Сorpse of "Minsk": How to sell it to Western partners?

Author : Anatoliy Martsynovsky

Source :

Recent political processes in Ukraine extinguish a "light at the end of the tunnel." Kyiv should not only clearly convince Western partners that some new circumstances appeared, but also offer a fundamentally different common algorithm on cessation of the war in Donbas
22:44, 18 October 2016

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The Minsk process seems doomed. Recent statements of Ukrainian politicians resemble preparations for its funeral.

It finds the understanding and support within the country and at the same time is a challenge for diplomacy. What Kyiv can offer to the Western partners who have invested in Minsk so much effort and hoped for its success?

"First - transfer of border control to OSCE, then - to Ukraine, withdrawal of heavy equipment and artillery, unimpeded access of OSCE inspectors to the entire territory", - here are the conditions of holding elections on the occupied territory of Donbas, amnesty and provided by the Minsk agreements amendment to the Constitution of Ukraine, announced last Saturday by President Poroshenko.

Before this Arsen Avakov on behalf of the party "Narodnyi Front" harshly criticized Francois Hollande. French president said in PACE that the current priority of the Minsk process is holding elections in the occupied territories.

"Do not you dare order us to give Ukrainian territory and millions of lives of our citizens under the Putin regime, because with this you feel comfortable! - Wrote Avakov on Facebook. - Your suggestions and interpretation of settlement of war in Donbas - are unacceptable and outrageous for any true Ukrainian" .

Related: Poroshenko: I’m not quite optimistic about upcoming Normandy Four meeting

It is clear that Russia will not agree on the mentioned above sequence of actions of Poroshenko - it destroys the Kremlin’s plans of renovation of influence on Ukraine through its subordinate separatist entity. So Minsk is definitely at the stage of clinical death. And if in Ukraine many people are applauding, at the international level things are not so simple.

Soon, the European Union once again will decide whether to continue economic sanctions against Russia - current are operating to the end of January 2017. Previously, we have repeatedly heard from Poroshenko and others that without performing Minsk agreement Ukraine will lose the support of the West.

For example, this was the main argument in favor of the adoption in the first reading amendments to the Constitution in terms of decentralization, providing the actual special status of the occupied territories. It seems that Kyiv is now ready to challenge against Berlin and Paris.

However, as before, they and other EU governments are under considerable political pressure regarding sanctions issue. Implementation of the Minsk agreements authorities of these countries show to public as a landmark, an achievement after which will come normalization of economic relations with Russia.

Now everything is much more complicated. Recent political attitudes and processes in Ukraine extinguish a "light at the end of the tunnel." Kyiv should not only clearly convince Western partners that some new circumstances appeared, but also offer a fundamentally different common algorithm on cessation of the war in Donbas. A reasonable and logical to Western capitals, which would explain to voters and businesses their actions and given vision.

Related: Delegation to PACE acted on verge of foul for protection of Ukraine, - Ariev

First, it may be the rejection of false approach as responsible for weakening of Minsk are called two sides - the aggressor and his victim. This equation only encourages the Kremlin and its political allies in the EU. Those Berlin and Paris must understand that forcing Kyiv to accept unfavorable order of execution of Minsk agreements will not work.

In this case for West it makes no sense to put pressure on Poroshenko - he cannot provide it, even if he previously promised.

In the interests of Ukraine and the EU is now different, and at the same time very simple solution - removal of sanctions and normalization of relations with Russia can only appear when aggression and occupation will be really over. Accordingly, should be changed politics and rhetoric – of Germany, France and several other countries.

Demarche of Kyiv coincides with new problems between Putin and the West arising because of the Kremlin’s actions in Syria. Additional colors were added after the investigation of the crash in July 2014 of Malaysian Boeing, which demonstrates the direct involvement of Russia in this tragedy.

Important political support Ukraine received from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, which in recent resolution stated the impossibility of holding elections in the occupied territories in their current state.

Of course, at the same time as strategic goal should remain the reintegration of this region in the future.

In particular, this philosophy meets the bill on temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine, registered in July 2016 for the attribution of a large number of MPs of different factions.

We can assume that the probable foreign attempts of Kyiv to change focus and approach to peace in Donbas will be difficult. But Berlin or Paris should face it: there is no other option.

But Kyiv has to be convincing enough so the western partners had no illusions about the state of affairs and misunderstanding.

Related: Behind curtain of PACE: What conclusions should be made after end of Assembly session

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