MP Nestor Shufrych and the politician Viktor Medvedchuk were seen in the company of representatives of the ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’, in a Donetsk restaurant, on May 18.
Medvedchuk’s meeting with separatist leaders is the beginning of negotiations to create a Ukrainian Transnistria; we can assume that this is known to the Kyiv authorities.
As has become known to dsnews.ua, multilateral agreements on the creation of a quasi-state formation in parts of Luhansk and Donetsk Oblasts has been the main topic of negotiations. Today Medvedchuk (a Ukrainian citizen and the leader of Ukrainian Party) is to tell the separatists that Russia isn’t going to agree to uniting this region with the Russian Federation.
However, the Russians are willing to support the separatists financially. But they have to stop engaging in open looting; and to start a transition from martial law to a peaceful course.
Furthermore, as discovered by dsnews.ua, a roundtable with representatives of the Ukrainian authorities – and not bloodstained separatists – will be held soon. The discussion of the Donbas separation process will start then.
It is currently unclear how this separation will occur; but so far the most likely option is holding a relatively legitimate referendum, and then starting the process of a ‘civilized divorce’ – along the lines of the Slovakia and Czech Republic experience – will begin. Another option is the formation of an autonomous republic (or republics, explaining why there is still no formal association between Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts), followed by the right of self-determination. However, we should emphasize that this is still a working version; and all these talks may come to nothing.
Nevertheless, both official Kyiv and Western countries essentially agree on these processes. Henceforth, to all appearances, the negotiations will be held without official delegates from the West or official representatives of The Kremlin. The OSCE will be the main mediator; and the decision, if agreement is reached, will be supposedly taken by Kyiv and the separatists.
The main threat is the Russians being unable to guarantee they won’t follow the same scenario in other regions; starting to destabilise other regions in a month or so. And it’s possible that these other regions may not be Odesa nor Mykolaiv, but Berehove Raion in Transcarpathia (Medvedchuk was in Donetsk with Shufrych – not without reason) or Hertsa and Novoselytsia Raions of Bukovina.
If Moscow manages to undermine the situation there, it will be able to drive a wedge into the EU until it’s monolithic.
Translated by Varvara Jess, edited by Jon Barrow