By: Mikolas Katilus
The meeting of ministers of foreign affairs in Normand format will be held in Paris on March 3rd. But the aim and direction of these negotiations can be already foreseen. It’s possible because of recent visit results of German and French ministers of foreign affairs to Kyiv on 22nd of February, 2016.
Final press-conference of Jean-Marc Ayrault, Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Pavel Klimkin revealed significant disagreement of parties about understanding how Minsk agreements should be fulfilled. Ukraine presented by its minister of foreign affairs insisted on necessity of real security that can be achieved only “if there are no Russian regular armed forces in Donbass, no foreign guerrillas, no way for light arms, ammunitions and other things that Russia supplies in Ukrainian territory”. His Western colleges insisted on complete fulfillment of obligations by Ukraine, without any words about fulfillment of Russian part of agreement. At the same time Ukraine is proposed to bring a modulated plan of the upcoming elections in Donbass. In other words they demand total fulfillment from Ukraine, while other party to the agreement hasn’t even performed 1st paragraph – cease-fire. Moreover, it intensifies shelling of Ukrainian positions by heavy weapons, which must be taken away from frontline up to the accepted agreements.
It was fair words of Head of the Foreign Affair Committee of Verkhovna Rada, Anna Gopko. She stated “before to talk about elections modality the fulfillment of security issues must be happened, such as cease-fire, troop pullout, political hostages’ exchange, access for both Special Monitoring Mission of OSCE and security mission”. But instead Ukraine is forced to recognize “DPR and LPR”.
The newest history has already had examples of such peace enforcement of victim. Remember North Ossetia and Abkhazia. In 2008, according to plan these territories were legitimately annexed under the pretence of peace and stability. Right now for Ukraine the same plan of Donbass annexation has been preparing as the first step to join Russia. Western community refers to Morel plan, which concludes a law greatly opposite to present election legislation in Ukraine. They like de-jure elections to be held upon the Ukrainian legislation, but unrecognized DPR and LPR to be able to hold elections by its own rules. As a result pro- Kremlin regime people will take their places in DPR and LPR authorities right away. There’s already huge information about Russian citizens as authorities in several towns in Donetsk region. Step by step Russia will capture all power in the region. Basically it means that Steinmeier and Ayrault push Ukraine to accept plan of decentralization, by which Donbass will get its right to self-determination. After that they conduct a referendum for joining and will join Russian Federation as independent territory.
Actions of both ministers connected with Kremlin’s intention to legalize terrorists at “Normandy 4” meeting. But we should consider several moments:
- Putin failed in creation of artificial “Novorosia” and he’s not pleased with the current “republics”
- Both pro-Russian fighters and their overseers do not believe in Minsk agreements.
That’s why “Normandy 4” is considered as the only way to persuade Ukraine to legalize terrorist’s authorities. It’s surprised that Mr. Steinmeier and Mr. Ayrault imposing on Ukraine such scheme neglect both Peacemaking Strategy and the UN Carter. According to that cease-fire agreement should be signed, heavy arms should be drawn away, fighters must leave their firearms, foreign armed forces must be withdrawn, and control over border must be resumed.
There’s a clear subsequence of paragraphs in Minsk agreement where election is 11th paragraph. No elections can be held till all previous agreement provisions will be achieved. It’s obvious that Europe has many issues right now. Great challenges stand before France and Germany, but we must not forget about others opinions. North and East European states and Baltic States also clearly understand the whole situation and express their support to Ukraine in defense of its national interests.