Semen Semenchenko, Deputy of the Verkhovna Rada and member of the Samopomich (Self-Reliance) Party, has called for an alternative to the Minsk Agreements as a resolution to the war in eastern Ukraine. Semenchenko, who is also the founder of the volunteer territorial defense battalion “Donbas”, insists that the Minsk Agreements are in any case invalid because, according to legislative changes in Ukraine, the Verkhovna Rada must approve all international treaties, which it has not done for the Minsk Agreements.
When the French National Assembly recommended lifting sanctions on Russia on April 27th, the Samopomich MP explained “this is another warning bell that Minsk Agreement have been exhausted. We need an alternative…because it lost the trust and power, lost the confidence of international partners. They say, ‘you signed the Minsk agreement, why don't you implement them where is the integration of these agreements into your legislation’. But Ukraine did not give consent.”
According to Semenchenko, when Ukraine signed both Minsk Agreements, it was not in a position to make demands that were advantageous to the country. Minsk 1 and Minsk 2 were both signed in the midst of significant defeats of the Ukrainian Armed Forces (Ilovaisk and Debaltseve respectively).
“In both cases, due to the actions of the General Staff of the tops we lost territory and people… How can the government after a military defeat conclude an agreement favorable to it [Ukraine] and penalize the winner [Russia]? It has never happened in the history of warfare,” the MP wrote in an article written for Censornet.
“Money will be pulled out of the pocket of every citizen of Ukraine and sent to ‘restore the infrastructure of the Donbas’. The budget of the Russian Federation will be spared from having to pay for the occupation from claims of international courts. The Russian Federation will not have to support the social and economic stability in the territories of the so-called DPR- LPR [Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic]. Ukraine will be made to do this,” Semenchenko added.
Due to his views on the Minsk Agreements, the Samopomich MP now finds himself under a tremendous amount of pressure from the governing elite. According to Semenchenko, he received a note from the Military Prosecutor General’s Office in January notifying him that a criminal case had been initiated against him.
“I'm not the only one, the Chief Military Prosecutor of Ukraine, Anatoly Matios, specializes in discrediting new police volunteers. Nevertheless, I would not be surprised if the next interview I gave took place behind bars,” Semenchenko said during an interview with korrespondent.net
Semen Semenchenko is the founder of the Donbas volunteer battalion, which has been instrumental in the fight against Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. He was elected to the Verkohvna Rada in 2014 as a member of the Samopomich Party, which recently withdrew from the ruling coalition after accusing the government of being under oligarchic influence.