from the IMF. […] the war in the east of Ukraine is a guarantee that the West continues its funding of Ukraine.
There are no grounds for holding a new Normandy Summit in the foreseeable future. The hope for a constructive dialogue with Kyiv about Donbas is rapidly dissipating. At the same time, the people of Donbas already expressed their opinion at the referendums and they want to be with Russia.
Over the last 12 months, Ukraine has made serious steps to resolve the conflict in Donbas peacefully. Ukraine initiated a Normandy Four meeting that was held on December 9, 2019. Ukraine agreed that a full and comprehensive ceasefire is necessary. The parties of the Normandy Summit also agreed to release captives on the principle "all for all" by December 2019. Three prisoner exchanges have been conducted, with the last one taking place during the COVID-19 lockdown. The law on special order of local self-government in certain areas of Donbas was extended for another year. A disengagement of troops was achieved in Zolote, Petrivske, and Stanytsia Luhanska. Ukraine also rebuilt a bridge in Stanytsia Luhanska that was destroyed by the pro-Russian militants in March 2015.
Moreover, the negotiations in the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) have not been suspended due to the coronavirus crisis. The meetings were held by video format.
Ukraine also increased the number of its representatives in the TCG in order to intensify the work of the latter. The Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak explained that "with this step, Ukraine once again demonstrates great commitment to implement the Minsk agreements. Secondly, we demonstrate that we want to move forward and not waste time."
The result of the referendums in Donbas were not officially recognised by any government, including Ukraine, the United States, the countries of the European Union and Russia. The Russian government expressed "respect" for the results and urged a "civilised" implementation.