The failed Minsk agreements | Lito U. Gagni
THERE is an interesting article that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov wrote recently that highlights the missed opportunities for peace in the ongoing Ukraine crisis: the Minsk agreements that have not been implemented. . Now shrouded in silence, especially by the West, Lavrov points to the seven difficult years during which the Minsk agreement was not implemented and could have signaled peace in this part of the world. Today, all countries face high energy prices, closed supply chains and spikes in inflation that rob people of their purchasing power.
For Lavrov, there were initiatives taken by Russia, Germany and France to signal a cessation of hostilities between Kyiv on the one hand and Donetsk and Luhansk on the other, with the signing in February 2015 of the Minsk, supposedly to have been made in the Belarusian capital. “Berlin and Paris played a proactive role” in signing the agreement to stop the war between kyiv and the Russian-speaking region of Donbass where Donetsk and Lugansk are located, according to Lavrov’s essay, published in Izvestia. Proudly claiming to be the guarantor countries, Germany and France however did absolutely nothing during the seven long years that followed, to force kyiv to engage in a direct dialogue with the representatives of Donbass for negotiated peace.
Donetsk, Lugansk and Kyiv were supposed to agree on issues concerning special status, amnesty, restoration of economic ties and the holding of elections, as required by the Minsk agreements, which were approved at the unanimously by the UN Security Council. However, the West remained silent when kyiv took steps that directly violated the Minsk Accords under Petro Poroshenko and Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
“The German and French leaders kept saying that kyiv could not engage in direct dialogue with the people’s republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, and blamed everything on Russia when the fact is that if Russia does not have mentioned only once in the Minsk agreements, it basically remained the only country that continued to push for the agreements to be implemented,” Lavrov argued. It was a key insight that showed how the The West kept hammering for peace when it didn’t really put in the effort to achieve that peace, and now the Minsk Accords have been messed up.
To understand the ongoing war is to go back to those Minsk accords and how the West was trying to show the world that it was brokering peace when in fact it was part of the breaking of the Minsk accords 1 and Minsk 2. In fact, Ukraine even revised its Constitution providing for NATO membership, which meant crossing a line with the deployment of troops near the Russian border.
So what followed was the special military operation that Vladimir Putin launched citing the military incursions on Russia’s doorstep. “You promised us in the 1990s that (NATO) would not move an inch to the East. You shamelessly deceived us,” Putin said and so Russian forces entered Ukraine on February 24 after recognizing the state of Donetsk and Lugansk.
We quoted above the assertions of the Russian ambassador to the Philippines, Marat Pavlov, according to which “the concerns of Russia were not taken into account. Attempts to negotiate security guarantees with the United States last December came to nothing. They rejected the Russian proposals, so we have no choice but to recognize the people’s republics of Donetsk and Lugansk and start our special operations.
According to the Russian envoy, for eight years his country has been negotiating a political solution in the Donbass region so that they remain inside Ukraine. But he said the Ukrainian regime “has besieged the territories and disabled the banking systems, the food supply and the payment of pensions”.
For Lavrov, the Minsk Accords present the “false” narratives that the West had repeated to embellish what it had been trying to do: to torpedo the peace attempts that Russia had clung to in order to maintain a harmonious relationship with kyiv. He cited several false accounts that the West had been guilty of on various fronts. These are, as he quoted in his essay:
If anyone doubted that the Minsk package was anything but yet another fake, Petro Poroshenko dispelled that myth by stating on June 17, 2022: “The Minsk agreements meant nothing to us, and we had no intention to achieve them…our objective was to avert the threat we faced…and buy time to revive economic growth and rebuild the armed forces. We have achieved this goal. Mission accomplished for the Minsk agreements. The Ukrainian people continue to pay the price for this fake.
There was also Syria, with the 2013 agreement on the disposal of Syria’s stockpiles of chemical weapons in a step-by-step process verified by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, for which it received the Nobel Prize of Peace. After that, however, there were outrageous provocations in 2017 and 2018 featuring the use of chemical weapons in Khan Shaykhun and Duma, a suburb of Damascus…. All attempts to force the OPCW Technical Secretariat to perform its duties in good faith and to ensure transparent investigation of these incidents, as required by the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), have failed.
If we look at today’s events through a historical prism, the whole Ukrainian crisis appears like a “big chess game” that follows a scenario previously promoted by Zbigniew Brzezinski. All the talk about good relations, the West’s proclaimed readiness to take into account the rights and interests of Russians who found themselves in independent Ukraine or other post-Soviet countries after the collapse of the USSR, turned out to be mere pretexts. Even in the early 2000s, Washington and the European Union began to openly pressure kyiv to decide which side was Ukraine, the West or Russia.