Oleksandr Klymenko Official website
Articles | 1338 | 31.01.2017

Minsk turn of Poroshenko: is Donbas peace around the corner?

Aleksandr Klimenko Minsk Poroshenko Ukraine Donbas Russia

The course of events in geopolitics has started to change: Trump’s victory and his conversation with Putin, appointment of the new heads of European organizations and upcoming elections in France and Germany. What should Ukrainians expect or not expect for in terms of Donbas issue?

Under new conditions, President Poroshenko, of course, began to adapt to the changed situation. He started to change on the run. However, he already knows how to do this.

Why to wait for? It is easy to predict – it is necessary to keep in mind the fact that Ukrainian power has not created its own agenda. Ukrainian politicians, as well as weathercocks, are sensitive to the winds of change from western border.

Since the meeting of the Normandy Four in October, official Kyiv has not progressed in implementation of the Minsk agreements. Its position remained unchanged and full of contradictions.

Here are five points, which became the basis for performances of Ukrainian delegates to PACE and other international platforms:

  1. No elections.  It is not safe in Donbas. Democracy cannot live at gunpoint.
  2. No special status. Why should Donbas have it, others –not?
  3. No social payments for Donbas residents (on uncontrolled territories). Otherwise, it comes about funding the “terrorism”.
  4. Minsk is disrupted not by Kyiv, but by Moscow, Donetsk, Luhansk (underline whatever applicable).
  5. We signed the Minsk agreement ourselves. However, its performance is capitulation on Russian terms.

This logic leads to the situation of the “frozen conflict” and gradual estrangement of Donbas from Ukraine. It seems that experienced peacekeepers, who worked out a complex of measures in Minsk, do not think at all. Moreover, in each concrete situation they are narrow minded and think through their selfish tactical interests.

Until November, such way of avoidance of compliance with the agreements has been rather viable:  implementation of Minsk reminded walking on frozen concrete, namely, it is harder to make every new step.  Neither Berlin, nor Paris, nor Brussels, nor Moscow could do anything to push the process.

The United States presidential election became a turning point. At the same time, the mood in European institutions has been massively changed. Thus, it leads to change in external conjuncture for the current power in Kyiv.

Recently, Pedro Agramuntthe PACE President – has been elected for second term. His position concerning the conflict is known. He opposes the line of the current Ukrainian government, pedals the continuation of the dialogue and withdrawal of political sanctions from Russian delegation to PACE.

Next. Antonio Tajani became the President of the European Parliament. He is the representative of Italy –  trading partner of the Russian Federation and ally of Silvio Berlusconi, populariser of the position on withdrawal of sanctions against Russia.

All the candidates for the presidency of France also put the dots over «and»: Russia is not an enemy.  First of all, economic interests of our country, not Ukrainian problems.

Finally, new German Foreign Minister was appointed. Instead of formally pro-Kyiv FrankWalter Steinmeier, it was appointed Sigmar Gabriel. His position is also known in advance: Kyiv will have to fulfil agreements, and the sooner the better.

However, more important that Gabriel is a member of the Social Democratic Party, opponent of Angela Merkel (the Christian Democratic Union, CDU). “Ukrainian issue” is one of the whales of the Chancellor’s election program. If there is no progress, the CDU and her personally will be severely asked uncomfortable questions: “Why did you enter the Normandy four? Where is the result?”. Nowadays, Merkel will put pressure on Kyiv three times more for the sake of implementation of Minsk.

An indicative moment – is two PACE resolutions, which were adopted during several months.

In October, the PACE urged Ukrainian party to provide Donbas residents with social payments and not to digress from the European Convention on Human Rights (namely, to stop discriminating against Ukrainian citizens). Ukrainian activists, who do not agree with Kyiv policy, told about the violation of the convention’s provisions. However, quoting the Ukrainian classic: “Europe kept silence”. They tried not to pedal this issue due to political considerations.

At the end of January, the resolution was significantly rougher. It clearly states about necessity of implementation of the Minsk agreements. In particular, it comes about regulation provisions of special status for Donbas in Constitution, holding additional elections to the Rada on uncontrolled territories. Thus, we are talking about political reintegration of Donbas.

It is important to understand: necessity of trade blockade, which was declared by forces of «People’s Front» (more details in groups, which unite radical electorate) – it is a purely political step, that has nothing common to economy.

The ice was broken (concrete in our case). The position of Kyiv started to change.

The second example. Vadim Chernysh Minister of Temporarily Occupied Territories and IDPs – suddenly stated that Ukrainians, who live in Donetsk and Luhansk have the right to get pensions. It was said after a dozen unambiguous messages from Pavel Rosenko (his «boss») about the impossibility of “funding terrorists”.

The third example. The authorities opposed the trade blockade of Donbas. Although only a year and a half ago, Kyiv blessed checkpoints on the administrative border with Crimea.

Tuka himself, who had previously claimed that elections in Donbas were impossible due to the “occupation”, suddenly stated that Kyiv has been carried out the substitution of notions. In addition, he stated that there is no occupation at all.

Ukrainians are still stuffed with informational “medications” for internal use. For instance, the head of Ukrainian Foreign Ministry called the purpose of Poroshenko’s visit to Berlin “to force the Russian Federation to implement Minsk agreements.” It sounds like an anecdote. However, the essence is unchanging.

Poroshenko kept a cool head, counted all possible paths and decided to fulfil the Minsk and hold elections in Donbas. In fact, he has no other options to keep his chair.

If you do not follow the Minsk agreements, Poroshenko will not be needed either in Washington or Berlin, or Paris. He will be left with his own fears and problems.

Therefore, his administration started to prepare radical part of society for “special status” of Donbas and the law on elections. It is obvious.

It was obvious from the very beginning: Minsk agreements must be fulfilled. Signatures of Ukrainian representatives worth nothing. It has been repeatedly demonstrated. However, the EU and the Russian Federation acted as guarantors and vouched for this document.  Sooner or later, they will make all the parties of the process to fulfil all the provisions of the agreements. Literally the way it was fixed.

Ukrainian soldiers and civilians have been paying blood and suffering for attempts of political leadership to deceive fate and avoid performance of these promises.

Another question is: «Will foreigners believe Ukrainian President, who is always lying? ». That is rather big question.

Do you believe that Poroshenko can fulfil the Minsk agreements and bring peace to Ukraine?

Link to source: Oleksandr Klymenko Official Website

Photo: Diena.lt