The Briefing: The Ukraine Deadlock

February 1, 2016
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Paris in October. | RFE/RL

NOTE: The Power Vertical Briefing is RFE/RL’s short look ahead to the stories expected to make news in Russia in the coming week. It is hosted by Brian Whitmore, author of the Power Vertical blog, and appears every Monday.

As Western powers push for a final settlement to the conflict in Donbas, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko heads to Berlin for talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

But the diplomacy is hitting the same snag it always has.

Russia is insisting on its interpretation of the Minsk agreement — meaning reintegrating the separatist-held areas into Ukraine as autonomous republics with the current leadership in place.

But such an outcome is unacceptable to Kyiv.

On this week’s Power Vertical Briefing, we put Poroshenko’s Berlin trip into context and look at the state-of-play in the Ukraine diplomacy.

Joining me is RFE/RL Senior Editor Steve Gutterman and Pavel Butorin, managing editor of RFE/RL’s Russian-language television program Current Time.