The Director of the Ukrainian National Institute for Strategic Studies (NISI) and advisor to the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Horbulin, announced the need to update the Minsk Agreements. Horbulin’s article for ZN.UA says that the current version is not completely acceptable for Ukraine.
"First of all, the agreements clearly (particularly in paragraphs 4, 9 and 11) lead to the violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine. This is contrary not only to the national interests of Ukraine, but to the Declaration of the heads of the Normandy Format States of February 12, 2015 as well. And, secondly, as the Ukrainian party has already repeatedly said, holding elections before regaining control over the border is meaningless," he said.
Paragraph 4 indicates the necessity to start negotiations regarding the special status of the Donbas, Paragraph 9 discusses the transfer of control over the border after the local elections, and Paragraph 11 calls for a constitutional amendment granting a special status to the region.
"Without breaking the intent of Minsk II, part of its provisions can be revised to make the document more realistic in terms of its actual, rather than theoretical realization. For example, in the updated agreement we need to amend the procedure for holding elections and establishing control over the border (first control, then elections)," Horbulin writes.
"Also, in respect to the practical implementation of the paragraphs determining the order of local self-government, the parties need not demand that Ukraine rewrites its constitution, but only to discuss the essence of the law of Ukraine, "On temporary order of local government in some areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions." The same thing is needed regarding amnesty. The absurd attempts of the so-called "leaders" of the DPR/LPR (de facto - Russia) to obtain general amnesty are meaningless, because it is contrary to any international experience," the director of the NISI said.
Horbulin also suggested that Ukraine should insist on expanding the Normandy format to include the U.S.A., U.K. and E.U.
In addition, he believes that Ukraine should follow the principle of self-help and do everything possible not to lose the hybrid war. To do so, according to Horbulin, requires internal political stability and economic modernization.
"A weak state is like a "red flag to a bull" for the aggressor, because it is unable to solve its internal problems and repulse external threats. It means that the aggressor cannot afford to refuse the pleasure of the realization of its revanchist plans at the expense of the country. What is more, is that today we are stranded at the intersection of three crises at once: financial-economic, political-governmental and geo-political. However, without solving the first two, there is too little hope for resolving the third one," Horbulin said.
The first meeting of the Normandy Format leaders this year was held on October 19 in Berlin. There, a decision to develop a "road map" for the implementation of the paragraphs of the Minsk Agreements was made. If the parties succeed in reaching an agreement among foreign ministers and advisers, another summit to approve this plan will take place before the end of the year.