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2016.10.12, 16.31
Ruslan Bortnik

No one has won this war, so none of the parties can impose its own rules

Yesterday French President Francois Hollande stated that it is necessary to implement terms of Minsk peace agreement as follows: first, elections in Donbas, then transfer of border control to Ukraine. According to Iryna Herashchenko, this position does not match Ukrainian vision. And former representative of Ukraine in the political subgroup of the Trilateral Contact Group Roman Bessmertniy offers to start searching for new tools of conflict resolution in Donbas instead of trying to implement the Minsk agreements.


Comments of political expert Ruslan Bortnik on future prospects of resolving the conflict in Donbas and the role of the Minsk agreements in search for a compromise are given below.


I think there is little hope for other tools due to the fact that the Minsk agreement is not only a piece of paper, signed by the people without requisite authorities, but also it is the United Nations Security Council Resolution, I remind. It is the only UN resolution on Ukraine. Failure to comply with the commitments pursuant to this resolution may have very serious consequences for the country – it will be blamed for this failure and this fact may even lead to the introduction of international sanctions.


The Minsk Agreements may be modified and improved, but it would be virtually impossible to withdraw from them taking into account difficult geopolitical balance, formed in the United Nations Security Council. Moreover, the longer these agreements are not implemented, the closer we become to military option for Donbas conflict resolution. It is clear that Russia is not satisfied with ‘frozen’ conflict in Donbas because it gives social and military support to the region. Therefore, this conflict cannot be resolved under the scenario of Transdniestria, Nagorno-Karabakh or any other similar points.


This conflict can be resolved either by political ways, or it will be resolved by military means. That is, another escalation will be waiting for us and it is possible that the situation in Debaltsevo or in the Donetsk airport may be repeated, that is, we expect the start of hostilities. If Russia or separatists in eastern Ukraine realize that in the near future there will be only a time delay, I think after a while we will see full renewal of hostilities in the east of Ukraine.  


We should understand that the purpose of confrontation in the east of Ukraine is not some kind of direct occupation. The purpose is to change political vector and the state power. War in the east is a destabilizing tool for the entire country that exhausts economic, military, social, informational resources of Ukraine and brings the country to a new stage of reformatting. There is no goal of direct occupation of the country. If such a goal was, it would be implemented in 2014 when Ukrainian army was weaker and the state power was less stable. I believe that to move beyond the Minsk agreements is not our scenario. Ukrainian scenario is to implement them while also bargaining and gradually assimilating Donbas. Consequently, we will turn it into very special but Ukrainian region.


Generally speaking, the Minsk agreement is a contract of sale. We sell more rights to this region, but at the same time we gain the right to plant our flag and to return our police and courts there. No one has won this war, so none of the parties can impose its own rules - we can only come to agreement. Therefore, I believe that such conversations are extremely dangerous and unproductive, they bring us closer to war. This approach is meaningless because we do not have so much time as in 2014 when the economy was stronger, authorities were pretty much supported by the society and our state was more stable than today.


 Photo: shutterstock


Руслан Бортник, конфликт на Востоке Украины, Минские соглашения,

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