General

Russia should be forced to make concessions, not Ukraine: Kyiv’s top diplomat

Kyiv’s partners should force Russia, not Ukraine, to make concessions towards a resolution to end the 11-month-old war, Ukraine’s top diplomat said Tuesday.

This is one of the lessons that needs to be drawn from the failure of the 2014 Minsk Protocol to solve the longstanding conflict in eastern Ukraine, shown by the start of Russia’s war in Ukraine last February, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote in a piece for the website Politico.

Among other lessons outlined by Kuleba include not postponing solving territorial problems and asserting that Russia does not negotiate “in good faith” or “reciprocate with constructive language and policy.”

One of the gravest mistakes of the Minsk dialogue was “to allow Russia to believe that the issue of Crimea was off the table,” he added, referring to the Ukrainian Peninsula illegally annexed by Russia in 2014.

“There is no, and has never been any, difference between Crimea, Donbas, Kherson, Kyiv and other (Ukrainian) regions. Each of them is significant for the real protection of European and world security,” Kuleba argued.

Kuleba later claimed that Russia is trying to outplay Ukraine and the international community because it has failed to achieve the goals it set in starting the war last February, by hinting at a wish to secure a new Minsk agreement in recent statements, further alleging that what Russia really wants is “a pause, not peace.”

“Any hypothetical ‘Minsk-3’ can have only one result: an even bloodier war, which will affect not only Ukraine, but draw in the entire Euro-Atlantic space and the world as a whole. Repeating mistakes will not yield better results,” he said.

“If the entire international community takes a strong, consolidated position, then Russia will have no other option but to stop its killing of Ukrainians and engage in real substantive negotiations. The united will of the world is key to effective diplomacy and achieving sustainable peace for many decades to come,” he added.

The Minsk agreements were aimed at reaching a cease-fire between Ukraine and Russian-backed separatist groups in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.

The 2014 Russian takeover of Crimea and the 2014-2022 conflict in eastern Ukraine are seen by many as a prelude to the current war.

Source: Anadolu Agency