We have been reporting that the conflict in East Ukraine has been heating up in recent weeks as both sides jockey for positioning prior to any official policy being released on the stalemate by the newly installed Trump administration. Russia has been pushing hard to normalize the pro-Russian rebel controlled provinces of Ukraine as independent states, even recently recognizing official government documents from the region as acceptable in the Russian Federation.
Chairman of the Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) Committee for CIS Affairs Leonid Kalashnikov said earlier that if the conflict in Donbass continued to escalate, then Russia could make any decision, even recognize DPR and LPR, reports Russian state news agency TASS.
“I can tell you only one thing: according to the Constitution, the head of state, that is, the president is authorized to outline foreign policy,” said Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman.
It seems this is a shot across the bow by the Kremlin as the next step it could take if it does not make progress on sanction relief with the West. Trump, for his part, has been making noise that a deal with Russia is not in the offing due to Russian actions and the extreme pressure the administration is facing on the American domestic political front.