Read original article at 112.ua
The war in Ukraine for many Europeans has become synonymous with the phrase "the Minsk process". And this makes me very unhappy.
A few days ago I had a frank discussion in Europe with our European partners - politicians and diplomats.
They, of course, are fed up with the problems of the Ukrainian-Russian conflict, they want to solve their issues, but they reasonably worry that if the situation is not solved, then the whole EU will have problems. Therefore, under pressure, including the most powerful European pro-Russian lobby, they keep repeating: Ukraine must fulfill Minsk agreements and be more accommodating. Ukraine does not fulfill the process within the framework of the Minsk negotiations.
I'm going to write something here that I told them at a closed meeting quite sharply and openly, - excuse me, I did not finish the diplomatic academies:
Gentlemen, stop reading morals about what Ukraine should do to pacify the aggressor in the framework of the Minsk agreements. You, gentlemen, when you start a song about the fact that Ukraine, while defending itself, does not interpret the Minsk agreements properly, don’t you distort it?
Or is it not the enlightened Western world that left Ukraine at the worst moment of aggression and annexation of territories, despite the Budapest Memorandum concluded in 1994?
Have you forgotten, gentlemen, that in the framework of the Budapest Memorandum in exchange for renouncing nuclear weapons, the great countries guaranteed Ukraine independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity?
What? It was not a strict diplomatic agreement, you say? ... Well, then what is worth the notorious Minsk treaty?
The Minsk treaty can and should be recognized as successful only in one - it was a painful compromise for Ukraine, as a way to stop the active phase of the war and bloodshed. And it worked.
Is it possible to resolve the crisis through the Minsk process? No!
The Minsk process is dead, and this is not a hypothesis - it's a fact. And this is now an instrument for freezing the conflict for years to come! And this is not in the interests of Ukraine. Ukraine does not need a frozen conflict!
Ukraine needs to regain territorial integrity and sovereignty over the occupied territories of the Crimea and Donbas - and not by pacifying the aggressor. It is necessary to make a series of progressive steps and reasonable compromises.
The set of these steps is quite simple. In sequence:
1. The withdrawal of the Russian occupation forces from the territory of Ukraine - the pro-Russian puppet administrations run by the Kremlin must be withdrawn with the troops.
2. The introduction of a peacekeeping mission with the participation of international forces (the initiative of President Poroshenko). Peacekeepers along with the Ukrainian border guards should ensure full control throughout the Ukrainian-Russian border in the occupied territories.
3. Returning of justice and law enforcement bodies of Ukraine to liberated territories.
4. Conducting of elections to local councils and authorities under Ukrainian law with secured democratic procedures.
5. Adoption of the National Law on Limited Amnesty and the Law on Collaborators (similar, for example, to the post-war French De Gaulle law). At the same time, the Ukrainian people will not accept amnesty for persons with bloody crimes on their hands - this must also be understood.
6. National dialogue on the problems of Donbas and Crimea for the development of special solutions for post-crisis adaptation.
7. Adoption of a special economic program for the restoration of Donbas, capable of quickly preventing the consequences of the war and raising the quality of life of every citizen of Ukraine who lives in the previously occupied territories.
That's all. And if we do not turn away from reality and understand the essence, and not imitate the process, then it's very easy to agree, dear diplomats, I told them. And we very much look forward to your support.
Because Ukrainian people will not accept anything else. And any politician cannot promise you anything else - he will immediately be defeated by the will of the Ukrainian people. And this is an honest position. And this is the position of justice in relation to Ukraine. And we ask for your support.
And you call this process what you want - even Minsk, even Vienna, even Geneva. It is important to really protect the rights of Ukraine, and not to indulge the aggressor.
Colleagues-politicians did not expect such pressure, and in a pause I decided to give them one more argument:
I'll give you reliable information from our intelligence, gentlemen.
Do you know, gentlemen, that today, on the temporarily uncontrolled territory of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine, under the guise of the paramilitary formations of the so-called DNR and LNR, there is an operational group of Russian occupation forces, comprising 1 (Donetsk) and 2 (Luhansk) army corps of 8 Army of the Russian Southern Military District, consisting of the local population, mercenaries and regular military personnel of the Russian Armed Forces?
These units are reinforced by units from the districts, types, branches of the Russian Armed Forces operating on a rotational basis. They represent the first echelon of forces in this direction.
The total number of troop groupings 1 (Donetsk) and 2 (Luhansk) of the army corps of the 8th Army:
- military personnel - 35.5 thousand;
- tanks - up to 478;
- combat armored vehicles - up to 848;
- artillery systems / mortars - up to 750;
- rocket launcher systems - up to 208;
- antitank weapons - up to 363;
- anti-aircraft defense equipment - up to 419.
Management of these groupings of troops is carried out by the Operational Command, established on the basis of the headquarters of the 8th Army (Novocherkassk, Russia), units of which represent the second echelon of forces. Also, through the 8th Army, operational, combat and logistics support of 1 and 2 army corps is carried out.
Do you realize that this group has more tanks, for example, than the United Kingdom ... And these are not armed detachments of local separatists, and they did not buy tanks and guns from local military commissars, but received them from Russia. From where do they receive in huge quantities daily shells. And these shells bring death to our land. Everyday.
Therefore, it is not worth while, our dear friends, to be hypocritical and look for the flaws in the position of Ukraine: we restrain the rabid dog of the Putin regime at our borders and the borders of Europe - and bear losses every day, and count on effective assistance in accordance with the principles of the European civilized world, choice in favor of which Ukrainians did.
And thank you for the sanctions that you imposed against the aggressor, and for the operative help. And I understand that you are tired, and that the enemy is strong, but aren’t Ukrainian problems common to European and should not we together use all our strength to eliminate the conflict? After all, if Ukraine falls, who will be next? Lithuania? Latvia? Poland? Estonia? Moldova? Or have you forgotten the victorious procession of Hitler who was pacified by the Anschluss of Austria?
I was harsh and asked colleagues for forgiveness for the non-diplomatic language - but we very frankly continued the discussion, and what is important is that we spoke with Europeans from one position and without illusions. I hope this was important for the future!