Despite the seeming ineffectiveness of the Minsk negotiation format, as is obvious to all the participants, no one feels the need to put an end to it. Several participants of the Minsk process have admitted that the negotiations held in the capital of Belarus are a screen and believe that any possible breakthroughs can only be made by the Presidents of the involved States, as noted in an article written by the Deputy Editor-in-Chief of ZN.UA, Sergey Rakhmanin.
“Recently, the Ukrainian position was weakened by the temporary absence of (for objective reasons) Leonid Kuchma; who in fact, played a key role in a difficult negotiation process. However, even his presence hardly moved the negotiation process forward.
Virtually all key participants in the Minsk process (including Sajdik and even Morel who, until recently, defended the realism of safe and relatively democratic elections in the certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions) admit that the electoral campaign is impossible in those regions today. If only because, it is impossible to ensure a long-term, sustained ceasefire," the article read.
According to Rakhmanin, in order to stop the military activities in The Donbas, it is necessary to withdraw not only heavy weapons and armored vehicles, but also all armed units to a considerable distance from the border line, but none of the parties are ready to do this.
"They are not ready not because they fear losing the initiative but, mainly because of the reasonable mistrust they have for each other. It is impossible to conduct even a simulacrum of elections (which are expected by Washington and Berlin) without a lasting ceasefire.”
Several participants of the Minsk process have admitted that negotiations have become a screen and that and possible (though unlikely) breakthroughs can be made only by the Presidents of the involved States," Rakhmanin writes. He noted that attempts by Sajdik to find common ground have not been successful. During the last meeting in Minsk, he held separate discussions with representatives of Ukraine, Russia and certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, trying to bring together various positions in one document.
However, this document just resulted in an "insurmountable difference" in approaches. "The Ukrainian representatives stated that they are ready for compromises only if there are similar ones from other players in the process.”
Readiness could be demonstrated, for example, not only by the quick transfer of Nadiya Savchenko, but also by the removal of the "Republics" leadership, the notorious Zakharchenko and Plotnytsky. Moreover, Kiev expects the West to provide genuine help in the organization of elections, which would include tangible finance and military aspects," the article read.
“Despite the seeming ineffectiveness of the Minsk negotiation format, as is obvious to all the participants, no one feels the need to put an end to it. This is because a different model has not been developed yet and because going through the process is better than just a silent recognition of its hopelessness," Rakhmanin writes. According to a sources from DT.UA, the initial agreement was for Ukraine to adopt electoral laws for certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions by March and conduct elections in the uncontrolled territories by the end of June, but now the deadline has been extended to the end of May and August respectively.