COPENHAGEN - Russia's interests go far beyond a primitive desire to seize Ukrainian territory in a bloody war, political expert Ojars Skudra told LETA.
He emphasized that even if Russia seized Ukraine, it would still turn into a zone of guerrilla warfare, so Russia's current foreign policy must be seen from a much broader angle than simply conquering territory.
"Russia's invasion would in no way solve Russia-NATO relations. It would lead to the deployment of additional NATO forces along the Russian-Belarusian border," Skudra said.
He believes that the meeting of Russian and Ukrainian officials in Paris is clearly a good sign, which means that Russia is interested in resolving the situation through diplomacy.
The AFP news agency reports that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday hailed the outcome of talks between senior Russian and Ukrainian officials in Paris earlier this week aimed at finding a diplomatic solution to the conflict.
Zelensky "positively assesses the fact of the meeting, its constructive nature, as well as the intention to continue meaningful negotiations in two weeks in Berlin," his press service said in a statement.
Envoys from Moscow and Kyiv on Wednesday agreed after talks that all parties should observe a ceasefire in the east of Ukraine where government forces have been battling pro-Russia separatists since 2014.
"For our state, the first priority today is to achieve stable and unconditional silence in the Donbas," Zelensky's press service quoted him as saying, referring to the areas in eastern Ukraine by their collective name.
"The ceasefire regime must be guaranteed and reliable, and it is the basis on which the next steps can be taken."
A 2015 ceasefire deal -- bolstered in 2020 -- helped end the worst fighting over two separatist regions in eastern Ukraine that has claimed some 13,000 lives.
A Russian troop build-up on the Ukrainian border has raised fears the Kremlin is planning a military intervention in its pro-EU neighbor.