Four years the Minsk agreements: will a new agreement

Четыре года Минским договоренностям: будет ли новое соглашение

None of the points of the agreements were never executed

Exactly four years ago in Minsk on the night of 12 February, Angela Merkel, then President of France, Francois Hollande, Petro Poroshenko and Vladimir Putin signed the Minsk agreements. Note that the “arrangements” not “agreements”, as national parliaments have not ratified them. And at least for these four years, not a single paragraph of the Minsk agreement have not been met, the parties continue to hold on to them, calling uncontested. Even new peace plan by the OSCE Chairman in Ukraine and the Trilateral contact group (TAG), Martin Sajdik, despite the inconsistency, I could not push the parties to search for new instruments of peaceful settlement. And it’s not so much in Russia, because everyone understands that Donbas and Crimea Putin just will not return, as in Germany and France, which “sanctified” the completion of the “Nord stream-2”.

The Russian President said he was willing to work with any government of Ukraine, which will be determined after the presidential election. And, according to him, it is important that this government has come to the conclusion that the Minsk agreement should be executed. But experts warn that even if Ukraine will have a new President and he will propose his “Minsk-3” or “Budapest 2”, Putin is unlikely to change its policy. Unless Kiev did not make concessions.

In fact, the possibility of a new “Minsk” and on what terms, the site, the “Today” understand together with experts.

“Peace” plans

That Minsk agreement do not work and they need to be replaced, they began to talk almost the next day after signing the document in February 2015. But, in fairness, it should be noted that to change the idle “Minsk” is only when there is an alternative. And an important condition for this alternative is to discuss it at the negotiating table agreed both Moscow and Kiev. Because during this time appeared “Morel plan”, “formula Steinmeier,” and now the plan Sajdik, who, in fact, Ukraine’s interests were not protected.

“Morel plan”, developed in the fall of 2015, the then assistant Secretary of state Victoria Nuland, the state Secretary of the Ministry of foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Grigory Karasin and coordinator of polytropy TAG Pierre Morel provided for in ORDO local elections under the de facto control of militants and Russia. Later, to replace the controversial “plan of Morel” came no less scandalous formula “Steinmeier”. The peace plan of the then head of the German foreign Minister, now Federal President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier meant the simultaneous adoption by the Verkhovna Rada in the second reading amendments to the Constitution, under which the Donbas will receive special status, and by conducting local elections. And Russia, also at the same time, withdraw its troops and equipment from the Donbas, but the West removes sanctions.

A couple of weeks ago there was a so-called “peace plan Sajdik”, the details of which the Chairman of the OSCE in Ukraine and the TAG Martin Sajdik said in an interview with the Austrian newspaper Kleine Zeitung. Ratification of the Minsk agreements by the parliaments of Russia and Ukraine, elections under UN auspices, the creation of the European Union in the Donbass Agency for reconstruction, as his time in the Balkans, direct negotiations with representatives of the groups ORDO are just some of the features of the Sajdik. First Vice-speaker Irina Gerashchenko sharply commented on the initiative of the Chairman of the OSCE in Ukraine: “the Greatest nonsense – General ratification. Does not exist in the near future can not exist any document which can simultaneously ratify the BP and the state Duma. As long as Russian troops will not leave Crimea and Donbas. Yes, we don’t need voting on any of the parliaments of other countries on any matters which relate to the internal politics and sovereignty of Ukraine. Moreover, the state Duma of the aggressor”.

According to her, the only plan for a peaceful settlement of the war in the Donbas was announced by the President of Ukraine, and not in the Austrian newspaper, and at the UN. It is known to imply a UN peacekeeping mission with a broad and robust mandate, which would spread to the entire Pro-Russian militants occupied the territory up to the Ukrainian-Russian border. But Moscow categorically do not agree, no matter how skilled negotiator nor was the US special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker. A couple of meetings, the American diplomat (and the last meeting was more than a year ago in Dubai) and failed to convince the Russian presidential aide Vladislav Surkov that the peacekeepers are not the guards of the OSCE SMM.

A desperate alternative

And while Kurt Volker said about the inevitability of the Minsk agreements, “the plan Sajdik” refers to the incarnation, not a replacement, “Minsk”, his counterpart writes articles under the title “the Long state of Putin”, where talks about “Putinism” as a state ideology, which is based on the “gathering of the earth community of Nations”.

“In spite of the deadlock and unwillingness of Russia to stop the war, out of it there is a further tightening of sanctions, – said the correspondent of the site “Today”, a senior Ukrainian diplomats. – You know, many say that the key to peace in Ukraine lies in Moscow. I would say not so: in Moscow lies the castle, and key West. In this case we are talking about the EU.”

For all five years of the war of Russia against Ukraine the European Union has not become a party format of negotiations for a peaceful settlement. This is in recent months, superimposed unwillingness and lack of political will to adopt a new set of “Azov” sanctions in response to Russia’s military aggression against the Ukrainian Navy on 24 November, and the agreement of France and Germany in the Gas Directive, which includes a green light to completion, “Nord stream-2”. Surely, this will be the main topics of the talks of the foreign Ministers of the Normandy Quartet, which can pass on the sidelines of the Munich security conference already this weekend. But it is unlikely that the meeting will be a breakthrough or a decisive one, since Vladimir Putin bluntly said that waiting for the change of leadership in Ukraine.

Board member of the Council on foreign relations, “the Ukrainian prism” Nadezhda Koval said that to date, grounds for the emergence of a new “Minsk” bit.

“First, the key players do not want to upset the balance of the status quo. Even aggression in the Azov-Black sea was not a sufficient reason for the tightening of sanctions. There are still hopes (in the EU – Ed.) on dialogue with Russia. Second, taken outright pause on the time of the election in Ukraine. So until the autumn-2019 I would have some decisions did not expect, but in the course of the campaign emerges is not yet another “peace plan” or a plan of implementation from the candidates, from partners, from international organizations”, – said Nadezhda Koval.

According to first Deputy Director of the Center “new Europe” together Serhiy SOLODKY, while maintaining the current leadership, we are unlikely to see any changes. But with any new government changes are quite possible, as the new President will try, at least, create the appearance of updates formats. Another thing is the changed name will lead to a change of the essence of the negotiation process would be effective? Maybe the “Minsk-2”, you can transfer Minsk to another city, you can initiate the expansion of the Normandy format, however, the same question will remain: will this policy of Vladimir Putin? Sergey Solodkiy emphasizes that we need not change format, and change and gain leverage over Russia. Therefore, the two presidential candidates should not promise new formats, and to present the vision to increase the support of Ukraine by Western countries.

“Putin may allow the extension of the Norman format. The inclusion of the USA in the negotiation process fits into the vision of the Moscow raises the prestige of Putin. But you see yourself in US, so to speak, “Normandy plus”? No. Unfortunately, today there is no reason to prevent changes in the approaches of Russia. Unless, of course, the new President of Ukraine will decide to go to the demands of Moscow (for example, direct negotiations with Kremlin appointees in the occupied territories, or the start of a political stage of the settlement without reaching the preconditions for security), then it is likely a change in Russia’s behavior. However, it is unlikely this will meet the interests of Ukraine, and, again, there is no reason to believe that this will allow to restore the territorial integrity”, – told the “Today” Sergey Solodkiy.