Were the Minsk Agreements doomed to failure? An alternative history

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Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations

Were the Minsk Agreements doomed to failure? An alternative history
// Pathways to Peace and Security. 2022. No 1(62) Special Issue: Peace Processes, Violence, and De Facto States. P. 107-120
DOI: 10.20542/2307-1494-2022-1-107-120

Abstract. History does not allow for subjunctive mood but politics do allow. As Russia‟s special military operation is underway in Ukraine growing into a major, deadly conflict with unpredictable consequences, it is worthwhile to ask a question: could this conflict be prevented if the Minsk agreements were implemented? The 2014 and 2015 Minsk agreements were aimed at securing a ceasefire between the Ukrainian government and pro-Russian separatists in southeastern Ukraine (Donbass). The rebels from Donetsk and Lugansk drew their courage from the “Crimea precedent” – Moscow‟s incorporation of the Crimea “on the basis of voluntary self-determination and historical commonness”. The Minsk agreements were a product of the Normandy format – a platform for senior diplomats from France, Germany, Russia, and Ukraine, created in June 2014 with the aim of finding a peaceful resolution to the conflict. The agreements ended large-scale fighting, but not creeping violence that posed the main obstacle for the political settlement of the conflict. The article provides an analysis of the Minsk agreements, including their strengths and weaknesses. Special attention is paid to the EU‟s political goals and instruments for the peaceful settlement of the Ukrainian conflict. The article also seeks to explain why the Europeans have not been able to take on a more visible and effective role in the implementation of their proclaimed goals.

The article is a part of the project “Post-Crisis World Order: Challenges and Technologies, Competition and Cooperation,” supported by a grant from Program for research projects in priority areas of scientific and technological development of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation (Agreement no. 075-15-2020-783).

Keywords: European Union, Russia, Ukraine, Donetsk People‟s Republic (DNR), Lugansk People‟s Republic (LNR), European security, Minsk Agreements, Normandy format, “Steinmeier formula”, peacekeeping operation


About author

Nadezhda Arbatova is a Head of the Department for European Political Studies, Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO), Moscow.


Registered in System SCIENCE INDEX

For citation:
Arbatova N. Were the Minsk Agreements doomed to failure? An alternative history // Pathways to Peace and Security. 2022. No 1(62) Special Issue: Peace Processes, Violence, and De Facto States. P. 107-120. https://doi.org/10.20542/2307-1494-2022-1-107-120



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