Bloomberg: Putin aims for integration of Donbas with Russia
Russian leader’s strategy is to gain more control over the occupied areas of Ukraine – without annexing, let alone officially recognizing them
The Kremlin appears to publicly continue to support the 2015 Minsk agreements; however, the real strategy of president Vladimir Putin is to completely separate Donbas from Ukraine through its gradual integration with Russia. That does not include annexation of these areas, all the more official recognition of the pro-Kremlin ‘republics’ in Luhansk and Donetsk regions. That’s what Bloomberg got from three anonymous sources close to the Kremlin.
‘Last week, Russian Railways slashed rates for shipping coal and iron ore to points near the rebel areas, where the metals industry provides most jobs. That will allow Russia to replace Ukrainian supplies halted by Kiev and ensure that steel plants continue to function, according to two people in the industry,’ reads the article.
‘Earlier this year, Putin angered his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko by signing a decree recognizing passports and other documents issued by the separatist governments in Luhansk and Donetsk, which have already declared the ruble their official currency. The Kremlin is also considering making it easier for the 2 million residents of the regions to become Russian citizens, which would dramatically complicate any attempt by Kiev to reassert control,’ Bloomberg wrote.
According to the Ukrainian side, Moscow is implementing the so-called “Transnistria scenario”. Deputy head of Poroshenko’s administration, Kostiantyn Yelisieiev, said that referring to the breakaway region in the former Soviet republic of Moldova, which hosts Russian troops but has no citizenship agreements with Russia.
Russia officially denies any plans to integrate Donbas; Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed the idea that Russia is integrating the regions, calling it “absurd” and “naive” on a conference call with reporters, the U.S. outlet concludes.
Earlier, during his official visit in London, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko expressed confidence that Russia simply doesn’t want peace in his country.