Peace threatens to break out in Ukraine
To NATO, Ukraine is a handy tool to threaten Russia with.
Recently Ukraine, the U.S., and a dozen other NATO nations conducted military drills in the northern Black Sea.
That wasn't even the most provocative step.
As tensions rise between Russia and Ukraine on the Black Sea, the US is upgrading several Ukrainian naval bases to give American and NATO warships the ability to dock just miles from Russia-controlled Crimea.
So with all this ratcheting up of tensions, why would I say that peace could be about to break out?
Because the new president of Ukraine isn't like the old one.
Russian President Vladimir Putin had his first phone call with Ukraine's new president on Thursday and discussions centered on the conflict in eastern Ukraine that has bitterly blighted relations between the two countries.
Peskov added that the two discussed the possibility of "continuing contacts in the Normandy format," a reference to four-way talks involving the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany....In 2015, France and Germany helped broker a peace deal for eastern Ukraine that was signed in the Belarusian capital Minsk. It has helped reduce the scope of fighting, but clashes have continued and political settlement has stalled.
This phone call comes just a few weeks after Peskov ordered Ukrainian troops to pull back from civilian crossing points along the 450-kilometer line of contact in the Donbas war zone.
This call would have been impossible under the previous president.
People in Ukraine told Newsweek that these moves would have been impossible under former President Poroshenko, who was held captive by anti-Russian rhetoric that made it impossible for him to make concessions. On the contrary, Zelenskiy has demonstrated that eastern Ukraine is not a frozen conflict after all.
"Zelenskiy has to show that he is doing something," one European diplomat in Ukraine's capital Kiev told Newsweek, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Five years since the conflict broke out, over 60 percent of Ukrainians say that the ongoing conflict in the country's east is of paramount importance. Around 13,000 people have died since the conflict broke out in 2014.
This is very promising.
The question is if the IMF suddenly takes a hard-line, "by coincidence", if Ukraine comes to a peace deal with Russia.