Dmitry Livanov’s appointment to the position of special representative for trading and economic relations with Ukraine can be interpreted as a hint Moscow is prepared to mend trading and economic ties with Kiev, the director of the Ukrainian Institute of Policy Analysis and Management, Ruslan Bortnik, has told TASS.
“At the moment any opportunities for trading and economic cooperation between the two countries are blocked, but the appointment of Livanov can be seen as Russia’s hint it is prepared to restore relations with Ukraine, but, of course, after the political crisis in relations has been resolved,” he said.
Bortnik remarked that at the moment the appointment would not bring about cardinal changes in trading and economic relations, because these entirely depend on progress in the political dialog among the countries. In the longer term, Bortnik believes, Livanov’s appointment may prove important to improving relations.
“After a solution has been achieved and a compromise identified in political issues economic relations between Ukraine and Russia will begin to be restored quickly. Livanov then may play a key role,” Bortnik said.
He also sees Livanov’s appointment as Moscow’s response to Kiev’s refusal to agree the candidature of Russia’s new ambassador who was also the special representative for trading and economic ties. This function cannot be performed by a charge d’affairs.
Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier agreed with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s proposal to appoint the deputy chief of the presidential staff for public projects, Olga Vasilieva as a new education minister. Her predecessor, Dmitry Livanov has been moved to the position of the special presidential representative for trading and economic ties with Ukraine.
Up to August 2016 the position of special presidential representative for trading and economic relations with Ukraine was held by Mikhail Zurabov. He left it after being relieved of duties of Russia’s ambassador to Ukraine.