Escalating violence in eastern Ukraine in recent weeks has underlined the importance that Donald Trump now plays in the region, with the U.S. president promising to restore peace after a phone call with the Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
Trump has signaled his intent to have a closer relationship with Russia and its President Vladimir Putin. And with an open line of communication with Poroshenko, Trump could well prove to be instrumental.
The Ukrainian conflict "has never been at the forefront" for Western leaders and with the raft of elections across the European Union in 2017, the issue is unlikely to be a priority, Andrius Tursa, an advisor on central and eastern European issues at analysis firm Teneo Intelligence told CNBC.
This is likely to leave the Ukrainian war even more in the hands of the U.S.
The war in eastern Ukraine has seen an increase in fighting since last week, particularly in the cities of Donbass and Avdiivka. Russia still denies involvement in the conflict despite evidence to suggest that the country has supplied arms – and even troops – to pro-Russian separatists in the region.