Normandy Format: Donbas reintegration now ‘a suicide' for Ukraine – analyst
Alexander Khara Alexander Khara Ukrainian political expert

14:39 Oct. 21, 2016

Donbas reintegration now ‘a suicide' for Ukraine – analyst

A billboard dedicated to the Russian militant Motorola, killed in Donetsk, is showcased in the city (GettyImages photo)

Ukrainian political expert Alexander Khara on why Minsk won't solve Ukraine-Russia conflict

The latest Normandy Four meeting didn't bring any major breakthrough in the settlement of the military conflict in eastern Ukraine, although the sides did agree to compose a road map for the implementation of the Minsk agreements.

The leaders announced the details of the plan should be worked out by the end of November. The document is expected to shed light on how the security and political settlement of the Ukraine-Russia confrontation in Donbas will be approached.

Read also: Leaders agree to draw up 'road map' for peace in Ukraine as Normandy Four talks end in Berlin

International community expresses cautious optimism, saying even a slight progress in the painful issue is highly welcome. But just like a coin always has two sides, there is a lot of doubts about Putin's actual desire to honor the deal.

‘Actually, there is no need for an additional document, since the Minsk agreement is numbered and all measures have been written absolutely clearly. So, Putin is just procrastinating any actions, and he is just waiting for a more favorable future for him, I mean, the Presidential election in the US, and the new leaders in France and Germany next year', Ukrainian political expert Alexander Khara says.

The leaders stress there is a lot of work ahead. Both sides of the conflict, meaning Ukraine and Russia, still have fundamental disagreements on key issues. Kyiv continues to demand that Kremlin's troops must be removed from Donbas, before any elections can be held there.

Read also: NATO welcomes Minsk road map - Stoltenberg (video)

Another crucial issue is, of course, the border, through which militants and weapons still reportedly arrive from Russia. Today Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said that government forces should regain control over the border ‘on the second day' after the election, confirming that such order is dictated by Minsk. Ukraine insists that until that happens, OSCE must be given full access to monitoring the border, including deploying monitors and setting up bases along the line.

Will Russia agree? Will it ultimately bring the conflict to an end?

‘Holding elections, or getting control over the border, or making any other political moves, envisioned by the so-called Minsk agreements, will not solve the conflict', Khara says, adding that it's impossible to hold any elections in a territory where Ukraine is not fully present. ‘What kind of power will these people elect, if they were under Russian propaganda for three years?'

Read also: Border control 'on second day' after election, Ukraine FM says

Khara is strongly convinced Ukraine shouldn't hold any elections in the next five years, even if Donbas is returned under its control. The core of the conflict will only be solved when Kyiv is strong enough, is backed and has guarantees it will become a NATO member from the West.

‘I can agree that returning these territories while the core of Ukraine, I mean our political institutions, our economy, our ability to sustain and defend ourselves from the Russia aggression is not as good as required by the situation, it's sort of a suicide for Ukraine to get these territories back', Khara claims.

In conclusion he brought up West Germany's Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, who declined Stalin's proposal to reunite with eastern part of the country, controlled at the time by the communists.

Stalin wanted guarantees that Adenauer wouldn't integrate into the Western civilization. More than half a century later, history repeats itself. 

Mr. Khara's stance on Minsk is only one of the many in Ukraine, pessimistic and optimistic too. Here's an opinion on why the Normandy meeting was a tactical victory for Ukraine. 

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