US sanctions against Russia did not lead to a drastic change in the situation in Ukraine, said in an interview with the Kommersant newspaper former US Ambassador to Russia, John Tefft.
In his opinion, the imposed sanctions proved to be effective against Russia. "And the Russian president, together with a number of other Russian Federation officials, acknowledged this," he emphasized. "But did these sanctions lead to a drastic change in the situation in Ukraine? Obviously not."
Nevertheless, Moscow "has paid a serious price for its military actions against Ukraine," he believes. Tefft explained that, first of all, "this affected its access to financial markets," because Russian businessmen "directly face these problems."
He did not rule out the possibility that part of the sanctions against Russia could be cancelled. "If we make progress in the Donbas, then we will be ready to cancel part of the sanctions. But so far we have not even come close to this goal, so there was no serious discussion on this topic," he concluded.
The armed conflict in the Donbas between the forces of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics and the Ukrainian Army began in 2014. The Ukrainian authorities believe that the Russian armed forces have been supporting the militia and they accuse Russia of "aggression".