In general, a source familiar with the contents of the negotiations with Pompey told RBC, they looked like a meeting in Sochi in May this year – the parties expressed their positions and for most of them their opinions did not coincide. "They just cut each other out, that's it," said the RBC interlocutor. The proportions of Russian-American reciprocal statements were expressed at a press conference by Lavrov himself: "They are 90% of us". The criticisms of the United States have been devoted to most of the speech of the Minister at the General Assembly. It has come to the thesis that Moscow has repeatedly expressed: Russia asks not to replace international agreements with a "rule-based world order" of selected countries that have declared themselves winners in the Cold War.
RBC's interlocutors in the Russian delegation spoke of vague steps in response to visa issues. The sanctions are not defined in many respects because it is not clear how Russia can respond, one of them recognizes. The State Duma's initiative to ban the green card lottery in Russia, said one of the members of the delegation, the Foreign Ministry, most likely, will not support RBC.
Zelensky's scandalous premiere
In the high week of this year, Ukraine was represented by a new president – elected in May, Vladimir Zelensky. Speaking to the United Nations, like his predecessor Petro Poroshenko, he gave a speech on the accusation against Russia of aggression against the Ukraine. And just like his predecessor, he resorted to the help of artifacts: he demonstrated a 12.7 mm bullet – a similar one, according to him, was killed in the Donbass by the Ukrainian opera singer Vasily Slipak, "a person to be heard became the meaning of life ".
In New York, Zelensky had his first meeting not only with US president Donald Trump, but also with Sergey Lavrov. Furthermore, Lavrov's meeting with the president of Ukraine was not foreseen. The communication took place on the first day of work of the Russian delegation, the day of arrival, September 24, at a reception organized by the President of the United States for the heads of delegations. The Russian minister stressed that it was not a question of negotiations, but a simple conversation.
"Both parties expressed an interest in resolving the conflict in accordance with the Minsk agreements," he said of its content. "The president of Ukraine said so. I have heard conflicting statements from his advisers, for example [Andrei] Ermak, that there will never be a special status law. But I prefer to proceed from what the President of Ukraine told me, "said Lavrov. Ermak said that Kiev "will never allow the federalization of the Ukraine" and that "if we took the Minsk agreements, it would not have signed them this way", and "the special status of LDNR is not the subject of negotiations nor to Minsk nor in the "Norman format".
On 18 September, negotiations in the tripartite contact group on the settlement of the situation in eastern Ukraine failed in Minsk. The parties were expected to be able to agree on a divorce and to approve the Steinmeier formula, which assumes that the special status law of Donbass should come into effect after the elections in the region, if recognized by the OSCE as honest it's free. Moscow has repeatedly declared that it is ready to take part in the summit in "Norman format" only if these two conditions are met.
The Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadim Priestayko after meeting Zelensky with Trump, which was held on September 26 at the InterContinental Barclay hotel in New York a few blocks from the UN headquarters, told RBC that the summit in Norman format will take place before the end of the year if "Putin finds the time". He did not talk about what to expect from the next meeting of the contact group on October 1, though he noted that progress had been made.
However, much more attention has focused on Zelensky due to his telephone conversation with Trump, which took place on July 25th.
Threat of impeachment for Trump
In the same United States, during the entire high week of the General Assembly, the main topic was the possible impeachment of Trump. The president of the United States spoke to the United Nations on Tuesday, September 24, without ever mentioning either Russia or the Ukraine in a speech. However, the main attention of politicians and the media was drawn precisely from the story with his conversation with Zelensky. It all started with the fact that last week the Wall Street Journal published an article in which, quoting sources, it was reported that the American president, during a conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart, asked to start an investigation against the son of the former American vice president Joe Biden. Biden is the most likely Democratic candidate in the US presidential election in 2020.
The day that Trump speaks at the United Nations, the head of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, announced the start of Trump's impeachment procedure due to this publication. The next day, the day of Trump's meeting with Zelensky, the White House published a transcript of the presidents' conversation, which took place on July 25th. Two days later, due to this scandal, Kurt Volker, special representative of the State Department for Ukraine, resigned, who held this position for the past two years. An RBC source close to the Foreign Ministry said that for Russia the replacement of the special representative of the State Department for Ukraine does not mean anything, because the issue is not found in the Ukrainian settlement.
Another leader forced to leave New York first because of problems at home was British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who immediately flew after showstake a session of parliament, which has returned from vacation with the Supreme Court's decision contrary to the Prime Minister's decision.