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What Hope for Ukraine and the Normandy Four Summit? | Carnegie - Nov. 19, 2021 |

The first meeting in over three years of the heads of state and government of the so-called Normandy Four is set to take place on December 9 in Paris.

This four-way negotiation format (France, Germany, Russia, and Ukraine) brought about the Minsk I and II agreements of 2014 and 2015 aimed at ending the war in eastern Ukraine. While the nitty-gritty of the actual implementation of Minsk II is being handled--as yet by and large unsuccessfully--by a number of working groups that convene regularly in Minsk and include representatives of the non-government-controlled areas in Ukraine, the Normandy format frames the negotiations and provides a communication channel to the rest of the world.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Jan 25th, 2022 at 07:57:24 AM EST
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The thing with Minsk II and Normandy Four is that it's a no-go for Ukraine for two reasons:
  • negotiating with the "separatists" means admitting it's a civil war and not Russian aggression contrary to 7 year narrative so far.
  • if the population of Donetsk gets a say in Ukrainian politics, the current opposition is likely to gain power (at least in a democracy it would) and Ukraine would never, ever join NATO but reform good relations with Russia.

Both of these are unthinkable for the current regime in Kyiv. Nor are they popular in places that support the current regime in Kyiv, either.
by pelgus on Tue Jan 25th, 2022 at 08:42:10 AM EST
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My impression when Zelensky was elected was that he was for implementing the Minsk II agreement, or at least for ending the conflict. Part of an agenda taht got overwhelming support. He seems to have shifted position since (and has become less popular), though it is interesting now that both he and his defense minister has been clear that there is no russian military threath and that they see it as a psychological war on Ukraine.

My guess is that the realities of being the president of the current Ukrainian state trumps what the persons thinks going into office. And therefore by extension what the people can influence.

Also, selection of future office holders seems to be narrowing. Euronews, from december:

KYIV - Ukrainian authorities placed former president Petro Poroshenko under formal investigation for high treason on Monday, accusing him of links to financing separatist forces in the eastern Donbass region.

Officials said the accusations against Poroshenko were related to similar charges against pro-Russian lawmaker Viktor Medvedchuk, who has been under house arrest for about six months.

Medvedchuk's and Poroshenko's political parties denied wrongdoing.

So two of the leading opposition parties has leaders arrested. In addition to the (small) Communist Party of Ukraine that was already in 2015 banned from running in elections. Ironically enough, that was under Poroshenko's rule.

Ukraine does seem to have a democracy problem.

by fjallstrom on Wed Jan 26th, 2022 at 11:00:08 AM EST
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