KYIV, (BM) – On December 9, 2019, a meeting of the Normandy four countries – Germany, France, Ukraine, and Russia – was held in Paris on Donbas’s conflict. A year later, Ukraine proposes further steps in this matter and calls on Russia to respect its agreements, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing Defence24.
During last year’s summit, the leaders of Germany, France, Ukraine, and Russia – Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron, Volodymyr Zelensky, and Vladimir Putin – reached many agreements on the conflict in eastern Ukraine that had been ongoing since 2014. These agreements included a ceasefire by the end of the year, prisoner exchanges, troop withdrawal, and implementation of the Minsk agreements. It is also planning that further talks in this format to be held within four months. However, no such negotiations have taken place so far.
Exactly a year later, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry assured that for Kyiv, the implementation of the Normandy Four’s arrangements and the Minsk agreement package is essential. “These agreements are the basis for the political and diplomatic settlement of the Russian-Ukrainian armed conflict and the restoration of peace in the Ukrainian Donbas.”
It was assessed that the security situation in the conflict zone had stabilized, which “despite ongoing provocations by the Russian Federation’s armed formations, resulted in a significant reduction in the number of human casualties and damage to critical infrastructure. It was reminded that in December 2019 and April this year. There were exchanges of detained persons between the parties to the conflict.
The ministry called on Russia to take steps to continue work to implement the decisions taken by the leaders of the so-called Normandy Four and bring “real steps” to settle the conflict based on international law, respecting the state sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
The Ukrainian delegation in the tripartite contact group for conflict settlement presented the actions that should carry out next. These included the further release of detained persons, guaranteeing full access of international organizations – mainly the International Committee of the Red Cross – to all incarcerated persons, opening checkpoints on the demarcation line, and implementing security conditions such as demining and withdrawal of troops.
President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday also commented on the anniversary of the Normandy summit, who posted on Twitter a photo from last year’s meeting with the caption: “The road to peace is not easy, but I know we can do it.” The armed conflict in Donbas broke out after the victory of the pro-Western revolution in Kyiv, which led to the overthrow of Ukraine’s then pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych, in early 2014. In the spring of that year, the Russian-backed rebels proclaimed two self-proclaimed people’s republics in the Donbas.
In September 2014, representatives of Ukraine, Russia, and the OSCE and envoys of the self-proclaimed people’s republics in Donbas, Donetsk, and Luhansk, signed the so-called the Minsk Protocol on the Resolution of the Conflict in Donbas. The document consisted of 12 points, the first of which provided the immediate and bilateral suspension of the use of weapons in Donbas. The paper agreed that the OSCE would monitor compliance with the agreement. It was also decided, among other things, for the release of all hostages.
Another agreement on the Donbas was concluded in February 2015 by Germany, France, Ukraine, and Russia. It was then agreed, among other things, withdrawal from the demarcation line of heavy weapons, thanks to which a buffer zone with a width of 50 to 70 km was to be created there. The agreements have still not been fully implemented.
Turkey might provide military support and return Donbass to Ukraine
Today, many military analysts are turning their attention to a quieter but still active zone of hostilities – Donbass. For several days now, various Asian, Caucasian and Balkan media outlets have said that Turkey is ready to help Ukraine with the supply of new weapons, including the deployment of Turkish troops in the region. Analysts believe that at the moment Moscow is unlikely to intervene in a conflict in Donbass. Perhaps that is why military-political analysts say there is a real chance that this front will be revived with the help of Turkey and Ankara, not only to assist Ukraine, but also to help Kiev regain the currently uncontrolled Donbass.
We know that over the last year, Turkey and Ukraine have improved their relations, especially in the field of military affairs. It was not long ago when we announced that Turkey would make unmanned aerial vehicles with Ukraine. The unofficial information at the moment is that Ankara is supplying Kiev with the already popular Bayraktar TB2 earthquake drones. There is also active cooperation between the two countries in the military-strategic sphere. And possible direct intervention by Turkish troops in the region comes as signals not from anywhere, but directly from some officials in Ankara.
The situation is very similar to that in Nigorni Karabakh. Ie the Russian Federation again does not officially recognize the independence of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, prompting some analysts to argue that a Turkish air offensive could lead to a month of military action that ends in victory for Ukraine and Kiev resumes territorial integrity. Analysts believe that both the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the possible Donbass conflict will not allow Russia to formally intervene, as Moscow, as we have said, does not recognize the independence of these territories.
At the same time, military analysts say there is another real possibility – Ankara to assist in the Crimean territories, which could already mean a real danger to Russia.
Unlike Nagorno-Karabakh, however, Russia may not officially intervene, but it may do so unofficially, which will not be new to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s policy. The question in this case is not what Russia will lose if such a conflict occurs, but what it will gain after a conflict. Because wars today are not fought for the right to territory, but for the management of interests.
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