The ex-President of Ukraine Leonid Kravchuk reasonably notes from the height of his experience of international negotiations that if negotiations do not yield results, it is necessary to change their format.
One must always understand at least in general what the previous negotiations gave us. There were negotiations in Geneva and in the Norman format, there were consultations in Italy, and there have been meetings in Minsk since September. None of these status negotiations gave any results. Any negotiations at any level must be conducted in such a way that Ukraine would not be humiliated. As far as I understand, especially the Minsk format not only fails to yield any results, but also humiliates our state because the leaders of the so-called DNR and LNR or their representatives take part in negotiations.
If we take a sincere and open look at the Minsk negotiations, firstly, Russia has already declared that it did not sign anything and declined all responsibility as a party of negotiations. Secondly, the competence of the OSCE as an international organization does not include solution of territorial integrity issues. As a rule, they conduct observation activities and record the situation without even calling guilty parties.
Thus, there is an overall picture that Ukraine is conducting negotiations with terrorists with mediation of the Russian ambassador and an OSCE representative. This structure is very complicated and one can hardly expect it to bear any fruits. The position of Russia is as follows, "We do not take part in the war". Position of the terrorists is, "Give us Lugansk and Donetsk completely". There is a situation that does not meet either the Ukrainian laws or the international standards.
I do not think that intensification of negotiations can yield any results unless their format is changed. The format of negotiations must be brought to the highest level. For example, the meeting in Astana could have yielded results as heads of states would have participated in it. However, Merkel and others declared that they would go there if there was any chance that this meeting would be productive. Meetings in Minsk will not yield any results, either. The final decision is being delayed now. And the only possible decision is control over the border and restoration of constitutional order in the whole territory of Ukraine.
Such arrangements can be made only by heads of states. The format may be different. It may be the Budapest format (signatories of the Budapest memorandum: Russia, USA, Great Britain, and Ukraine. – GORDON), it may be the mixed Budapest-Norman format involving both heads of the states that signed the nuclear-free memorandum in Budapest and heads of the states that are beyond this framework. If it cannot be done, there must be an international conference with a single topic — how provisions of the Budapest memorandum are fulfilled. It already suggests a large scale, while the Minsk format is very narrow, and, most importantly, Russia does not want to recognize it and only pretends to help us restore order, at the same time killing our people every day.
The tragedy in Mariupol, the tragedy in Volnovakha, and other events involving casualties among civilians have terrorist nature, and I consider it senseless to speak with terrorists about a truce. The West keeps saying that they are afraid of the third world war. I understand them and say that I am also am afraid of world war, but we already have war. They know that death is bad, and people are dying in our country. 1600 soldiers have been killed and 400 people have been reported missing for the last six months whereas 14 thousand people were killed for the whole Afghan campaign that lasted for ten-year.
Not a single step towards peace has been taken, and we continue speak about the Minsk negotiations, the contact group, and some arrangements. Where are documents signed by this group? Were they ratified by the State Duma and the Verkhovna Rada? I repeat once again that we are facing procrastination, and, as practice shows, this procrastination often benefits the terrorists. As a matter of fact, they have already created an efficient army, they have already been taught by Russian instructors and experts. They learn to use modern military equipment, and they are already formed not simply as average people but as trained military men. Ukraine is being fooled around in the broad daylight. Ukraine is fulfilling the Minsk protocols but suffers from it.
There are two philosophies to assess an aggressor. The first one is that the aggressor should not be teased because his aggressive appetite may grow stronger as that of a wounded bear. But there is also another philosophy that the aggressor must be shown from the very beginning that his behaviour of a wolf in sheep's clothing and a bull in a china shop does not become to the civilized society, and he will not be allowed anything in different ways, including sanctions.
I think it unacceptable to argue that the aggressor can be stopped and satisfied. There have been no examples in the history when a criminal or a bandit was pleased, moralized and asked not to do so any more. He becomes even more impudent from such an approach. Therefore, if the world community joins the efforts and imposes the strictest sanctions without discussions, it can stop the aggressor. The most correct policy has always been real. All the rest is imagination.
Ukraine will not be able to remain in the current situation for a long time. It will tease both those who are at war and those who are in the rear. I insist that the negotiations should be brought to the highest possible level which would end with the signing of a real document and would stop division of Ukraine. It is wrong to constantly come back to the Minsk accords that will not work.
I would like to give a brief comment on the initiative of the State Duma on the special address concerning annexation of German Democratic Republic by the Federative Republic of Germany. If God wants to punish someone, he takes away reason. What Pushkov said at the Council of Europe and this initiative of the State Duma show that God took reason away from them.
They would like to use their reason, but God took it away. Only the Russian Duma and the Russian delegation could go so far. There is no place for any such comparisons. Results of World War II were approved by all states who were parties to the conflict. It was done at an international conference of the heads of states, and not in such a way as the terrorists are seizing Donbass territories. One cannot use comparisons that border on the ideas of insane people to justify the Crimea.