Ukraine agreement a copy-paste of September Minsk talks: Karin13 february 2015, 14:21
Kazakh political scientist Yerlan Karin was closely followed the Norman Quartet summit in Minsk and shared his opinion on the outcomes of the meeting with Tengrinews.
The leaders of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine reached a ceasefire agreement after no less than 17 hours of talks. It will come into force on February 15. The agreement also envisions the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the front line.
Karin said that from the beginning no one should have expected something incredible to come out of these negotiations. "There was no breakthrough, and one should have not waited for it. But neither can we call these talks a failure. We must be realistic. The agreement reached can be called a 'hybrid truce' along the lines of the term 'hybrid war'," Karin said.
He also said that the agreement was a “copy-paste” of what had been adopted in Minsk in September of last year. Now the parties simply consolidated their previous agreement.
“Paragraphs basically repeat themselves; there is nothing new there. The visible difference from the September documents is only in the distance that different types of weaponry have to move away. If in September the removal of certain weapons was by 15-20 kilometers, now it is by 30-40 kilometers, or tactical missile systems in September were removed by 70-120 kilometers, now the distance is 140 kilometers, and so on," the analyst said.
Karin believes that the most important achievement is the decision on a cease-fire and withdrawal of heavy weapons. "A ceasefire agreement has been reached, at least temporarily. This is an important result in and of itself, given how the hostilities intensified lately," the Kazakh analyst said.
Nevertheless, all other issues still remain unsolved. “For example, the question of restoring control over the Russian-Ukrainian border, on which Kiev insisted. This question is linked to the local elections and the issue of the special status of the eastern regions, which in turn is linked to the constitutional reform. In fact, in their present form the efforts can be said to be directed at freezing the conflict and no more," the expert concluded.
Karin also explained why the meeting took place in Minsk and not in Kazakhstan's Astana, as planned. "I think it was simply geographically convenient. The flight from Europe to Astana takes longer than to Minsk. Besides, immediately after the capital of Belarus, Hollande and Merkel went to another summit in Europe,” he said.
Karin added that it did not matter for Astana where the negotiations on the Ukrainian conflict were taking place. What mattered was that the negotiations continued.
“And I think that in any case the Kazakh diplomacy played its role in the resumption of the dialogue. After all, Astana continued to be one of the parties through which the consultations were exchanged until the last moment. If you look at the chronology of phone calls of the last two weeks between the Kazakh leader and the American president, between Nazarbayev and Putin, Nazarbayev and Lukashenko, it shows that Astana has chosen to not overemphasize its role but has always been a party interested in promoting the dialogue,” Karin said.
Reporting by Renat Tashkinbayev, writing by Dinara Urazova