The fourth round of talks between U.S. State Department Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker and presidential aide Vladislav Surkov is scheduled for next week. This was announced by the U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Huntsman on radio station Kommersant FM, reports Unian.
"Both sides will meet next week," Huntsman said, noting that the previous three rounds of talks "were unproductive."
According to him, the fact that the negotiation process is underway already inspires confidence. "I think it will be the fourth round of talks, and I hope that there will be signs of success in the fourth round. I myself am excited," he said.
At the same time, Huntsman believes that Moscow and Washington are moving away from the lowest point in the relationship, but they still need to overcome the current contradictions. "There is no such thing as a point of no return in politics and international relations, there is such a thing as a cycle of relations. And in the cycle through which we are now going, which, I hope, is becoming stable, we move away from the lowest point," he added.
According to the diplomat, a significant deterioration in relations happened "as a result of two events: the first is Ukraine and the Crimea, and the second is the 2016 elections in the United States. He stressed that he would like the Minsk agreement to be implemented, after which the sanctions against Russia will be abolished.
Huntsman noted that the Ukrainian settlement is the main obstacle in establishing relations between the Russian Federation and the United States.
As it was reported earlier U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker reckons it’s very likely that active fighting will continue a year from now in Ukraine.
“I’d say it’s at least 80 percent. There’s a chance that there won’t be, but the most likely scenario is that this continues,” he added grimly, noting that more than 10,000 people in eastern Ukraine have been killed since the fighting broke out,” Volker said.
According to him, Ukraine had been embroiled in military conflict since 2014, when Russia forcibly annexed the Crimean Peninsula, the first such takeover since World War II in Europe, and fomented a separatist war in eastern Ukraine—leading to international condemnation and, ultimately, sanctions that Putin is desperate to lift.