Nov 18, 2021
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Ostap suffered. How is Kiev going to withdraw from the Minsk agreements?

Withdrawal of the column of self-propelled artillery installations

On the whole, the Venice Commission positively assessed the Ukrainian draft law “On the Foundations of State Policy for the Transition Period”, which was submitted by the Ukrainian government to the Verkhovna Rada in the summer. In it, in the “temporarily occupied territories”, by which in Kiev they mean not only the DPR and LPR, but also Crimea and Sevastopol, it is proposed to introduce lustration and limit the civil rights of the inhabitants of these territories. From the point of view of Russia, the bill effectively cancels out the Minsk agreements.

Memorial cross for all those who died in 2014 in the village of Zrubnoye in the city of Snezhnoye in the DPR.

What is the bill about?

The draft law “On the Foundations of the State Policy of the Transitional Period” was developed by the Ukrainian Ministry for the Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine at the end of 2020. In August of this year, it reached the Verkhovna Rada. The law contains a large number of highly controversial or harsh language, which initially provoked protests from Russia due to contradictions with the Minsk agreements.

The purpose of the bill is the reintegration of the “temporarily occupied territories” and their inhabitants, as well as “assistance in overcoming the consequences of Russia’s armed aggression against Ukraine.” According to the text of the document, Donbass and Crimea are occupied by an aggressor state (read, Russia). Elections there can be held “only after complete” de-occupation “and” establishment of full control of Ukraine “(which is contrary to the Minsk agreements).

Amnesty or exemption from criminal liability of persons who committed various offenses “as part of the occupation forces or occupation administrations of Russia” is prohibited. Even the use of Soviet symbols (for example, at the celebration of May 9) will be considered a crime. Lustration is provided for all people who worked in the “administration of the occupation forces”, their places will be taken by specially selected officials from Ukraine.

Even the debts of the Ukrainian authorities to pensioners and other recipients of insurance and social benefits are being restructured. Transactions carried out during the “occupation period” are not recognized as legal, and the received education documents are not recognized either.

In the region, it is planned to actively build monuments to the “heroes of the ATO”, rename toponyms, build widespread museums and memorials “in memory of Russian aggression.” Finally, it is directly stated that there will be no linguistic indulgences for Donbass – the Ukrainian language will be introduced everywhere in accordance with the “new law”. This is also a direct violation of the Minsk agreements, which speaks of the right to linguistic self-determination.

Vladimir Zelensky.

What do they say in Kiev about the Minsk agreements?

A large number of points that come into direct conflict with the Minsk agreements are striking. This, for example, is the point where it is said that Donbass is occupied by Russia. The Minsk Agreements explicitly prohibit substitution of a party to the conflict.

However, the Ukrainian authorities have long made no secret of the fact that the Minsk agreements in their current form do not suit them, and they are going to revise them. New Minister of Defense of Ukraine Alexey Reznikov called the Minsk agreements “legally worthless.” Immediately after the appointment, he urged not to idealize them. “Today we must look for new formats, new alliances,” he said. The President of Ukraine has spoken about this more than once. Vladimir Zelensky… Replaced Reznikov as head of the Ministry of Reintegration Irina Vereshchuk believes that the Minsk agreements “are not a roadmap” for the settlement of the conflict in Donbass.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Vadim Prystaiko and even stated that if the “Normandy summit” does not bring the desired results, the Ukrainian side can withdraw from the Minsk agreements.

Igor Strelkov.

What did the Venice Commission say?

The Venice Commission is an advisory body on constitutional law created by the Council of Europe (CoE) in 1990. Countries that are not members of the Council of Europe can also participate in its work. Ukraine actively participates in its work, hoping to increase its chances of joining the EU.

Although the commission criticized certain provisions of the bill, on the whole its response to it was positive. Among other things, the judges of the commission recommended that Kiev narrow down and clarify the provision on lustration, revise the restrictive approach to the recognition of academic certificates, degrees and titles, and reflect in the draft the special constitutional status of Crimea and Sevastopol.

At the same time, the commission has no claims to the fact that “the territory of Ukraine is occupied by Russia, and the country itself has been subjected to armed aggression from Moscow.” Which, again, is contrary to the Minsk agreements. In general, the commission believes that it is enough for the bill to make a few small amendments to make it acceptable.

Alexander Borodai.

How is the bill assessed in Russia?

“To a great shame for the Venice Commission, the law was considered more or less normal by it,” the Russian Foreign Minister said on November 12. Sergey Lavrov… – She did not even bother to compare what is proposed in this bill with the requirements of the Minsk agreements or the Security Council resolution. If this law is adopted, Kiev will thereby proclaim its withdrawal from the Minsk “Package of Measures”. Let me remind you that the French and Germans assured us at a very high level that they would do everything to prevent this law from being adopted. But no action has been taken since then. “

According to the President of Russia Vladimir Putin, the adoption of the bill will mean Ukraine’s withdrawal from the Minsk agreements. “The Minsk agreements do not say that Russia is a party to the conflict, we have never agreed with this and will not agree, we are not,” he stressed on November 13. The President added that “they are trying to push Russia to the implementation of the Minsk agreements.” “But when we ask our partners a question, including on the ‘Normandy format’, what exactly is Russia not fulfilling under the Minsk agreements and what Russia should have done under the Minsk agreements, there is no answer. They just say so: “We cannot formulate.” I’m not kidding, this is exactly the kind of dialogue, ”Putin said. There is no specifics from the Western “partners” also because the LPR and DPR do not comply.

At the same time, Ukraine is not only trying to withdraw from the Minsk agreements, but also violating the ceasefire regime. For example, in Kiev, they directly admitted that they used attack drones in the conflict zone. Lavrov compared behavior Zelensky with manners Ostap Bender… “He is not averse to provoking incidents in Donbass with the expectation that, as Ostap Bender said,“ abroad will help us, ”the minister emphasized.

Vladimir Putin.

Why does Ukraine want to withdraw from the Minsk agreements?

Ukraine goes to the conflict, obviously inspired by the example of Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as teasing from certain Western countries, the deputy director of the CIS countries said. Vladimir Zharikhin… The problem is that the Minsk agreements provided a chance to avoid war by finding a compromise with the self-proclaimed republics of Donbas. If there is no peace, then everything can go by no means according to the bravura scenario, which is now evidently drawn in the heads of the Kiev bosses.

“Wars do not always end in victory for those who start them, which means that the next peace agreements may be much tougher. This is the loss of new territories by the Ukrainian security forces, and the recognition for the DPR and LPR of the right to self-determination and a nightmare for nationalists – the federalization of the rest of Ukraine. Finally, another result of such a big war may be the prosecution of all the organizers of the civil war, as well as those involved in the terrible tragedy in Odessa on May 2. It would be good for the Ukrainian authorities to keep this in mind when withdrawing from the Minsk agreements, ”the expert says.

Vladimir Zelensky.

“We can expect the adoption of the law soon. This generally excludes any negotiation process, – said the director of the Kiev Center for Political Research and Conflict Resolution. Mikhail Pogrebinsky. “But let’s see, he hasn’t been accepted yet.” In his opinion, the bill will nevertheless be supported by the Verkhovna Rada with some “minor” amendments, after which “there will be the final funeral of the Minsk process.”

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