The previously announced exit of Leonid Kuchma from the Minsk talks took place. The politician was in the Trilateral contact group on the peaceful settlement of the situation in the Donbass region of Ukraine. On 2 October, a meeting of the TAG on which Kuchma officially said goodbye to the participants.
Some analysts suggests that the output of the second President of Ukraine from Minsk dialogue will weaken the position of Kiev and eventually stop without losing, futile and endless process. Some experts and politicians expect that the negotiations will continue, and the Minsk group will be reformatted.
Anyway, the departure of Leonid Kuchma, a landmark event with implications for Ukraine.
The position of Leonid Kuchma and his contribution to the Minsk process
Leonid Kuchma explained the decision to leave the TAG the onset of the “critical age.” In August of this year, the policy was 80 years old. Officially old age Kuchma binds its withdrawal from the Minsk talks.
And officials and experts assess the role of Leonid Kuchma as a negotiator is positive and significant. In most of the opinions there is the idea that the experience and expertise of Leonid Kuchma, become a deterrent to the Kremlin’s aggression and the hybrid war of Russia against Ukraine. Kuchma won the time necessary to Kiev for the restoration of the dilapidated army, fighting ability and preparation to counter the Kremlin on many fronts, experts said Sergey Ilchenko:
“Art of negotiation, Kuchma gave us a few years needed to build real muscle: military, diplomatic, propaganda. You finished this process? No, it’s far from over, and we are still in disorder, so that even 4-5 years Kuchma, the contact group might have been useful. But compared to 2014 the year our position has improved”
— Sergey Ilchenko
Politician Roman Bezsmertnyi believes that the political weight of the second President, as well as participation in the Ukrainian delegation other iconic figures – the ex-Minister Yevhen Marchuk and academician Gorbulina, made possible the dialogue in Minsk with the position of Kiev.
Political analyst Volodymyr Fesenko says, Kuchma defended the interests of Ukraine, so that any significant concessions to the Kremlin has not happened. A similar opinion was expressed by the Deputy Minister on the issues of the temporarily occupied territories and internally displaced persons Georgy Tuka. He noted that the role of Kuchma in the negotiations with Moscow, it is difficult to overestimate:
“I saw how hard it is for him. And what level of physical resentment this person feels, accustomed to communicating on an equal footing with the most influential leaders of the world. I know that Kuchma was quickly able to put all into place, and even representatives of the Russian Federation, when he started to talk, listened in silence”
— George Tooke,
the Deputy Minister on the issues of the temporarily occupied territories and internally displaced persons
Tuka said that the departure of Kuchma will not stop Minsk dialogue and negotiations will continue. Who will be the receiver policy, the official said.
The context of care: what the experts say
Some experts suggest that the departure of Leonid Kuchma testifies to the stalled Minsk process and the overall situation will be used by Moscow for their own purposes. This opinion was expressed by political analyst Taras Berezovets:
“Exit Leonid Kuchma of the Trilateral contact group on the Donbas could not be better illustrates the argument that the Minsk process is dead. As if we didn’t treat the role of Kuchma in the historical context, its participation in the talks in the Belarusian capital was objectively in the interests of Ukraine. Because of their past and relations with the Russians Kuchma managed to smooth out many rough edges, that was only him”
— Taras Berezovets,
With regard to Russia’s behavior, Berezovets predicts aggravation in Donbas. Putin will go on escalating, as another influence on the situation he does not.
“The main efforts of Putin is now thrown on the domestic front, achieving an aggravation on the eve of presidential elections. The purpose of the pseudo-LDNR – this is a desperate attempt to achieve the escalation in Ukraine and at the same time blackmailing the West, concerns the official recognition of the LC and the DNI, and even the inclusion of the Russian Federation”
— Taras Berezovets,
This forecast is based on the position of the futility of the Minsk dialogue, the analyst believes. George Tooke also suggests that the Kremlin will manipulate the withdrawal of the second President in the purposes.
Kuchma said there are three main error of the period of Ukrainian Independence
It is likely that critical age, which personally spoke to Kuchma, is not only his physical capabilities due to age effectively represent Ukraine. In fact, the Minsk process is in place. What principled concessions to Moscow in five years did not happen, it is definitely a plus. But what’s next?
The withdrawal of troops and heavy equipment are not observed, the Russian and terrorist groups continue to fire at the Donbass, in addition to the LDNR weapons from the territory of Russia periodically comes a new and powerful weapons of war. Misty and prospects of a peacekeeping mission because of the position of the Kremlin to reduce everything to the support of the OSCE.
Leonid Kuchma, as an experienced politician and a pragmatist, he knows with whom he is dealing on the other side of the negotiating table probably understands – Minsk dialogue, endless and inconclusive in its current context.
Ahead of presidential elections in Ukraine is difficult not to agree with the analysts that suggest the escalation of confrontation with Russia. Putin is betting on the victory of the loyal to the Russian Federation of the candidate, therefore, is interested in destabilizing the situation in Ukraine by any means. If the victory of the loyal figure is not going to happen, escalation is inevitable.
He expects the Minsk process?
Political expert Yuri Shulipa: local elections in ORDO – preparation of the Kremlin for the presidential elections and further occupation of Ukraine
Today one thing is clear: Kiev does not intend to abandon the Minsk dialogue. Roman Bezsmertnyi believes that to maintain negotiating positions and not to lose influence in Minsk, Kiev will help knowledgeable and a status receiver. It will choose from those who at the moment is Ukraine as part of the TAG. The candidate must be deeply dedicated to all negotiations and agreement, and to have high status and credibility. Thus, Ukraine intends to neutralize the negative effects of care Kuchma. The figure of Viktor Medvedchuk in the context of the rule.
Experts call the names of Irina Gerashchenko, the people’s Deputy and member of the Humanities sub-group of the TAG or Ruslan Demchenko, Advisor to the President of Ukraine, responsible for Ukrainian-Russian direction.
Political analyst Alexander Paliy thinks that the new figure in the Minsk dialogue will not affect his performance:
“These negotiations were originally created by Russia so that just simulate negotiations”
— Oleksandr Paliy,
NSDC Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov also believes in the prospects of Minsk because of the position of the Kremlin:
Secretary of the NSDC
“I am convinced that the Ukrainian delegation is unlikely that anything will change. The problem of the Minsk talks, the problem of “Norman format”, the problem is generally a peaceful solution is the problem for Putin, the problem of Russia: their attempts instead of resolving the problems to further escalate. And, unfortunately, lately they are working on the aggravation of the situation”
Sergey Ilchenko believes that Ukraine needs to go beyond purely the Minsk format and attempt to build negotiations at a high international level, attracting new allies:
“The most promising today seems the activity of Ukraine outside of the negotiations, highlighting the urgent revision of their format. As for constructive contacts with Russia and prospects of settlement, it still seems unreal. Incorrigible Kremlin stubbornly, still preserving approach to negotiations in which contempt for the Ukrainian state combined with the rejection of any compromise, which makes the inability of Russia to all, without exception, the former Soviet republics, will play for us in this case. It is highly likely that it will provide us new allies among these States”
— Sergey Ilchenko
The OSCE representative in TAG Martin Sajdik expects that the next meeting of TAG scheduled for October 16, will be held in the new composition from Ukraine. The official hoped that the departure of Leonid Kuchma will not impact negatively on the negotiation process. How successful Kiev will regroup its delegation to and what course I’ll get a new negotiator, we learn in the near future.