Moscow may make an attempt to escalate the situation in Eastern Ukraine. However, Kremlin won’t dare to launch a full-scale intervention, Russian political expert Andrej Piontkovski told Obozrevatel Aug. 17.
Putin strives to encircle Ukraine, Piontkovski said, commenting on the West-2017 military exercise in Belarus.
It is aimed to scare Ukraine and a bargaining chip with the West, the expert said.
Every Moscow’s twist must be viewed in the context of the recent unprecedented US sanctions on Putin.
I mean, above all, the personal sanctions and the order to US financial intelligence to track down the assets of Russia’s leaders, he said.
The sanctions put the Russian top leaders before a very serious choice as, not merely their assets, but their entire style of life closely linked with the West: health care, education for their children, immovable property, etc.
“They need to react to the sanctions and try to strike deals with the West. I call it the hybrid capitulation. They want to make some concessions to the West which they can later wrap up as their victory,” Piontkovski said.
“They may try a minor escalation to pressurize the West. However, a massive war is out of the question, regarding the US Congress anti-Putin feelings. A full-sized intervention of Ukraine will allow America to transfer lethal weapons to Kyiv, making the price too high for Putin,” the expert said.