The 56th Munich Security Conference ended in Germany, at which Volodymyr Zelensky made his debut. The Ukrainian president predictably devoted his speech to the situation in the Donbas and made a number of interesting and ambiguous statements.
New platform – old problems Zelensky, speaking on the authoritative geopolitical site of Munich, said that for the sake of peace in the Donbass, he was ready to negotiate. But not with the leaders of the “DPR” / “LPR”, but directly with the population of the uncontrolled territories on the basis of the “World of Donbass” platform, which is now being created at the presidential office. Considering the fact that the Minsk agreements, which the Russian Federation constantly insists on the unquestioning implementation of, stipulate that official Kyiv should coordinate the principles of a political settlement with the leadership of the “Ordlo”, this message from the host Bankova can hardly be regarded as such, which will accelerate the negotiation “thaw” in the issue of resolving the situation in the East of our country. But on the other hand, the president supported the idea of patrolling the border with Russia in the Donbas together with representatives of the OSCE and the “DPR” / “LPR” for the period of preparation for local elections in the region, which made a definite step towards the Russians.
Synchronously with this statments about the possibility of holding local elections in the Donbass in autumn, they actively talked last weekend and during the congress of the pro-presidential party “Servant of the People”.In addition, just after his appointment, the new head of the President’s Office, Andrei Yermak, raised this topic: “We have a clear plan so that local elections can be held throughout Ukraine in late October, in accordance with Ukrainian laws.”
What this kind of plan of Ze-team they don’t tell, however on the sidelines, they saying that behind the external demonstration of intransigence with the Russian Federation, between the leadership of Ukraine and Russia, actually, there is secret negotiations are continuing almost 24/7, the purpose of which is to agree on a “road map” for the elections in the ORDLO. Meanwhile experts are very skeptical about tevaluate the prospect of popular expression in Donbas this year.
“Elections in the Donbas – hopeless idea”
“Personally, Zelensky refused direct negotiations with the leaders of the so-called DPR / LPR because they are terrorist entities, and they, according to Ukrainian law, are such. so, it’s impossible from a legal point of view. For this, it is necessary to amend existing laws that would recognize terrorist entities as legitimate state entities. And in general, I think that Zelensky made a statement about border patrols and elections in the Donbass in the fall with the filing of Russia, and now the Russian Federation is waiting for a reaction, firstly, of the Western world, and secondly, inside Ukraine, “said the head of the Gardarika strategic consulting corporation Kostiantyn Matviyenko. In his opinion, questions related to citizenship also make impossible elections in the Donbass: “Hundreds of thousands of Russian passports were handed out in the Donbas. Dual citizenship is not allowed in Ukraine.That is mean, people who received Russian passports have already lost Ukrainian citizenship, despite the fact that they are residents of those territories and objectively have their own communal interests, which are implemented through local authorities in accordance with Ukrainian legislation. They, as citizens of Ukraine, cannot take part in these elections. ” Among other things, the expert notes, there are also organizational and technical barriers: “Is it possible, taking into account the circumstances with the issuance of Russian passports, to create a real and real register of voters? I recall that the voter register is kept by the CEC. So you can imagine that in “LNR” / “DNR” come the representatives of the CEC and begin to create a register of voters? I – no.
Likewise, I cannot imagine that Ukrainian state flags should be posted at polling stations, as required by Ukrainian law. In addition, there are many other nuances. For example, who and in what currency will pay the work of members of election commissions, how and in what language ballots will be printed and the like. There are many legal and purely technical issues that, in my opinion, make it impossible to hold elections in the Donbass in autumn.
Reintegration without de-occupation is the path to an all-Ukrainian war. Today we cannot say that the ice in the matter of resolving the situation in the Donbas has completely broken, but the process cannot be called frozen either, ”political analyst Alexander Paliy said. “Now it’s obvious that negotiations on the Donbas are ongoing, but the fact is that all the initiatives that sound from the lips of the authorities do not give Ukraine anything. Here, for example, is border control with representatives of the occupied territories. First, we, therefore, legitimize all kinds of “DNR” / “LNR”, and this is very dangerous.
I note that in the Minsk agreements it is written that no “DPR” and “LPR” exist, there are only ORDLO, that is, separate districts of Donetsk and Luhansk. And this means that the separatists do not have any central structures. And it is precisely this position that must be very clearly and firmly upheld. “The expert emphasizes separately that the Minsk agreements directly say that control over the border on the second day after the election is transferred to Ukraine, “and not to some representatives of the occupied territories there.”
The expert emphasizes separately that the Minsk agreements directly say that control over the border on the second day after the election is transferred to Ukraine, “and not to some representatives of the occupied territories there.”
By the way, Paliy also makes an interesting emphasis on which almost no one now pays due attention to the general paradigm of the “Donbas case”: “Now the topic of amnesty is not voiced at all. A year ago Zelensky was asked whether there would be an amnesty and he replied:“ No, will not be. “And now there is no clear position.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to recall that the so-called Geneva Declaration of April 17, 2014 says that amnesty is impossible in relation to those who committed serious crimes. According to the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
What does it mean? This means that if we meticulously comply with this requirement, then about one hundred thousand separatists and collaborators will have to get out of Donbas before its reintegration, before the elections. “According to the political scientist, if you reintegrate Donbas without de-occupation” it will be just a mine inside the country “: “We are waiting for a criminal explosion, terrorism, and so on. And as a result, instead of a war somewhere on a narrow strip, we will get it all over the country.”
“Quick solutions not expected “
The political scientist Igor Tyshkevich is convinced that despite the statements by the authorities about the existence of a secret plan for elections in the Donbas in the fall, this will not happen.
“If you believe the statements of the leadership of our state, then the elections in the Donbas should be held according to the laws of Ukraine. In addition to everything else, Ukraine at the time of the election should control the border there and, in general, the situation. The fact that it is realistic to resolve all these and many other issues before the fall, I personally doubt very much. Russia, which has never hidden its interest in the Donbas returning to Ukraine on its terms, will choose a convenient time for itself. Personally, I believe that nothing that will fundamentally change the situation in the Donbas will not happen in 2020″ Tyshkevich said.
Actually, if the issue of elections in the Donbas actually leaves more than a lot of blank spots, then there is a certain “warming” in the issue of the complete withdrawal of troops. During the Munich conference, President Zelensky spoke about a plan for the sector-by-sector troop withdrawal in the Donbas. It is a question of dividing the front line into sectors, on which the withdrawal of forces and assets begins in turn. If we are talking about the entire line of contact, then serious shifts are really possible here.
Interestingly, the head of state voiced this initiative at the Munich conference the day after a conversation with Putin and said that he would promote it in every way during the Normandy Summit scheduled for April. “Can we talk about war, make jokes and at the same time look worthy? Zelensky showed in Munich that he has this difficult art,” presidential spokeswoman Julia Mendel wrote on her Facebook. How much Zelensky really mastered the art of diplomacy, and how world leaders listen to it, can be seen in the near future, when on February 20, at the initiative of official Kyiv, a special meeting of the UN General Assembly will be held. There is only one issue on the agenda – the war in the East of our country.
Natalia Romashova, UA-Times.