Why Minsk Agreement Failed

However, this does not take into account the crucial point that it would never have been necessary to conclude a Minsk agreement if Russia had not effectively invaded Ukraine. In the meantime, the Ukrainian government is in a difficult situation because it is unable to fulfill any of the points of the agreement, even if it wanted to. Paragraph 11 states that Ukraine must amend its constitution to grant special status to separatist regions. The constitutional amendments have been drawn up, but they require a two-thirds majority in the Ukrainian parliament, which will not see the light of day in the near future. Just before the Minsk agreement, the IMF announced a $40 billion aid programme for Ukraine, which depends, as usual, on economic reforms. Ukraine`s economy remains dominated by Soviet-era command structures and is fraught with corruption: reforms would be a major challenge, even if the country were peaceful. For reforms to be possible, a binding ceasefire is needed. The agreements were put in place to curb Russia`s direct military intervention in Ukraine in the summer of 2014 (Minsk I) and early 2015 (Minsk II). Therefore, the idea of a general political solution through the Minsk process is dishonest, as it assumes that the conflict was only domestic. There have been elements that have led to political and even violent conflict in eastern Donbass ukraine, and Kiev`s poor governance may have aggravated the situation. Nevertheless, the role of an outside actor in turning domestic abuse into a military conflict cannot be ignored by arming hybrid forces, strengthening local criminal elements and disseminating propaganda. The two Minsk agreements will fail to find a political solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

The agreements are a framework for conflict management and de-escalation and have a limited impact, as demonstrated by ceasefire violations and the operations of Moscow`s deputies. The Minsk agreements do not change the fundamental calculations of the parties. The Ukrainian Parliament approved on 17 March a law on the « special status » for the Donbass, as it did in Minsk II [56] Later, in 2019, the Ukrainian Parliament voted on Thursday to extend the rules providing for limited autonomy to separatist-controlled eastern regions, a precondition for an agreement to settle the five-year conflict. [57] The law was immediately criticized by Ukrainian politicians, separatist leaders and the Russian government. The president of the Radical Party, Oleg Lyaschko, said that the law was « a vote in favour of the de facto recognition of the Russian occupation in the Donbass ». Parliament`s Deputy Speaker Andriy Paroubiy said the law was « not for Putin or for the occupiers » but to show Europe that Ukraine was ready to stick to Minsk II.