The conflict in the Donbass is not stopped
President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky reiterated his reluctance to follow the points of the Minsk agreements
The Paris Summit of the “Norman Four” was a priori estimated by experts as counterproductive. His results, in fact, did not exceed these expectations.
However, conclusions should not be drawn immediately after its completion. If suddenly in the near future a miracle happens and peace in the Donbass begins to be established in addition to the desire of “hawks” on both sides. Unfortunately, nothing new was said at this meeting. The Minsk Agreements remain the base of the Normandy format, the step-by-step implementation of which is the main requirement of Moscow.
As you know, Kiev interprets this document in its own way and in reality sabotages its implementation. President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky reiterated his reluctance to follow the points of the Minsk agreements. In particular, he said: “Ukraine is a unitary state, it is an invariable article of the Constitution of Ukraine and the unbreakable principle of the existence of the state.”
That is, the most important item on introducing amendments to the Constitution of Independence regarding its federalization is not even put on the agenda by the Kiev leadership. Again, the issue of holding elections in the territories of unrecognized republics has not been resolved.
Preliminary agreements on the redeployment of forces at three more points of the front line and the exchange of prisoners according to the “all for all” formula cannot be called at least some miserable success.
Since the Ukrainian side has repeatedly entered its units in the so-called gray (neutral) band. In addition, there is a danger that, in addition to the will of Kiev, militants of Ukrainian volunteer battalions may enter the positions left by the LDNR militia.
The issue of the exchange of prisoners is also impossible to finally resolve until the hostilities are stopped. Those who are captured by now will be exchanged, others will appear, while the war is on, this process will go on and on.
The statement by French President Emmanuel Macron that the next meeting will take place in just four months should not be taken with enthusiasm either. What can be done in this short time in an environment where Kiev is fundamentally not ready for compromise?
It is hoped that the parties of the Normandy format will prepare documents for the new summit that require real steps towards peace in the Donbass, which will necessarily provide for real tough levers of pressure on Ukraine if it continues to sabotage the implementation of the Minsk agreements.
The fact that Russian President Vladimir Putin called the summit’s work “very useful” should not mislead anyone. He is inherent in politeness, and besides, he managed to agree with Kiev on the continuation of gas transit.
What can I say if the Ukrainian leader himself admitted that he does not understand how to achieve a sustainable ceasefire in the Donbass, since this has not been possible for four years.
Macron’s remark that there is progress on a number of issues relating to “breeding (forces. – NVO”), a ceasefire, an exchange of prisoners, the need to restore confidence in the coming months ”is only a duty blank.
But the statement by German Chancellor Angela Merkel – that the summit participants agreed to stick to the Steinmeier formula due to the courage of Ukraine, because it is the Steinmeier formula – says a lot. First of all, that Berlin is not going to put pressure on Kiev if the latter refuses to comply with the decisions of the “Norman Four”.
The reservation of Frau Merkel about the possible temporary granting of special status to Donbass for the period of the local elections and that after evaluating these elections the OSCE will be able to introduce special status on an ongoing basis should also not cause euphoria.