Road map of Minsk agreements is not instrument of peace, - experts

Author : Olena Removska

Source :

It is useless to expect rapid progress in approving the road map for Minsk agreements because it is only possible as a result of difficult and protracted negotiations that we are currently witnessing. This opinion was expressed by some experts, commenting on Norman Quartet meeting in Minsk. Some observers also insist that Russia is interested in prolonging this process
20:30, 30 November 2016

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Talks about the road map of Minsk agreements intensified after the meeting of Norman Quartet in Berlin in October. Following the talks, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko said that parties - Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France - agreed on the need to decide on the sequence of Minsk agreements implementation.

According to the President of Ukraine, the road map, a project of which was planned to be approved before the end of November, will be a document on the implementation of all Minsk agreements: Minsk Protocol of September 5, 2014, the Minsk memorandum dated 19 September 2014 and the Minsk package of measures of 12 February 2015.

After more than a month after the Berlin meeting in Minsk, the parties of Normandy format noted: there’s no progress on the "road map" issue.

Russian road map for Ukraine

The reason is similar to that which can be heard in connection with Minsk agreements in recent months - Ukraine and Russia cannot come to an understanding on key issues.

"There is no understanding on the issue of control and effective monitoring of uncontrolled areas of Ukrainian-Russian border by the OSCE ,- said after talks in the Belarusian capital, Foreign Minister of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin. – We have no agreement on effective access to all Donbas territories by OSCE. No agreement on the withdrawal of Russian troops and Russian mercenaries, weapons - and no desire to do right now. We actually have not raised the question of how to ensure the security of elections, how the elections should meet the standards of the OSCE. "

Related: Sanctions did not let Russia take Kyiv easily, - Kerry

"And we need to see the influence of the international community, including armed police of OSCE", - said Klimkin.

The Russian position on armed OSCE mission in Donbas is not fully clear. Following the talks in Berlin in October, the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko said that Russia supported the accommodation of the mission in the conflict zone of eastern Ukraine. The Kremlin at first confirmed, and later clarified that it was the "potential approval" of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In Minsk, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov admitted: Ukraine and Russia cannot agree on the sequence of steps. The Russian side continues to insist on the fulfillment of the political part of "Minsk". "We are talking on a law on the special status of certain regions of Donbas, securing that status in the Constitution of Ukraine, amnesty and local elections", - said Lavrov.

The representative of Ukraine in political subgroup of the Trilateral contact group in Minsk Olga Aivazovska shortly before the meeting of Norman Quartet in the capital of Belarus noted: from the very beginning Russia has its own vision of the road map, significantly different from the Ukrainian. In particular, according to Aivazovska, Russia insisted on the abolition of ATO in Ukraine.

Kostyuchenko: road map is always difficult and lengthy process

Security expert Yuri Kostyuchenko said that the road map on any agreements relating to termination of the conflict – is always a difficult and lengthy process.

"Now the routine negotiating process continues, and we should not expect instant breakthroughs. It was known from the start that the parties' positions on political part are different, "- said the expert.

"As most of the Minsk agreement are not an instrument of peace and reconciliation during the war, so this road map is not a tool for increasing security in terms of reconciliation. It is not an instrument of peace, "- he added. According Kostyuchenko, talks that the Minsk process reached a deadlock are nothing more than exaggeration.

Instead, the director of the Foreign Policy Institute Hryhory Perepelytsia said that, in his opinion, Russian President Vladimir Putin has the will, time and resources to continue the war.

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"Russia will preserve the situation. This means the continuation of hostilities in the form of a local war, at low intensity. And, depending on the concessions of Ukraine, the escalation of the conflict may be more active - the expert believes. – For Russia this war costs 5% of the total military budget. So it will be continued. "

Cart without wheels and boards

Former representative of Ukraine in political subgroup of the Trilateral contact group in Minsk Roman Bezsmertny expressed doubts about the prospects of the Minsk process in general. "Where then will move this cart if it has no wheels, no boards," - he said on Radio Liberty.

Bezsmertny, however, recognizes that the Minsk process is meaningful regarding the exchange of illegally held persons, and minimizing fire and resolving basic social issues of the population in conflict zone.

But speaking of achieving full peace in Donbas, according to him, we should talk about a new methodology of resolving such conflicts. "Besides the situation requires a serious review of international documents related to the mechanisms of regulation of such matters, - he adds. - The past 25 years continuously generated such unresolved situations:  conflict in Syria continues, in Nagorno-Karabakh – continues, in Moldova - continues. "In any case, closing one format you should immediately offer another answer", - said Roman Bezsmertny.

Earlier this week, the representative of Ukraine in the Trilateral contact group in Minsk Leonid Kuchma stated on the inefficiency of the Minsk format without the United States. American diplomats, however, noted that the US has not yet considered the possibility of joining any of the formats to resolve the situation in Ukraine.

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Related: Police Mission in the Donbas to be serious challenge for OSCE, - Ayvazovska


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