Russia will not fulfill Minsk obligations until forced – Ukrainian diplomat

Volodymyr Ohryzko. Photo: UNIAN

Volodymyr Ohryzko. Photo: UNIAN 

2016/09/08 • Analysis & Opinion

On September 5, 2014, the sides of the Donbas conflict signed the Minsk-1 ceasefire agreement, which included a twelve-point peace plan.

In an interview with UNN, Volodymyr Ohryzko, the former Foreign Minister of Ukraine, explained why the Minsk talks are ineffective and described how to force Russia to comply with its obligations. The diplomat argues that Russia is not living up to its obligations in the Minsk agreements because it’s not in its interest. He also believes international efforts to force Russia to implement the Minsk agreements are insufficient. Ohryzko is convinced that Russia will not fulfill any of its obligations unless forced.

“While discussing the situation in Syria at the G20 summit in China, a high-ranking official said that Russia was refusing to take responsibility. All western politicians should take this key message into account. If it is not to its advantage, Russia will refuse to meet its obligations in any shape or form. Therefore, new Minsk-3, Minsk-5, or Minsk-25 agreements will not change anything,” Ohryzko said.

Ohryzko said that Russia was incapable of implementing what it promised; it’s only willing to implement what it’s forced to.

“Therefore, until our western partners accept this simple reality, we will be discussing yet another meeting and yet another plan. By the way, some of our western partners have actively started drafting a new plan of action, failing to understand that it will not be implemented. We’ll be talking about another demarcation line, debating withdrawal of weapons by five centimeters in different directions—none of which will be implemented. So, we could either continue blowing smoke or act assertively,” Ohryzko noted.

According to the expert, there is no point in signing the Minsk-3. Instead, there should be a plan on how to force Russia to implement its obligations in accordance with international law. Russia should be punished for its aggression and annexation of Crimea but not with sanctions alone. Either it should play by the international rules or remain isolated.

“The current sanctions are like mosquito bites. As long as the West plays a role of a biting mosquito, Russia will only feel a slight discomfort. But when Russia sees that it’s being bitten by a fierce bulldog, it will feel much pain, then changes will occur. For now, the bulldog is sleeping. There are in fact plenty of options that the West is well familiar with. Such as blocking Russia from SWIFT or the global banking system, or imposing real sanctions on Russia’s most sensitive areas like oil and gas. All we need is political will, but the West is still approaching this topic too delicately.”

Експерт розповів, як змусити Росію виконувати мінські угоди

Volodymyr Ohryzko is a Ukrainian diplomat. From 2007 to 2009, he served as a Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.

 

Translated by: Vera Zimmerman
Source: unn.com.ua

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  • Dirk Smith

    Yep. That’s all a sociopathic thug understands.

    • Alex George

      Correct. Better for everyone to accept that Putin will never give in, or will his successor. Therefore the only course is to grind the Russian economy into the dust, so that they have no capacity to make war on others anymore.

      • Dagwood Bumstead

        Pedo Putolini is actually doing a pretty good job of grinding Dwarfstan’s economy into the dust, by slashing state budgets for education, health care, infrastructure etc etc in favour of the armed forces and security services. The results will be visible in less than 10 years in the country’s demographics and economy- assuming, of course, that Dwarfstan hasn’t collapsed/imploded by then.

  • Oknemfrod

    Actually, against a bear a swarm of vicious stinging insects can be more effective than a bulldog as long as (a) there’re enough of them and (b) they bite where it really matters (the ears, the eyes, and the nose are all good candidates). So far, (a) has been woefully inadequate and (b) leaves more to desire in terms of precision.

    • Dagwood Bumstead

      Remember the old Chinese saying: “Even the mightiest serpent can be overcome by a swarm of ants.”

      • Oknemfrod

        Yup. In the same vein, there’s also a fable “The Gnat and the LIon” by Aesop. In 1800’s it was “appropriated” by the Russian fabulist Krylov as his own under the title “Лев и Комар” (The Lion and the Mosquito).

        Curiously, Krylov chose to omit Aesop’s final episode whereby the Gnat, after defeating the Lion, gets entrapped in a spiderweb itself. Not sure why – whether he wanted to limit the fable to a single moral or had an ulterior motive.

  • Robert Drake

    The most difficult issue is not with Russia right now, it is with the betrayal of the Maidan (the event that gives this page its identity btw) by BPP and Poroschenko’s clan. Rada member Sergei Leschenko has tirelessly exposed the corruption and the reformation of the oligarchic choke hold on reform and the government. If Ukraine and its governing coalition cannot prove to the West and the world that it is honest and will implement true measures against state/oligarchic corruption and kleptocracy, it will not be long before it will end up back in the clutches of Russia as an alternative to being turned down for tranches of necessary financial aid from the World Bank and the IMF and the EU. Britain, Europe, and the EU, losing patience, will lose incentives for sanctioning Russia as well.

    More and more it is looking like Pravi Sektor, Yarosh, and its attacks on Medvedchuk’s smuggling and bribery operation on the Hungarian border and Pravi Sektor’s inherent mistrusts of the state’s bureaucrats and vertical structures and the Russian leaning oligarchs of Ukraine were completely justified, and Poroschenko and Klitschko standing on the barricades of the Maidan were just a cynical leveraged bet that they could assume the power left from the vacuum of a Yanukovich resignation. All of these other folk are willing to sell the Maidan out. EuroMaidan Press should take notice of this… the kids that died on the Maidan and were beaten and tortured, deserve not to be sold down the river to Moscow or money. Ukraine’s people deserve a government that is not run by svinja.

    • Scradje

      First and foremost, the occupier needs to be driven out. By any means necessary, but preferably financial, as outlined by Mr Ohryzko.

      • Robert Drake

        Exactly… and just how do those “financial means” occur if the financial elements decide that the Ukrainian government does not represent a body independent of Russia and bureaucratic conversion of state assets? And if not by financial means, who is going to sell weapons to Ukraine if they will end up in the hands of mid level corrupt Ukrainian military leaders that will turn over those weapons to Russia?

        • Scradje

          Hit their banking system: expulsion from SWIFT, freezing of Russian accounts held in North America and Europe, plus severe restrictions on commercial flights. That should drive the occupier out pretty quickly.

          • Dagwood Bumstead

            Better yet, do what the Poles and Lithuanians have started to do: buy oil and/or gas from other suppliers instead of from Gazprom and Rosneft. That wil kick the dwarf where it hurts, his war chest and offshore bank accounts.

          • Oknemfrod

            I’d rather say not “better yet” but “in addition to it”.

      • Alex George

        Isn’t it a simultaneous thing?

        I agree entirely that Poroshenko’s protection of outright corrupt oligarchs like Kononenko and Hranovsky is just as dangerous to Ukraine as Putin. The leaders’ persecution of Leshchenko, following on from their previous persecution of other reformers like Abromavicius and Jaresko is an utter disgrace.

        But pressure is being brought to bear on Poroshenko, Groysman and the other Ukrainian leaders to give ground on protection of the old Soviet system. And little by little, they are giving ground.

        At the same time, it is imperative to resist the Russian aggression – if Putin were to regain control over Ukraine, all the anti-corruption work so far would be undone in an instant.

        • Scradje

          You contradicted yourself in your final paragraph (which I wholeheartedly agree with) Alex. But your first sentance is not correct; NOTHING is more dangerous to Ukraine than putler.

          • Alex George

            Where is the contradiction? Look at my first sentence.

            And saying nothing is more dangerous than Putin misses the point IMO, because both the things I was talking about are Putin – if Ukraine does not eliminate corruption, they will be ruled by Putin again. And if they do not resist Putin’s army, they will be ruled by Putin again. Either way, the same result will arrive.

          • Scradje

            My point is this: of course corruption has not yet been extirpated. There have been considerable improvements though. But making the elimination of corruption a condition for helping Ukraine is obscene. They need unconditional help NOW. The hypocracy is astounding; the EU is also riddled with corruption;, Greece and Italy being good examples. Which is probably why they both swing towards putler’s fascist regime.

          • Dagwood Bumstead

            May I remind you that Germany is by no means as corrupt as Italy and Greece, yet it also swings toward Moscow. So corruption isn’t the issue.

          • Scradje

            Different type of corruption there; German politics is riddled with RuSSia lackeys. Same with France unfortunately.

          • Alex George

            Correct – it is a different type of corruption – and both are very different to the corruption in Ukraine. The latter will inevitably draw it back into Moscow’s orbit if not dealt with.

          • Alex George

            But elimination of corruption has never been made a condition of military aid, so why are we having this conversation?

            You are right that Ukraine needs help and needs it NOW.

            But that doesn’t mean releasing IMF money (which is not military aid and will not be used by Kyiv for that purpose) to the Kyiv government unconditionally – that would be the reverse of help, because it would encourage the retention of Soviet corruption that will inevitably draw Ukraine back into Moscow’s orbit, without a shot being fired.

            And sorry, but no, the hypocrisy is not astounding and the EU is not riddled with the corruption in the same way Ukraine is. There is a qualitative difference about the corruption in Russia and Ukraine (and other post Soviet states) which is why it has to be eliminated, because it is just as dangerous as Russian guns.