Ukraine Deal: The Useless Agreement Which Everybody Wanted – The Saker

by The Saker, via The News Doctors

I have to say that I am both amused and appalled at the completely over-the-top reaction of most commentators to what we might as well call the Mink-2 Agreement (M2A). Apparently, analysis has been abandoned altogether and has now been replaced with hyperbole and vociferous but empty statement. Reading some of the comments made here one could be forgiven for thinking that somehow the war in the Ukraine was over and that the AngloZionist Empire, aided by Putin, Surkov and an anonymous but sinister army of Russian oligarchs, has just inflicted a terrible and final blow to the Novorussian dream.

What is going on here?  Has everybody just gone crazy?

In part, this is due that one could read anything, everything and its opposite into this agreement (more about that later) and also to the fact that the western media simply had to present any agreement as a triumph of western willpower, diplomacy and sanctions.  This is all utter nonsense, of course, but that is what you get for exposing yourself to the corporate media.  So let’s set aside all the loud clamoring and use our brains to actually *think*.

First, I would remind everybody that the junta as broken every single agreement it committed to.  Every single one.  And there is absolutely no reasons at all to believe that this time around this will change.

Second, Poroshenko can promise all he wants, but the real power in the “independent Ukraine” is held by Uncle Sam and by the “Maidanites” he controls.

Third, why do you think that Merkel and Hollande suddenly felt a powerful urge to “scratch their diplomatic itch” and decided to intervene?  Could that sudden urge to negotiate have a little something to do with a place called Debaltsevo?  If yes, what does the M2A say about Debaltsevo?  Exactly. *Nothing*.

Fourth, the agreement not even signed by Poroshenko, but by Kuchma on behalf of the Ukraine.

Fifth, check out this section:

9. Restoration of full control over the state border of Ukraine by the government throughout the conflict zone, which should begin on the first day after the local elections and be completed after a comprehensive political settlement (local elections in some areas of Donetsk and Lugansk regions on the basis of the Law of Ukraine and constitutional reform) at the end of 2015, subject to paragraph 11 — in consultation and agreement with the representatives of individual areas of Donetsk and Lugansk regions in the framework of the Three-Party Contact Group.

Do you see what I see?  Nevermind that the border is supposed to get back under Kiev’s control only after “something” happens, but check out the “something” itself: constitutional reform in consultation andagreement with Novorussian leaders!!!!  Does anybody seriously believe that the Rada will participate in anything even remotely looking like this?  Liashko?  Farion?  Tsiagnibok and Iarosh all working together with the “subhuman colorads” from the Donbass to change the Ukrainian Constitution?  Of course not!

So so far, let’s sum this up.  M2A was:

1) signed by a person with no authority
2) on behalf of a junta with no powers
3) it does not say a word about the main reason for the meeting in Minsk
4) it contains clearly impossible sections

How is that for a brilliant text?

In truth, there is a short section of the document which does contain one realistic elements: a ceasefire followed by a withdrawal of heavy weapons.  That’s it.  The rest is nonsense.  See for yourself

#4: local elections organized by the junta and Novorussians together. Nonsense
#5: pardons and amnesties.  Blanket amnesty for all the war crimes (including MH-17 and Odessa “barbecue”).  Disgusting.
#6: exchange of “all for all”.  Except that most folks in the junta hands are long dead.
#7: humanitarian assistance. Empty statement, the assistance is already coming in.
#8: payment of pensions: the junta does not have the money anyway.  Will not happen.
#9: Constitutional reform.  Will not happen
#10: Withdrawal of all foreign forces.  Nonsense: those who are there (NATO countries) will stay, those who are not there (9000 Russian soldiers) cannot “leave” since they are not there to begin with.
#11: Constitutional reform including the creation of “The creation of people’s militia”.  LOL – apparently, that will be the new name for the Novorussian armed forces.
#12: Elections if all of the above happens first.  Since it ain’t, they won’t.
#13: Creation of “working groups”.  Right. Keep dreaming.

The fact is that what is the most interesting about M2A is not what it says, but what it does NOT say:

1) not a word about Debaltsevo
2) not a word about the junta actually sitting down to negotiate with the Novorussian authorities
3) not a word about the future status of the Ukraine
4) not a word about the Ukrainian economy (which is still in free fall)
5) not a word about any peacekeepers (which are indispensible to make any ceasefire stick)
6) not even a word about the fact that the Novorussians are not “terrorist” but people seeking national independence.  Poroshenko has still not spoken to them directly.

It is possible that these issues were, in fact, discussed, but that this will not be revealed to the general public.  There might be secret clauses to M2A.  However, it is at least as likely that these issues were discussed and that no agreement whatsoever was found, hence they were set aside.

But if nothing really important was decided, why did everybody participate to this exercise?  Simple: everybody got something from it (assuming any parts M2A are actually implemented):

1) The Novorussians:
a) a stop of the terror attacks by the junta on Novorussian cities.
b) the recognition of the line of contact
c) the assurance that Voentorg remains open (control of border)
d) time to mobilize and train their planned 100’000 extra men
e) the recognition by all parties (including the Europeans) that they deserve a special status

2) Poroshenko:
a) the apparent and symbolic support for world leaders
b) a stop of the Novorussian advance
c) a vague hope that junta forces will be allowed to leave the Debaltsevo cauldron
d) money from the IMF (not nearly enough, but better than none).

3) Merkel and Hollande:
a) the illusion of relevance of a EU foreign policy
b) the (probably misguided) hope to stop the crazy Americans
c) the hope to an easing of the economic war with Russia (Mistrals?)

4) Putin:
a) the right to control the border until the constitutional reforms are made, in other words ad aeternam.
b) the recognition that without him no solution can be found
c) the hope for some easing of sanctions

Everybody got what they wanted and left with a smile on their face.  Good for them, but none of that does anything to really settle the conflict or even begin to seek a solution.

The reality is that nothing at all happened in Minsk, at least nothing of any importance.  The Novorussians won the latest battle (yet again) so they came in a position of strength and they got the junta to promise to stop the crazy shelling, and since Debaltsevo was not even mentioned, it looks to me that the junta forces there will be allowed to quietly withdraw as long as they leave their weapons behind.  So the Debaltsevo cauldron will be controlled by Novorussia.  Putin got political recognition and the hope of at least no more sanctions (remember after Minsk 1 the EU immediately imposed more sanctions on Russia).  The Europeans got a little something too, mainly some good PR, and the big loser is most definitely Poroshenko who will now have the highly unenviable task of “selling” M2A to a totally crazy Rada (which, by the way, is currently considering an law proposed by Poroshenko’s party to make the denial of the Russian aggression against the Ukraine a criminal offense).

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