Article by: Vitaliy Portnikov
In reading articles on the Minsk agreements in world media, it is difficult to avoid amazement at the naiveté of their authors. Yes, these people may not like Putin and may consider him the aggressor. But at the same time, they continue to believe in the law. In the conviction that Putin will honor the spirit and letter of the laws that he himself has guaranteed. And they — including a number of Ukrainian observers — carefully, scrupulously, point by point continue to analyze every point of these agreements, attempting to demonstrate the most important thing — the capitulation of the West and Ukraine to Putin. That Putin has achieved everything he wanted.
But, in fact, what did he want? For Ukraine to recognize the special status of the particular regions of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts and for it to relinquish its European choice and elect as president another Moscow puppet? For Ukraine to promise the residents of a small portion of the country’s territory “linguistic self-determination” or to make Russian the second state language? For Ukraine to carry out reforms of local self-government and to become a “federation” in which every subject can veto core decisions on the future of the country? Are there really people in the world who still believe that Putin needs the Donbas or that he is protecting compatriots? Were the Minsk negotiations even about the Donbas?
Authors of the outraged articles accuse President Poroshenko of concessions and President Hollande and Chancellor Merkel of misunderstanding Putin’s intentions. I will dare argue that Hollande and Merkel understand Putin better than any of the authors of the incriminating texts. And they understand perfectly that even if they were to give Putin a blank page to sign, he would still find ways to avoid fulfilling the conditions written on it. Putin is a liar. Isn’t that obvious?
It is obvious to you. It is obvious to Merkel. But it is not obvious to the great number “useful idiots” and political whores purchased by Moscow in the West. It is not obvious to the businessmen in the West who have been warming themselves on Russian corruption. And each time when it is necessary to increase sanctions against Moscow or to help Ukraine, this entire chorus of the “uncomprehending” begins to sing the same old song about why the West does not want to understand Russia. Why is it punishing Putin? Why is it holding Moscow responsible for a civil war in Ukraine? Why?
Yes, these people lie. But they are doing everything for the lie to take on the appearance of truth. This is exactly why the leaders of Western countries find it necessary to knock out their trump cards. To keep demonstrating that they — including the president of Ukraine — are doing everything possible to help peace. Responding to the slightest offer from Putin. Flying to Kyiv and Moscow. Not sleeping in Minsk. While Putin continues to cheat and to reject his own guarantees practically the following day.
Why be surprised that in Minsk they could not achieve control of the border — as if there were some date when Russia was planning to return this control? Why assume that for the return of this control Ukraine will make concessions to the “separatists” when they do not intend to comply with anything? Isn’t it clear that if all the points of the Minsk Agreement were actually fulfilled, then not a trace of Russian influence would remain in the Donbas? And isn’t it clear that Putin understands all this perfectly and does not intend to comply with anything?
Today already — even before the ceasefire — declarations were made in Donetsk that the legislation on local elections must take into account the wishes of the DNR, even though DNR and its wishes were not even mentioned in the Minsk agreements, and, according to the agreements, local elections are to be conducted according to Ukrainian law. Today already– even before the ceasefire — DNR (representatives) are declaring that parties that have expressed “aggression against the DNR” would not be allowed to participate in the elections. Are we just talking about the free democratic elections under OSCE control, as called for in the Minsk agreements?
And so they will go on refusing point after point. And at the same time bringing the situation in the region to a real humanitarian catastrophe. And to a simple choice — to break the truce and begin another escalation or to close up shop. There is simply no other possible outcome for these events.
I really want this truce to happen and for the thugs to stop killing soldiers, women and children. But I also want to note that, in addition to the truce, there is another most important summary of the meeting in Minsk. This summary was not included in the statements made to the media, but it was clearly heard in an exchange between presidents Petro Poroshenko and Alexandr Lukashenko that were obviously not intended for the press.
“He’s playing a dirty and dishonest game.
I know, I know. Everyone has understood that.”
Everyone has understood. Except for those who have not understood why Putin was lured to Minsk.