What Is the Minsk Agreement
“We believe that there is no alternative to the Minsk agreements. As President of Ukraine, I advocate a peaceful settlement of the situation. The main differences of opinion between Ukraine and Russia concern the sequence of events in which the Minsk agreements must be respected. The second Minsk agreement was signed later, in February 2015. For these reasons, suspicion of the agreements runs deep, with claims that the former KGB, which still works for the Kremlin, wrote Minsk`s special status and amnesty elements to provoke Ukrainian patriotic pride and force the country to federalize or separate. Negotiations laden with loaded names only fuel such speculation; These include controversial ex-president Leonid Kuchma and oligarchs who are also believed to be close confidants of Putin, such as Viktor Medvedchuk and Nestor Schufrych. The viability and credibility of the entire process is low. Donbass is a Ukrainian region according to the Minsk agreements. The implementation of the Minsk agreements means the return of the territories under Ukrainian control as de facto autonomy.
However, Ukraine`s so-called “Donbass Reintegration Law” adopted on January 18, 2018 makes no reference to the Minsk agreements. As Ivan Vynnyk, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Committee, explained, this happened because “the nature of the [Minsk] Pact is different from the nature of a legislative normative act. We cannot translate the diplomatic and political pacts that change over time in the Ukrainian legislature. In addition, the constitutional amendments and the draft law “On the special order of local administration in certain districts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts”, which Ukraine adopted, do not mention the Minsk agreements, although they were adopted for their implementation. The Minsk Protocol, later known as Minsk-1, did not work. Adopted as a compromise decision between the interests of the parties and endowed with “special” positions for the pro-Russian armed forces, it was laboriously signed and contained few concrete details. The supplementary memorandum of 19. September 2014 describes in detail the process of establishing a ceasefire: establishment of a 30 km long demilitarization zone, prohibition of offensives and the use of military aviation, as well as the broad outlines of the scope of an OSCE mission, but did not address more general political issues, . B such as when elections are expected to take place in Donbass – before or after Ukraine regains control of its border. It did not contain a timetable or sequence for the implementation of the measures. Russia has begun to insist that Ukraine implement the political part of the agreements before security measures are in place.
Accepting Putin`s proposal would mean de facto recognizing the puppet states led by Moscow, the so-called Luhansk and Donetsk People`s Republics. Sending peacekeepers to the line of contact would de facto move Russia`s borders deep into Ukraine, rather than making the uncontrolled part of the Russian-Ukrainian border under Ukrainian control, as required by Section 9 of the Minsk 2 agreement. Ukraine wants a UN peacekeeping mission that will be stationed throughout the occupied territory, including the uncontrolled part of the border. Discussions on peacekeepers are ongoing. What is missing in Ukraine`s adoption of these policies is not the legislation itself, but the implementation – which Russia itself prevents by continuing to occupy the territory. For example, international legal standards would never recognize the results of elections held under conditions of occupation, but that is exactly what Russia is seeking by calling for local elections before relinquishing control. Moreover, the elections would not be held for positions in the illegitimate “governments” of the LPR and DPR established under the Russian occupation, but for legitimate municipal councils, mayors and oblast administrations that exist under Ukrainian law. Who would participate in such elections? Ukrainian law stipulates that all displaced citizens must vote. But would the Russian occupation authorities allow it? These are issues that need to be resolved under international supervision – not for Russia to dictate the terms. . None of the leaders themselves signed the agreements, but left them to other representatives of the European ceasefire antagonists and observers, sending a discreet signal that they did not take full responsibility for the outcome.
[Chancellor Angela] Merkel noted that Putin had to pressure rebel leaders to sign. What can stop the conflict in Ukraine, believes political analyst Alexander Khara, can happen if: Another problem with the current conception of the Minsk agreements is legal: if the agreements were implemented, they would violate the Ukrainian constitution and legislation. Viktor Shyshkin, an exceptional lawyer, first prosecutor general and former member of the Constitutional Court, has repeatedly provided many arguments as to why these agreements are null and void. Among the main counter-arguments to the Minsk agreements is the need for any international agreement to be approved by the Verkhovna Rada (this has not been done since the signing of the agreements); Moreover, amendments to the Ukrainian constitution cannot result from an international agreement. Nevertheless, the demand for autonomy has become an integral part of the Minsk agreements. To do this, Ukraine must change its constitution, because the country is a unitary state. Before the war, only one Ukrainian region had autonomy – the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. The law amending the constitution was passed in first reading, but it is unlikely to pass the necessary second reading in the foreseeable future, as the idea of Donbass autonomy is facing resistance in Ukrainian society. Ukrainian political scientist Petro Oleshchuk believes that Russia and Ukraine saw the deals as a temporary solution: Russia expected a weakened Ukraine to give in to its demands, and Ukraine believed that sanctions would eventually cause Russia to reconsider its position. As a result, the process is at an impasse, but the official position of both sides is that the Minsk agreements cannot be rejected.
Given the MH17 crash, which is not explicitly mentioned in Minsk II, and the paragraph on amnesty for participants in the “ORDLO Events”, Dutch parliamentarians demanded clarification on the text of the treaty and assurances that it will be able to prosecute the perpetrators. The new package, commonly referred to as “Minsk II,” has been criticized as “very complicated” and “extremely fragile,” and as very similar to the failed Minsk Protocol.    The New York Times reported that the plan “contained stumbling blocks,” such as. B no. B definition of control over the town of Debaltseve, which was the scene of the fiercest fighting at the time the plan was drafted.   Following the Minsk talks, Chancellor Merkel, President Hollande and President Poroshenko attended a European Union (EU) summit in Brussels.  At the summit, participants in Minsk briefed EU leaders on the talks. During the briefing, they said that President Putin had tried to delay the implementation of a ten-day ceasefire in order to force Ukrainian troops in Debaltseve to abandon their positions. President Putin, for his part, said Debaltseve`s defenders were surrounded and that the separatists expected them to “lay down their arms and stop the resistance.”  Kommersant journalist Andrey Kolesnikov wrote that the implementation of the ceasefire in Debaltseve depends on whether the Ukrainian armed forces are actually surrounded or not. Vladimir Putin insisted that there is [encirclement] and that if a ceasefire agreement is reached, it would be strange if it were not violated: those in the cauldron will certainly try to get out of it; those who cooked this kettle will try to pick up the foam.”  Following Ukraine`s shameful withdrawal from Donbass following the encirclement of Ilovaisk six months into the crisis, Trilateral Contact Group negotiators signed a ceasefire agreement in Minsk in September 2014. The OSCE chose the capital of Belarus because it is convenient for all parties, at least superficially seen as a neutral intermediary, and has been conducting negotiations since 1992 on another frozen conflict rooted in Bolshevik concepts of ethnic autonomy for national minorities: Nagorno-Karabakh.
The ceasefire in Ukraine quickly collapsed when the separatists, with Russia`s help, inflicted two strategic defeats on Kiev at Donetsk airport and the Debaltseve railway junction. Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists agreed to a 12-point ceasefire in Belarus` capital in September 2014. The regulations included prisoner exchanges, humanitarian aid shipments and the withdrawal of heavy weapons, five months after the start of a conflict that killed more than 2,600 people at the time — a number that has risen to more than 14,000, according to the Ukrainian government. The deal quickly collapsed, with violations on both sides. The full texts of the two agreements are available on Wikipedia or on the UN website: while the 2015 Ukrainian local elections were scheduled for October 25, the head of the DPR, Alexander Zakharchenko, issued a resolution on October 2. July a decree ordering local elections to the DPR on October 18.  He stated that this action was “in accordance with the Minsk agreements.”  According to Zakharchenko, this decision meant that the DPR had “begun to independently implement the Minsk agreements.”  Zakharchenko said that the elections would take place “on the basis of the Ukrainian law on the temporary autonomous status of the individual districts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions,” as long as they are not contrary to the Constitution and laws of the DPR.  Here is an overview of the agreements signed in Minsk in 2014 and 2015. .