By Stephen J. Lendman
The Real Agenda News
March 19, 2015
Minsk II terms Kiev agreed to mandated parliamentary legislation affording Donbass “special regime” self-rule within 30 days of the document’s February 12 signing. Kiev missed the deadline. On March 17, it reneged. It passed draft legislation only. It declared Donetsk and Lugansk “temporarily occupied territories.” It refused special autonomous status. It postponed entering the law into force until elections are held.
The Donetsk News Agency quoted Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) parliament speaker Denis Pushilin saying: “Uncoordinated amendments to the law made by Poroshenko are not recognized by the (DPR and LPR) republics. From our point of view,(amendments passed) are legally meaningless and politically void….(T)hey directly violate the spirit and word of the Minsk agreements. The Minsk process is practically interrupted as its basis – the law on special status – is in fact cancelled by Poroshenko’s amendments.He does not respect the people of Donbas. He does not want peace.”
DRP and LPR leaders Alexander Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnisky respectively called Kiev’s action “disgraceful.” They urged Merkel and Hollande to pressure Kiev to comply with what it agreed to. An LPR Information Center added: “By refusing to give Donbass its special status, Kiev shattered the fragile Minsk peace and drove the situation into a dead-end. Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk cynically laughed at their partners from the EU, who wasted so many efforts for these negotiations. The leaders of the DPR and the LPR say that no compromise with Kiev is possible until yesterday’s decisions by Poroshenko and the Verkhovnaya Rada (parliament) are cancelled.”
Kiev left no doubt where it stands. It wants war, not peace. It used Minsk to buy time, rearm, regroup and mobilize for more war. It violated its letter and spirit straightaway. Failure to grant Donbass autonomous special status renders Minsk null and void. A state of war continues.
On March 16, Russia’s Foreign Ministry rebuked Kiev sharply, saying: “Proposals on identifying several districts in the Donentsk and Lugansk regions to be granted a special self-government status, which President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has submitted to the Verkhovna Rada, arouse serious questions and concerns. At all stages in the negotiations within the Contact Group and the Normandy Four, the parties referred solely to Kiev identifying the concrete territories where the Law on the Temporary Procedure for Local Self-Government in Certain Districts of the Donetsk and Lugansk Regions, which has already been approved by the Verkhovna Rada, will be applied. This approach has been fixed in the documents coordinated in Minsk on February 12, 2015, and endorsed by the representatives of Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk, as well as by Russia, Germany, France and the OSCE.”
“In violation of this commitment, the proposals that President Poroshenko has submitted to the Verkhovna Rada are changing the very essence of the Package of Measures adopted in Minsk, making the enactment of the said law conditional on a number of additional requirements that have never been discussed before. In particular, it has been attempted to make the introduction into force of this law conditional on recognising the results of elections to local governments in certain districts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, the organisation of which is stipulated by an ultimatum and beset with numerous demands that were not envisaged by the Minsk Agreements. The proposals totally disregard the provisions of the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements, which state that the modalities of local elections, like the future status of certain districts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, should be subject to dialogue with the representatives of Donbass.”
“These actions by the Kiev authorities are yet another evidence of its policy of undermining the Minsk process, which is already manifested in its appeals to the West to step up weapon deliveries to the Ukrainian military, its constant threats to solve the Donbass problem by force of arms, and its stubborn unwillingness to create within the Contact Group the working mechanisms for the implementation of all aspects of the Minsk Agreements, including a constitutional reform and full restoration of socio-economic ties. Instead, Kiev continues to intensify the blockade of Donbass, ruthlessly restricting the contacts between residents of areas controlled by the self-defence forces and the rest of Ukraine as well as their trans-border ties with regions of the Russian Federation in direct violation of provisions fixed in the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements.”
“The developments confirm that the Ukrainian leadership has set the course for renouncing the key principle of the Minsk process, which consists in addressing all issues of settlement in consultations and by coordination with the representatives of Donetsk and Lugansk. Against this background, it is hard to call President Poroshenko’s March 16 statement in Berlin to the effect that ‘there is no alternative to the Minsk Agreements’ other than hypocritical. We are calling on the guarantors of these Agreements – the leaders of Germany and France – to urge their strict implementation, including honest compliance with the content and sequence of actions coordinated in the February 12 documents. The Kiev authorities should meticulously abide by their commitments and start a real political dialogue with the representatives of Donbass on all aspects of Ukrainian crisis settlement.”
Separately, Sergey Lavrov said Kiev “grossly violate(d)” Minsk. He called on Germany and France to issue a joint demarche indicating Kiev breached its terms. He expressed serious doubts where things go from here.
Since Kiev launched naked aggression on Donbass last April, efforts to end fighting failed. Chances of Minsk II succeeding are virtually nil. Kiev initiated low-intensity conflict persists. Kiev continues rearming. It’s just a matter of time before full-scale conflict resumes. Washington’s dirty hands are manipulating things in this direction. Kiev violated virtually everything it agreed to. Tuesday’s legislation breaching Minsk is the latest example. Expect no “party of war” peace initiatives ahead.
LPR military staff office head Sergey Kozlov reported junta forces building strength near front line positions – a clear indication of preparing for more conflict.
Poroshenko Bloc leader Yuriy Lutsenko claims full-scale war with Russia may erupt this spring. “There are far more threats to Ukraine than just (the Donbass) gray zone,” he said. “We are in danger of a full-scale military conflict which may be started by Russia at the end of April or May. Intelligence information and analysis indicate a large concentration of armored and mechanized forces, their support formations, and greater activity by the Russian intelligence and reconnaissance. This may be an indication that Putin, having failed at Plan A of separating the Russian-speaking part of the population and at Plan B of organizing a rebellion in Kiev, may launch Plan C of full-scale war.”
War-mongering is standard Kiev practice. Is Lutsenko suggesting a possible major US/junta false flag blamed on Russia as pretext for resuming full-scale war on Donbass? IMF billions are funding Kiev’s war machine. It violated its own mandate prohibiting use of loans for military purpose. Managing director Christine Lagarde lied saying “ceasefire agreed to last month in Minsk seems to be largely holding for now.”
Days earlier, DPR and LPR reported over 400 shelling and other violations since February. Multiple breaches occur daily. IMF rules are what Washington wants them to be. Low intensity war on Donbass heading toward getting red hot is ignored.
A Russian central banker/former IMF official commented, saying: “(T)he Fund should not place military spending below the line. But if you try to nail the Fund down on that, you would be wasting your time. The Fund has internationally-renowned expertise in doublespeak and hypocrisy. What (it’s) doing around Ukraine was at first laughable. Now (it’s) outrageous. No matter what, (it’ll) keep financing the civil war in Donbass because the Americans want the fighting to continue and spread. Period.”
It bears repeating what other articles stressed. Chances for sustainable, durable peace in Donbass are virtually nil. Resumed full-scale conflict is just a matter of time – maybe this time bloodier and more destructive than before.
[Editor’s Note: Apologies to author Stephen Lendman for minor editing of paragraph spacing. Stephen Lendman, a well-known political analyst, lives in Chicago. His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”]