Russian aggression: A history of one "Road Map"
Oleh Belokolos Oleh Belokolos Ukrainian foreign affairs expert

16:18 Dec. 1, 2016

A history of one "Road Map"

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks as he attends the unveiling ceremony of a monument to Vladimir the Great on the National Unity Day outside the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Nov. 4, 2016. (AP Photo)

Ukrainian political expert Oleh Belokolos of Maidan of Foreign Affairs on "Minsk road map" and Russia's expectations

As we know, at the latest "Normandy format" (Germany, France, Ukraine, Russia) meeting in Berlin on October 19, 2016, it was decided to devise, until the end of November, a "Road Map" for the implementation of the so-called "Minsk Agreements".

Well, the history of diplomacy certainly knows numerous examples when the process of interstate negotiations was packaged into various documents, programs and even demands, although they were given different names at different times.

Read more Minsk: Russia ignores ‘inconvenient' issues

For instance, Peter the Great, who is now being glorified in modern Russia, used to regularly meddle in the affairs of the neighboring Poland in the XVIII century and even had developed a respective Polish policy for the Russian diplomacy: interfering with the King's election, driving a wedge between the monarch and the elite, forming a pro-Russian political party through bribery and intimidation, creating a military threat by way of stationing Russian troops, coordination of efforts with other states for the joint intervention into the Polish domestic affairs and setting forth claims as to the supposed defense of the Orthodox population rights – such was the essence of the Russian "Road Map" of the time.

The analogy with the main provisions of the so-called "Minsk Agreements" and the list of other well-known demands of Moscow towards Kyiv are so obvious that they hardly require any additional argumentation.

Watch more Minsk talks kick off: Ukraine wants Russia to liberate hostages

At the same time, Peter the Great was not ready yet to completely dismantle and annex Polish territory – his plan was merely to significantly weaken that state and establish indirect, but firm control over it. Partition of Poland was accomplished by Russia, Prussia and Austria somewhat later, in 1771, 1793 and 1795, respectively.

The result is well-known, for over a century, the integral and independent Poland had ceased to exist from the political map of Europe.

Read more On dictators, international law and dangerous illusions

On November 29, 2016, the foreign ministers of Germany, France, Ukraine and Russia have failed to agree on the mentioned "Road Map". As it was stressed, the parties, especially Ukraine and Russia, have fundamentally different opinions regarding how the roadmap to peace should look.

And, this is not a surprise – just like more than 200 years ago, Russia today wants to impose its control over another country. This time it happens to be Ukraine.    

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