Stratfor analysts shared their mixed feelings after the meeting of the Russia-NATO Council. The sides appear to have strong disagreements both on Syrian and Ukrainian conflicts. The meeting has not led to any agreements and yielded zero results. Yet, it is still remarkable that the meeting did take place.
Russia showed its readiness to compromise, especially on the Ukrainian crisis. Representatives of the People's Republics for Donetsk and Luhansk said that they pushed back the dates for local elections to have more time for talks. Kiev and the West insist the elections in the unrecognized republics should be delayed until security regulations of the Minsk Accord are implemented accordingly.
"Russia undoubtedly encouraged - if not demanded - the delay," Stratfor wrote. "Earlier this week, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announced that he and Russian President Vladimir Putin had agreed by phone on a possible arrangement for the release of Ukrainian military pilot Nadia Savchenko," the report continued. "Though the agreement has not been finalized, it could signify even greater room for compromise on Russia's part, not only on Ukraine but perhaps on other issues as well," the article said.
However, Russia's goodwill did not go farther, and Moscow started applying pressure against the West in other issues.
For example, Stratfor says, Russian warplanes are "buzzing" American ships and aircraft in such strategically important areas as the Baltic and the Black Sea. In addition, according to the publication, Russia remains involved in the Syrian conflict strengthening the position of Bashar al-Assad in defiance to pro-US insurgents and jihadist groups. Despite repeated requests from the United States to revise its policy in Syria, Moscow continues supporting the offensive operations of the government army. Is Stratfor convinced that it is only Washington's position that can be correct on the Syrian issue?
Stratford continues with saying that it is Russia that causes the flow of refugees from Syria to Europe. However, the authors of the report do not try to answer the question of who triggered the refugee crisis in 2015.
"In its stalemate with the West, Russia has apparently opted for a carrot-and-stick strategy, spanning the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine and extending to conventional military buildups. Feeling out its influence over NATO's plans, Moscow will make token conciliatory gestures as well as stern demands. And negotiations between Russia and the West are likely to go on in this manner, with pitfalls and opportunities for both along the way," the report concludes.
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