Talks deal with humanitarian issues and the possibility of holding negotiations on the status of the Donbas region
- USA The United States urges its citizens in Ukraine to leave the country “now”
- Ukraine US rejects Russian demands in Ukraine: “NATO’s door remains open”
While France and Germany sit Russia and Ukraine at the negotiating table, the United States intensifies its war narrative. That is the atmosphere in which the meeting held this Wednesday in Paris by the political advisers of the so-called quartet of normandy, the first since tensions erupted on the Russian-Ukrainian border last December.
Everything indicates “that the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, “will use military force at some point, perhaps between now and mid-February,” said the deputy secretary of state, Wendy Sherman, although he said he did not know if Putin has made “a final decision” on the matter. Despite the contradiction that exists between “everything indicates” and “no one knows”, Sherman even speculated on the significance of Putin’s presence at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics in early February. “This could have an impact on the calendar”, He said.
The drums of an invasion of Ukraine by Russia began to sound in mid-November and have been for almost three months, despite which, NATO and the US continue to believe that aggression may be imminent.
In Europe, the situation is less dramatic, unless the mainland is deliberately playing good cop, and his transatlantic partner to bad. The strategy, if it is, is not giving results in Russia, which not only has not withdrawn its troops from the border with Ukraine but continues with its military maneuvers.
The meeting in Paris aroused no more expectations than its celebration itself. The level of the participants has been medium and the agenda included in the agenda was not thorny. As French government sources have already advanced, talks dealt with humanitarian issues and the possibility of negotiations over the status of the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine, where Russian-backed separatists control swaths of territory. If the answer is positive, it will be Germany that organizes the next meeting in Normandy. The name of this format of Normandy comes from the meeting that the allies held for the first time on June 6, 2014 at the Château de Bnouville in Normandy (France), on the occasion of the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the famous landing of World War II. World. Also present at that meeting were the Russian Vladimir Putin and the Ukrainian Petro Poroshenko, meanwhile out of power.
Russia has already cured itself in health. From Moscow, the spokesman for the Kremlin, Dmitry Peskov, has expressed his wish that the talks for peace in Donbas be “long, open and fruitful”, although “At the moment it is difficult to assess what progress is”.
“I expect a good, open and as effective dialogue as possible, but what maximum possible degree means, it is very difficult to say now,” Peskov said.
The last face-to-face meeting at the level of political advisers took place on January 12, 2021 in Berlin. After, contacts within the Quartet were held electronically. At the presidential level, the meeting took place in 2019 in Paris. Since then and despite the contacts of the advisers, the process has stalled.
The reactivation of the quartero is essential for European diplomacy, which for various reasons does not find a place to raise its voice in the current crisis situation, including the High Representative of the EU in Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, absent even in the teleconference that the US Secretary of State, Antony Blink, held with the European partners of the G-7 and with the community authorities.
In Europe, the voice that counts is that of France and Germany, even if they do not always share the same position. With its mediation between Ukraine and Russia since this country annexed Crimea in 2014, the Franco-German axis launched the so-called Minsk process, this time aimed at resolving the Donbas conflict. The result was, in 2015, a package of agreements that included, among others, the exchange of prisoners according to the principle of “all for all”, the separation of forces in three areas of the contact line, the holding of elections and the granting of a special status to the pro-Russian separatist territories.
The peace agreements have not been fulfilled and the accusations are mutual. Ukraine has sought a new summit, but Russia believes that Kiev should sit down to negotiate not with Moscow, but with the Kremlin-backed rebels in Lugansk and Donetsk, because from the Kremlin’s point of view what is happening in eastern Ukraine is a “civil war” to which Russia is not a party. More than 14,000 people have already died in the conflict., segn la ONU.
In an attempt to de-escalate a presumably pre-war situation, President Emmanuel Macron talk to Putin on Friday to propose a de-escalation plan. The wind, however, is not tail blowing.
As NATO continues to reinforce the eastern flank as a show of solidarity with a non-member country and Europe tries to make its way, the US embassy in Kiev “urged” this Wednesday US citizens who are in Ukraine to leave the country without delay. “The security situation in Ukraine remains unpredictable due to the growing threat of Russian military action and may deteriorate without warning,” reads the statement released by the diplomatic legation.
It is one more step in a direction that even makes Ukraine uncomfortable. At the beginning of the week, The United States announced that it would withdraw non-essential diplomatic personnel. For the Kiev government it was a disproportionate measure that incited panic. More than tension, what is being seen is enormous confusion.
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George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism