Kazakhstan Offers to Mediate between Ukraine and Russia
Saturday, January, 17, 2015
Describing it as a ‘fratricidal war,’ the President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbaev, offered to act as mediator between Ukraine and Russia to help end the ongoing conflict between those two countries. Nazarbaev described himself as ‘an objective manager who does not support any side.’
Nazarbaev is in Ukraine this week for meetings with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and will be in Moscow the week following to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The offer from Nazarbaev follows a similar offer from Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka. Both countries have an interest in restoring stability and peace to a region that has been rocked by revolt, invasion, and political instability for the last year.
Previous negotiations held in the Belarusian capital Minsk resulted in the fragile cease-fire. A second round of talks was scheduled for this month but was delayed by the Ukrainian separatists, believed to be supported by the Russians, who claimed bad faith on the part of Ukraine.
Neither Ukraine nor Moscow has officially responded to either offer of mediation. Many believe Ukraine is waiting to see if Russia’s quickly worsening economic situation will prompt it to either be more amenable to discussion or to remove its support for the eastern rebels, allowing Ukraine to take a stronger position and possibly a more active role in its own affairs in the disputed region of the country. However, Russian President Vladimir Putin has a long history of patience and commitment to his own policies, so no matter how far the ruble tumbles Ukraine may not get much relief.