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Ukraine talks: What is different this time

truce until the end of the year, prisoner exchange on 24. December, agreement on the transit of gas. Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodimir Selenski not have invented at the Paris summit, and the world. The results sounds rather sobering. Finally, in Ukraine, countless weapons were agreed upon still stands: new year, Easter, the harvest, the start of School and then again at new year. Has held none.

Small steps instead of big words

However, there is reason to hope that it is different this time. Moscow and especially Kiev have proved the last few months that you want to do something. Both sides have released prisoners, and then three places of the troops from the armistice line drawn. There are taken care of automatically a truce: The soldiers are often in sight of, opposite, which inevitably leads to more and new skirmishes.

The limited deduction is for the troubled people is a blessing and has also proven to be a confidence-building measure: Finally, the opponent is not moved right back into the new hole, as it was the last years always the case.

it is also Important that Putin and Selenski have agreed to something like an appointment for a checkup In four months, you will meet again, also the mediators from France and Germany, Emmanuel Macron, and Angela Merkel, will be there again. Then we will see who complies with his promise and who is not.

"We achieved a lot, but we wanted more."Volodimir Selenski, the Ukrainian head of state

Vladimir Putin assumes the responsibility that the controlled rebels in Eastern Ukraine tracks – something he has so far avoided. That he can prevail there, no question. And apparently, he also wants to: In Moscow, in the meantime, a man is a Vice-Premier Dmitry Kozak to the conflict is responsible, Putin regularly as a fire starts. Kozak wants to get out of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine, because he is continuing to squeeze Russia financially the air.

The notorious arsonist Vladislav Surkov, considered the actual architect of the Ukraine disaster and at the last summit three years ago, even at the negotiating table sat, Putin has taken back at least.

The Ukrainian President Selenski has done a lot of preparatory work for the Meeting, now he gets his Chance. However, he does not have it easy. From anywhere, he is criticized: a pawn in the sordid Impeachment battle against President Donald Trump, a comedian, the dubious Connections to shady oligarchs has no political experience, in short, a said eat, the Putin before Breakfast.

elections as the next step

however, the fact is: Selenski has achieved in half a year more in Eastern Ukraine, as its predecessor, Petro Poroshenko, in five years. And with a ceasefire and a prisoner exchange, he has crossed no red lines: On the weekend were gone in Kiev, thousands on the road and warned the President against a "surrender". In particular, they are against a special status for the rebel regions within Ukraine. One of the leaders of the protests, Poroshenko, which is not without a certain irony: He had signed 2014/15 the Minsk agreements, the autonomy regime establishes.

The Ukrainian President Volodimir Selenski. Photo: Stepan Franko/Keystone

It seemed no wonder, said Macron, after the long negotiation in the evening, you have not tried it at all. On the way to a political solution to the conflict in Paris, barely progressing. After all, the so-called Steinmeier's formula, named after the former German foreign Minister, was written in the final document of the summit festival: As a next step, elections are announced, then the breakaway regions to get autonomy.

So the next target is. But the road is still far away: Ukraine wants up to the elections, all the troops are withdrawn, the Minsk agreement stipulates, however, that the control of the border with Russia is only transferred to Kiev, if the autonomy is realized. It throbbed Putin in Paris iron.

The West is required

to control the beginning of April, 2020, the parties have to negotiate the time and the Problem piece by piece, breaking up the meeting. The West – and even Switzerland – will be required: Ambassador Heidi Grau, once the head of the Taskforce of the Swiss OSCE chairmanship, has been appointed Head of the trilateral contact group, which operates in Minsk on the concrete implementation of the peace agreement. So far, the political discussions were blocked, now movement is likely to come in the process. The West must, however, make all parties clear that the chosen path is no Alternative.

"We have achieved a lot, but we wanted more," said Selenski after the hours-long negotiations in Paris, a little resigned. But more would just be able to Ukraine not to swallow. After all the years of stalemate, after more than 13’000 dead, the Situation may change now only slowly so that people have enough time, a turning point in the minds to take place. Big words about peace in Eastern Ukraine, there was already enough. Now, small acts are in demand.

Created: 10.12.2019, 12:54 PM

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