The OSCE, Ukraine, and peace process

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Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO-University)

The OSCE, Ukraine, and peace process
// Pathways to Peace and Security. 2022. No 1(62) Special Issue: Peace Processes, Violence, and De Facto States. P. 121-132
DOI: 10.20542/2307-1494-2022-1-121-132

Abstract. At the beginning of the Ukraine crisis in 2014, the OSCE acted unexpectedly promptly for an organization deeply divided for years. Although the revitalization of its relatively autonomous institutions and mechanisms (that did not require prior consensus) failed to produce uncontested evidence to inform collective decisions, the deployment of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission raised the threshold for resuming violence. The Normandy group (France, Germany, Russia, and Ukraine) became the main platform for generating political solutions. The Trilateral Contact Group (the special representative of the OSCE Chairperson, Russia, and Ukraine) proved instrumental for translating these solutions into practical measures. These activities fueled expectations of consolidation of the peace process in spite of the obstacles faced by the OSCE operations, such as their limited mandate, restrictions to the freedom of movement, and inability to verify the withdrawal of weapons or enforce ceasefire and disengagement agreements. However, the ultimate failure of the Minsk peace process in early 2022 can hardly be attributed to these shortcomings. It was the increasing disagreement between Russia and Ukraine on a number of central issues of the peace process, such as the sequence of steps to implement the agreed measures or the engagement of the separatist regions in talks with Kiev, that undermined political process, adversely affected the OSCE operations, and eroded the fragile consensus. Despite the temporary revitalization of the political process in late 2019 and in 2020, the escalation of the situation around Ukraine in 2021 – early 2022 degenerated into a direct military intervention by Russia and resulted in the termination of all consensus-based OSCE operations in Ukraine.

Keywords: Ukraine crisis, peace process, OSCE, Normandy group, Trilateral Contact Group, Special Monitoring Mission


About author

Andrei Zagorski is Professor at the Department of International Relations and Russian Foreign Policy, Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO-University). He also heads the Department of Disarmament and Conflict Resolution, IMEMO.


Registered in System SCIENCE INDEX

For citation:
Zagorskii A. The OSCE, Ukraine, and peace process // Pathways to Peace and Security. 2022. No 1(62) Special Issue: Peace Processes, Violence, and De Facto States. P. 121-132. https://doi.org/10.20542/2307-1494-2022-1-121-132



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