Dealing with a simmering Ukraine-Russia conflict (Fiona Hill, Steven Pifer, Brookings)

A major foreign policy challenge that will confront the new U.S. administration from day one is Ukraine and its conflict with Russia. The February 2015 Minsk II settlement that was to end the fighting in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region has yet to be implemented. There is little sign that Moscow wants a settlement, apparently preferring a “simmering” rather than “frozen” conflict, where it can turn the heat up or down to pressure Kyiv. This ongoing conflict and perpetual state of uncertainty distracts the Ukrainian government from much-needed domestic reforms.