Russia, U.S. agree to set up Karasin-Nuland channel to coordinate steps on Ukraine

It is quite risky now to expand the number of the participants of the Normandy format of talks on Ukraine, but Russia and the U.S. are maintaining bilateral contacts to settle the crisis in this country, says Russian presidential chief of staff Sergei Ivanov.

It is quite risky now to expand the number of the participants of the Normandy format of talks on Ukraine, but Russia and the U.S. are maintaining bilateral contacts to settle the crisis in this country, says Russian presidential chief of staff Sergei Ivanov.

"Obviously, after all, they [the U.S.] wish now to try to settle this internal Ukrainian crisis in a political way. There was an agreement to set up a special bilateral format, the Russian-U.S. Karasin-Nuland channel [between Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland]," Ivanov said in an interview shown in a Saturday analytical program hosted by Sergei Brilyov on the Rossiya-1 TV channel.

This channel has been established specifically to coordinate steps toward settling the crisis in Ukraine, he said.

"Why is it bilateral? Because, if we led it, in principle, we could do this -expand the Normandy format by including one more country, engaging the U.S. But the Normandy format is so fragile now that this step would simply be risky," Ivanov said.

"And, so as not to break everything up, we agreed together that we will be coordinating our activities on Ukraine on a bilateral basis for the time being," he said.

The U.S.' influence on the events that have taken place in Ukraine since the very start of the crisis should not be underestimated, Ivanov said. "We remember how everything happened and who the main initiator was. At the same time, [U.S. Secretary of State John] Kerry's visit showed that the Americans are also starting to worry - this is how I'd put it," Ivanov said.

The U.S.' concerns are related to the fact that, "as they often like to say, the situation is going out of control," Ivanov said. "However ironically this might sound, they should be quite accustomed to this. Hasn't it gone out of control in Iraq? Hasn't it gone out of control in Libya? Or hasn't it gone out of control in Syria? Now it's also gone out of control in Ukraine," Ivanov said. "Excuse me my language, but wherever they meddle, the situation goes out of control there," he said.

 

Now, however, the U.S. apparently wishes to settle the internal Ukrainian crisis in a political way, he said.

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