New round of political confrontation around Donbass
In early October, Ukraine's parliament has adopted the bill which prolongs the special status of Donbass for a year, which has not yet been applied in practice. The bill was developed to ensure the possibility of deploying UN peacekeepers to Donbass. At the same time, Ukraine's parliament has adopted, in the first reading of the bill, the reintegration of the Donbass region, introduced by the President of the country Petro Poroshenko, which provides for the recognition of the region as an occupied territory, the creation of a joint operational headquarters of the Ukrainian Armed Forces to control law enforcement officers and military civil administrations in the conflict zone, and also gives the president the right to use armed forces within the country without the consent of the parliament.
Commenting on the extension of the law on the special status of Donbass, the DPR Acting Foreign Minister Natalya Nikonorova expressed the opinion that it was a forced and formal decision for Kiev: "This law contains formal norms and regulations. They extend only the first, declarative article of the law on a special status, which in essence is the basis for the settlement of the conflict. No political decision can be discussed without understanding about when the law on a special status will come into force".
Nikanorova promised to seek agreement on the mechanism for the entry of this law: "On our part, it was already a very significant concession. In our opinion, the set of measures should be carried out literally, that is, the law "On a special status" should enter in force on September 16, 2014. Therefore, we will insist on the discussion of the conditions for the introduction of this law into force in Minsk, on the agreement between the two sides of the conflict. As this law was put into effect. "
The representative of the LPR in the political group of the Contact Group for the settlement of the situation in the east of Ukraine, Rodion Miroshnik, commenting on Kiev's extension of the law "On a special status" said: "This happened just before the meeting of US Special Representative Kurt Volker and presidential aide Vladislav Surkov. By doing this, Poroshenko showed that he controls the internal situation and is able to fulfill those obligations that are imposed on him. "
Miroshnik called the law on "reintegration" a provocation addressed to Russia: "Like, act as an aggressor country and prove that you still carry out aggression that we have written down on paper, but we are waiting for it to happen in reality."
According to Miroshnik, the very fact of the Kyiv political beaumont's relationship to the Minsk agreements was vividly demonstrated in the Verkhovna Rada, when a mass of people's deputies, representatives of parties actively started to delete any mention of the Minsk agreements from these two bills - it is absurd from a diplomatic or legal point of view.
Kiev's prolongation of the law on the special status of the Donbass is a "leap on the spot," it does not create any movement towards a peaceful settlement of the conflict in the southeast of Ukraine; in no way fulfills the package of measures or the political package that is the key component of this package, the representative of the self-proclaimed LPR said. "An alternative to constructive negotiations on the Minsk platform could be the freezing of the conflict with the subsequent deterioration of the relations between the parties, a complete rejection of any opportunities for reintegration into the composition of one state - Ukraine," Miroshnik warned.
The chairman of the Federation Council Committee for information policy and cooperation with the media, Alexei Pushkov, looked at the situation in terms of geopolitics: "The political struggle around Ukraine goes into the field of battle, and not concrete political platforms. The platform is the Minsk agreements. But there is virtualization around them now, often not relevant to reality. The European Union says that until control over the eastern border is not returned [to Kiev], the EU will not review the sanctions policy. This is an absolutely unrealistic task, because this process can be long, and then we freeze in the negative status quo, but not on our initiative".
Pushkov also drew attention to the intensification of the information war: "Europe does not know what to do. That is why they hide behind the Minsk agreements. The European reading of the Minsk Agreements is an alibi for political inaction. I admit that the US can try to somehow activate this process. They are also not inclined to read the Minsk agreements correctly. They also have their own fantasies about how to fulfill them. We have entered a new stage in the development of the situation around the Minsk agreements. This stage will be characterized by the freezing of the conflict that suits both Kiev and the EU, because least of all Angela Merkel wants to raise this issue for discussion in the EU and get a split in relation to how to behave with Russia. Therefore, the sanctions are prolonged automatically, without discussion. "
Pushkov is inclined to think that the main players outside of Russia are quite happy with this situation: "Now they will blame us for freezing, while they themselves do it. I think that this will be characteristic for the next stage of information confrontation over Ukraine, and we must be ready for it. "