There can be no normalisation of the relations with Russia as long as Moscow leads a war in the eastern Ukraine. This articles examines a new attempt to resolve the Ukraine conflict.
The diplomatic efforts of the West to find a political solution to the Ukraine conflict have reached an impasse. Implementation of the terms of the Minsk Agreement – far-reaching autonomy rights for Donbas in return for a withdrawal of Russian arms and troops, the holding of regional elections under international supervision, Ukrainian control of the border with Russia – has come to a standstill. Not even the exchange of prisoners is proceeding. There are continual violations of the ceasefire. Every day brings new reports by the Ukrainian army of deaths and injuries. Russian weapons and fighters continue to flood into Donbas. The OSCE monitoring mission is regularly impeded by the separatists. Around 1.5 million people have fled the occupied areas. Reports coming out of Donetsk and Luhansk suggest that the areas are ruled by brute force. Mercenaries line their pockets. Behind the Potemkin-like facade of the “People’s Republics”, Russian officers and advisors hold sway.