The Minsk Agreements

The impact on Ukraine`s foreign policy would be considerable. A neutrality clause in the Constitution would exclude NATO membership.56 But the DNR and NRL would be able to sign agreements with other countries (Russia) and perhaps establish Russian military bases on their territories.57 New doubts would also surround European integration. Acceptance of Russian requests could weaken the central authorities in Kiev to the point of making it impossible to implement the AA. These discussions are based on the so-called Minsk agreements, which refer to a protocol and memorandum signed in September 2014, and then to a package of measures in February 2015, approved by the UN Security Council in Resolution 2202 (and sometimes called the Minsk II agreement). All these documents were negotiated in the Belarusian capital (President Lukashenko cleverly proposed to hold these talks, which allowed him to adopt a neutral attitude), supported by the Vienna-based Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and signed by representatives of Ukraine and Russia, but also by the self-proclaimed leaders of the „republics“ of Donetsk and Luhansk. Meanwhile, most of the EU sanctions launched since 2014 following Russia`s annexation of Crimea and its involvement in eastern Ukraine are linked to Russia`s „full implementation“ of the Minsk agreements. The Minsk agreements are currently the most important instrument for a lasting settlement in the occupied regions of eastern Ukraine. Moscow and Kiev, however, are not enthusiastic about implementing the package of measures that this entails. If that does not change by the summer, the European Union would be ill-advised to lift or relax its economic sanctions against Russia.

Such an approach would not only undermine the Union`s political credibility, but would also encourage Russia to extend its influence in the post-Soviet space and to continue its attempts to divide the EU. For these reasons, the suspicions of the agreements are profound, with allegations that the former KGB, who still works for the Kremlin, wrote the special status and amnesty of Minsk to provoke the patriotic pride of Ukraine and force the country to federalize or break. Negotiations loaded with loaded names only fuel such speculation; These include controversial former President Leonid Kuchma and oligarchs, who are also said to be close to Putin, such as Viktor Medvedchuk and Nestor Shufrych. The viability and credibility of the whole process is weak. „These agreements, which are more often mentioned than tested, are problematic.“ The Protocol on the Results of the Trilateral Contact Group Consultations, or commonly known as the Minsk Protocol, is an agreement to end the war in the Donbass region of Ukraine, signed on 5 September 2014 by representatives of that country, the Russian Federation, the Donetsk People`s Republic (DPR), the Luhansk People`s Republic (LPR) and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). [1] [2] [3] It was signed after extensive discussions in Minsk, Belarus, under the auspices of the OSCE. The agreement, which followed several previous attempts to end the fighting in the Donbass, resulted in an immediate ceasefire. It was unable to stop fighting in the Donbass[4] and was therefore followed by a new package of measures, called Minsk II, which was approved on 12 February 2015. [5] This has also failed to bring an end to the fighting, but the Minsk agreements remain the basis for a future solution to the conflict, as agreed at the Normandy meeting.