Le Figaro: Minsk process is dead

The results of the Eastern Partnership summit, which took place on November 24 in Brussels, show that the Donbas risks becoming a new frozen conflict within the territory of the former Soviet Union, following the examples of Transnistria, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia, due to inaction of Europeans, writes the French publication Le Figaro.

Despite the fact that the EU declared its support for Ukraine, neither the conflict in the Donbas nor the Russian annexation of the Crimea was incorporated into the final declaration, the newspaper writes.

"They did not remember either the conflict in the Donbas, nor the annexation of Crimea by Russia. Divided because of the sanctions, driven into internal crisis over Brexit and Catalonia, and the complexities of Angela Merkel…they are also disoriented by the Russian policy of Donald Trump, which they find difficult to interpret," write the French journalists.

At the same time, the publication notes that the Minsk Agreement and Normandy Format negotiations have sputtered out.

"The Normandy Format has no chance of being realized until the Russians leave the territory [of Ukraine]; Ukraine will not regain control over the border. The Minsk process is dead. It is nothing more than chatter aimed at freezing the [current] situation. And this situation has been organized by Putin," the newspaper writes, adding that Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, who was in Paris last week, has proposed a way out of the current situation. He presented a "solution of small steps", according to which the occupied territories would be gradually returned.

The situation presently awaits decisive action, as any initiatives and proposals for resolving the conflict in the Donbas have been frozen by Moscow; such as, for example, the introduction of a peacekeeping mission. Le Figaro believes that the US Special Envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker has joined the negotiation process to help with the current situation. He has been authorized by the US State Department to negotiate with Vladimir Putin’s Presidential Aide, Vladislav Surkov.

  Minsk talks, Donbas, Ukraine, Eastern Partnership Summit, EU, Le Figaro, Russia