U.S. special representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker’s statement that Kiev should fulfil the political part of the Minsk Agreements shows America’s readiness to abandon the irreconcilable positions and begin productive dialogue according to Osobiy Status Social Study Centre director Alexander Protsenko.
USA insists on Kiev’s implementing political part of Minsk Agreements - expert
Russian presidential aide Vladislav Surkov and Volker had a meeting in Dubai on 26 January at which the U.S. envoy presented a plan for UN peacekeeping mission in Donbass, contingent on the fulfilment of the political provisions of the Minsk Agreements. Volker underlined that Ukraine had to implement the Minsk agreements’ provisions on Donbass status and holding local elections. He noted that the USA agreed that the settlement of political issues should precede the establishment of control over Russian-Ukrainian border.
“Unexpectedly for many, having changed the climate zone for a warmer one, Kurt Volker and Vladislav Surkov noted after the meeting a certain “warming” during the negotiations,” Protsenko said. “It is evident from the U.S. diplomat’s rhetoric as he softened his traditional mantra that Russia does not fulfill the Minsk Agreements and similar claims which sometimes look more like hypnotist’s passes than diplomatic discourse.”
“In this case, the U.S. special representative noted that Ukraine has to fulfil the Misnk Agreements, moreover, he beleives that the border control issue should be put forth after implementation of the political provisions of the Minsk Agreements. It seems there’s nothing new or suprising in it, but from the viewpoint of rank-and-file Ukrainian patriots this sounds like barefaced treachery, because even the leading Ukrainian policymakers have been openly saying that the Minsk Agreements are anti-Ukrainian,” the political scientist said.
He reminded that Volker agreed with the possibility of expanding the deployment of the peacekeeping mission starting from the Contact Line.
“Its future will apparently be tied to sucessful implementation of Minsk-2, in the first place by Ukraine,” the expert said.
“Consequently, our summary is that Washington, in the person of Volker, demonstrated its readiness at this point to abandon the attempts to promote its irreconcilable positions and get to dialogue. Russia, represented by Surkov, defended the inviolability of its positions on the key points of difference in the opinions concerning further negotiations,” Protsenko said.
As for Ukraine, they are gradually realising that if they take up a chess game they will not be allowed to break its rules no matter how much they want it or how much patronage they get,” he added.
In his opinion, the meeting cannot be regarded as a breakthrough in implementing the agreements.
“Ukraine always has military leverage at hand to break any agreement, even a top-level one. However, they’ll have to pay for everything in the long run; at present we can only say that Russia and the USA have begun to probe for a compromise,” he said.