“Not to make any concessions to Ukraine.” They say that Surkov on the eve of the meeting with Putin Zelensky

"Не идти ни на какие уступки Украине". Что говорят у Суркова накануне встречи Зеленского с Путиным

Norman meeting 2015. Photo of the site of the KremlinMoscow sends certain signals to Kiev and Europe on the eve of the meeting in the Normandy format on 9 December.

Today published an article about the prospects of settlement in the Donbass. Its author, Alexei Chesnakov, a political strategist from the environment of Vladislav Surkov, Putin who oversees Ukraine.

The article is pretty hard messages regarding Ukraine. Surkov urged not to make unilateral concessions Zelensky on the Donbass. And just say: if you can not negotiate with the new Ukrainian President, Russia is ready to strengthen “LDNR” (whatever that means) and wait for the change of power in Ukraine.

That is, to act according to the model, the Kremlin chose against Poroshenko.

“Country” examines key points that Surkov want to convey to future vis-a-vis at the table Norman meetings.

“No compromise”. What the article Chesnakov

The article is called “No compromise” and urged a cautious approach to any concessions to Ukraine in Donbass. Although, judging by the title of compromises with Kiev should be avoided. The reason is unsustainable, according to Chesnakov, the position Zelensky in the presidential chair.

The article begins with the enumeration of the “illusions” that emerged in Russia after the election Zelensky. In particular, it hopes that the Minsk process will be unlocked until the end of 2019. Chesnakov calls it “excessive waiting” and urging people not to expect much from the summit “Channel four”.

“Optimistic expectations ignore the realities of the political situation in Ukraine and exaggerating the willingness of President Zelensky and Ukrainian ruling elites in General pay its part of the political price for the reintegration of Donbass”, – says Kremlin political consultant.

In his opinion, foreign policy of Ukraine with Zelensky is no different from the agenda of Petro Poroshenko.

“The Minsk agreements continue to be regarded as a “bad deal”, concluded in terms of military defeat, or that should be blocked in order to justify the RAID, or review in accordance with Ukrainian interests. Zelensky at the same time wants to demonstrate to their constituents that is making every effort to achieve peace in the East, while not crossing through any red line” – describes the logic of the Ukrainian authorities, as he sees it, Chesnakov.

Moreover, he recalled that the representatives of ze team for the first time openly admitted the possibility of Ukraine’s withdrawal from the Minsk agreements.

These statements Ukraine break the formula “peace in exchange for sanctions”, which is not just articulated in Europe. The world is in Moscow you can see on the terms of the Minsk-2, but if Kiev is not ready to implement it, it means that the world will not.

At the same time in Europe, had hoped that Moscow will make concessions to the new Ukrainian President, who early in his career, will try to end the conflict.

“Russia offered to show “good will” and to compromise for the sake of the young Ukrainian President, in order not to miss the supposedly unique chance for a settlement,” skeptical formulates Chesnakov.

He also describes a model of settlement in the Donbass, which with the coming to power Zelensky began to promote in the EU. This is the General local elections in Ukraine at the same time with the same vote in the “LDNR”.

“Initially, the goal of Western negotiators was to create conditions for holding elections in the Donbass simultaneously with local elections on the entire territory of Ukraine in 2020. The election of them recognized by Kiev representatives of individual regions of Donetsk and Lugansk regions, in turn, would solve the problem of the lack of direct dialogue between the Central government and beyond the control of territories, and would accelerate the process of their reintegration,” writes the analyst.

However, the Ukraine, and then, according to Chesnakov, “messed up.” The first steps in that direction was the signing of the formula of Steinmeier – has caused a political crisis in the country. And after the statements of the team Zelensky and himself about the evils of Minsk, the Kremlin, according to Chesnakov, came a pessimism about the prospects of dialogue with the Ukrainian President.

This pessimism has arisen due to a number of events and factors.

Firstly, contradictions and uneasiness in the team Zelensky. When Pristayko 2 Sep negotiates the formula Steinmeier, and after that, Kuchma in Minsk refused to sign it.

Secondly, Moscow is confused by statements about “red lines” that are contrary to the Minsk agreements. It is the rejection of enshrining the special status of Donbass (Chesnakov calls it a “key condition”). As well as the requirement of elimination of “LDNR” and transfer control over the border – as a condition of the elections in the Donbass. Contrary even agreed in Kiev formula Steinmeier – not to mention Minsk-2.

As to what will be a special status – also have questions. Zelensky statement that Parliament will rewrite the law “On peculiarities of self-government ORDA” Chesnakov called “an attempt to rewrite powers of the autonomy of Donbass”, recorded in current law on the special status.

“These “red lines” directly contravened the Minsk agreements and the “formula Steinmeier” logic. According to the formula, the permanent the special status of separate areas of Donbass should be granted after the recognition of the local elections, the OSCE (i.e. OSCE / ODIHR), and the process of restoring the sovereignty of Kiev over the border begins on the day following the election and ends after the “comprehensive political settlement” and the entry into force of the new Constitution taking into account the characteristics of individual regions of Donetsk and Lugansk regions (p. 9, 11). So, a special status should be given to the return line. Until that point, the border control can be carried out only by personnel of the paramilitary structures of the republics (in the Minsk agreement is not laid down position on a military mission of any other organization)”, – says the analyst.

Therefore, in the interests of the Kremlin to demand clear guarantees from Kiev before you go on any compromises, he concludes. And not to make a unilateral advances – especially in the political part of Minsk agreements.

This requirement is dictated, says Chesnakov, the weakness of the government Zelensky.

“Position Zelensky in the country don’t look so strong to consider him as a negotiator, are prepared to guarantee the performance of all external arrangements,” he says.

The consultant before the meeting in the Normandy format suggests that Russia will not conduct a serious dialogue with Zelensky, if it would violate obligations, indulging in the street (as it was with the troops).

“If the Ukrainian President is unable to perform its obligations, citing problems in the country or claiming for themselves the changes of the terms of the transaction, for Russia, it ceases to be a valuable partner in dialogue. For the Kremlin makes no sense to conduct substantive negotiations with a weak Ukrainian President — experience of negotiating with Poroshenko is a good proof,” writes Chesnakov.

However, he believes that Zelensky is able to keep those same nationalists under control.

“The real potential opponents Zelensky to swing the situation in their favor, including the power method, and the fragmentation of the President’s team, which has been plagued by constant scandals are important but not critical factors.”

However, concludes Chesnakov, on the background of social and economic challenges that await Ukraine in the year 2020, Zelensky may not want to risk the collapse of its government team, which can revolt against the execution of the Minsk agreements. At the same time to withdraw from previously made concessions on the Minsk-2, Russia will not be able to. “That is actually the speech in this case may go if not to surrender, that their significant weakening,” says the political strategist.

So while Chesnakov believes that in the Donbass at the end of Norman meetings will remain the status quo – but with a full cease-fire in 2020 and normalization of the humanitarian situation, and even rejection of some of the tools of the economic embargo.

And then the situation may, in the opinion of the author, to develop the three scenarios.

The inertial scenario. If Zelensky will remain popular, Russia’s advantage to demand the full implementation of the Minsk agreements and to adhere to the current line of the literal fulfillment of all agreements, making steps forward only in some justified situations.

Positional scenario. In the case that Zelensky will gradually lose support in the country and will increase the risks of victimization of the implementation of the Minsk agreement for the sake of popularity of the Ukrainian authorities, Russia is beneficial to take a wait and see attitude, waiting to see who will be the winner of Ukraine’s internal conflict.

Radical scenario. If Zelensky becomes weak President and will not be able to fulfill their promises, then it makes no sense at all to negotiate and it is only necessary to retain a nominal presence in the negotiation process without any decisions until the change of power in Kiev. At the same time looks natural strengthening negotiating positions of Donbass in dialogue with the new Ukrainian government”.

In conclusion, Chesnakov urged “not to make any concessions to the Ukrainian side and don’t settle for an empty compromise, to demand clarity on the official position on key settlement issues – first of all, according to the law on the special status”.

Which means article

Analysis of the situation from the analyst Chesnakov, who is the spokesman of the point of view of one of the main regulators of Putin’s policies in Ukraine – Vladislav Surkov – came on the eve of the Norman meeting.

So it looks like a warning not only to Ukraine but also to Europeans. Perhaps even more to Berlin and Paris than Kiev, with which the author of the article as if everything is clear.

Europe try to prepare for a tough position of the Kremlin in the Donbas in Paris. Apparently, in order for the European curators of the Ukraine had to adjust the position Zelensky before the meeting on 9 December. After all, the EU is interested in successful meeting – so certainly to an agreement with Ukraine before the summit is permanent.

While Chesnakov lifted the curtain on the final communiqué of the meeting of 9 December, which have already been agreed. It is a complete ceasefire in the year 2020, the partial lifting of the economic blockade of Donbass and the easing of humanitarian conditions for residents “LDNR”.

However, it is clear that article aide Surkov appeared on these points (they are considered as secondary). The material is confined to the main topic at the table Norman talks – the law on the special status and elections “LDNR”.

Judging by the tone of the material, Kyiv intends to show in Paris is not what would like to see in Moscow. Namely, the execution of the Minsk agreements. And from the words Chesnakov, we see that Moscow insists on their literal fulfillment – to be entered into the Constitution a special status.

However, this possibility in Moscow is considered as low. The final scenario, which formulates Chesnakov is not independent of the probability, and consistency. First, while ze is the Kremlin will demand the execution of Minsk. Then, if the President starts to lose it, or lose entirely, becoming a Poroshenko – “to strengthen the negotiating position of Donbass” and wait for the change of power in Ukraine.

Which, apparently, according to Moscow, will be held in a more complete collapse maydanovskoy paradigm and the final victory of the moderate forces willing to take the political implementation of the Minsk agreements.

We are talking about the fact that Moscow is ready to support the “DNR” and “LNR” as much as need be, until Ukraine will be ready to integrate these territories in the conditions of Minsk-2. Vic Wenk

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