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 Russia seeks to frustrate Ukraine’s efforts to integrate into Western institutions, - Director of US National Intelligence Coats

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Moscow sees hampering Ukraine's attempts to become part of the European community as one of its strategic goals for 2017.

Censor.NET reports referring to the Worldwide Threat Assessment presented by Director of the U.S. National Intelligence Daniel R. Coats.

"We assess that Moscow's strategic objectives in Ukraine - maintaining long-term influence over Kyiv and frustrating Ukraine's attempts to integrate into Western institutions - will remain unchanged in 2017. Putin is likely to maintain pressure on Kyiv through multiple channels, including through Russia's actions in eastern Ukraine, where Russia arms so-called separatists. Moscow also seeks to undermine Ukraine's fragile economic system and divided political situation to create opportunities to rebuild and consolidate Russian influence in Ukrainian decisionmaking," the document says.

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As noted, domestic Ukrainian opposition to making political concessions to Russia will limit Kyiv's willingness and ability to compromise, complicating prospects for implementing the Minsk agreement.

"Russia largely controls the level of violence, which it uses to exert pressure on Kyiv and the negotiating process," Coats concludes.
 
 
 
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