The official blockade ORDO: how to respond to the West?

The decision of the Council of national security and defense of termination of movement of goods across the demarcation line in the Donbas, and it’s a month later, activists began to transport and trade blockade ORDO, which strongly criticized the government, came as a surprise to the world community and international partners of Ukraine.

Thus, the head of the EU delegation to Ukraine Hugues Mingarelli said that the decision on the establishment of the blockade of Donbass contrary to the previous policy of the Ukrainian government, which were separated and the EU. “So far the Ukrainian government in relation to the territory of Donbass used an inclusive approach, while the fight against smuggling. The inclusive approach provided the solution of humanitarian problems of the population of Donbass and has a positive impact on the economic situation there. This approach was fully supported by us, so yesterday’s decision of the Council surprised us. However, to reach a final position, we should obtain explanations from the Ukrainian authorities on many issues,” said Mingarelli.

The French foreign Ministry, in turn, called on Kiev to lift the blockade ORDO, and once again urged the Ukrainian and Russian authorities to focus on implementation of the Minsk agreements.

In the United States is also monitoring the situation with the blockade of the occupied territories. Acting official representative of US state Department mark Toner said that all this “could have potentially dangerous repercussions” and would affect the implementation of the Minsk agreements.

About the latter, that is, about the Minsk agreement, most shouts in this situation Russia, insisting that the decision on the blockade — a violation of the Minsk agreements. “The impotence of the Kiev authorities against the lawlessness of the nationalists has, above all, for Ukraine itself. This is even more dangerous that the trend is corroborated by other official action. mean, in particular, spread today by the media statement of the President Petro Poroshenko at the NSDC meeting, providing for the termination of transport communication with the LC and the DNI, which directly contradicts the Minsk agreements”, — said the Plenipotentiary representative of the Russian Federation in the Trilateral contact group on settling the situation in Eastern Ukraine, Boris Gryzlov.

Experts told the “Glavred”, what are the consequences in practice could have for Ukrainian official transport blockade IDLO and the international community’s position on the issue, not whether we lose because of inconsistency of actions of the Ukrainian authorities, the support of Western partners, as well as how it will affect talks on settling the situation in Donbas.

The political scientist and sociologist, Director of the sociological service “Ukrainian barometer” Victor Nebozhenko:

The formal Declaration of blockade of the occupied territories would have little international impact for Ukraine. Yes, this step contradicts the Minsk agreements, but also the Minsk negotiation process has quietly died. The experience of Moscow largely coincide with the concerns of Western diplomats, but it is not connected with the levers of pressure on Kiev. It is a diplomatic rhetoric, is essential for any country that risks in the war with separatism. In General, the West is now worried that the blockades will be the beginning of the departure of Donbass from Ukraine and the emergence of new Pro-Russian territory.

I don’t think the embargo will indeed go on — we should not exaggerate the significance of the decision of the NSDC. Groisman said that life goes on, and some economic cooperation with the occupied territories will still be. Therefore, I do not see the larger implications of a formal Declaration of blockade. Not because I’m too tolerant. But again, saying the West are very diplomatic in nature, and the anger of Russia was too diplomatic in nature. But the concern of separatists is really a serious nature — they are very afraid that after the blockade of transport routes, can cause blockade energy, there will be the disconnection of communication, water, etc.

I don’t think a blockade will be the beginning of the withdrawal of the occupied territories to Russia. Ukraine will achieve them as long as necessary for their return. For example, Germany waited 45 years and got his way, Japan is also waiting for many years to return [Kuril] Islands and in no way they are not refusing.

After this decision by the blockade there is a need to move on to other formats. Possible negotiation formats have been allocated clearly from the beginning. First — Geneva (USA, Ukraine, EU, Russia). It was the most efficient format, which would have long ago to end the war, but Putin has “jumped”, and America after a few hours of imposed sanctions. The second — in Minsk, and the third channel. Nor Minsk or Normandy format was not justified. Because you need to go back to, that is. Impossible for US to invite to Minsk, it may only occur to science fiction from the Kremlin. Similarly, it is impossible after Hollande and Merkel to do something else in the framework of the Normandy format.

There are two options — either an international peace conference on Ukraine, or the Geneva format (with the presence of trump, Poroshenko, Putin and EU). But this is the only way, as the Geneva format, may lead to the problem. Even the international peace conference that will lead to some results as the international format (but it soon will speak) will do nothing for one simple reason — no guarantors of the obligations.

And the Minsk format is purely an operational format that is able to solve problems, e.g. about the exchange of prisoners. Why it made the source of constitutional change in Ukraine — is not clear. As you know, the format of Minsk requires the change of the Constitution of Ukraine, the legalization of the separatist “republics,” of holding elections in the occupied territory, etc. the Minsk group format was doomed from the start.

With the channel format does not work, because the new French President will never “fit” in the place of Hollande. Advisers of the new French President will tell you that you should not interfere in Ukrainian Affairs, again for the reason that no France could not affect Ukraine.

Going back again to the concern of Western countries about the decision of the NSDC, they have no way to influence neither the decision of the Council, nor on the issue of Ukraine. It solved only the level of the leaders of the United States, Ukraine, Russia and the EU representative.

Political analyst at the Institute for Euro-Atlantic cooperation Vladimir Gorbach:

Most Western countries now fear that the situation militarily in the Donbas may get out of control. Its a form of control over the situation and the escalation they consider the Minsk agreement. Though all have long been convinced that these agreements are not executed, but, nevertheless, they are used as a tool to deter escalation.

And fight all these two years after the signing of agreements between Ukraine and Russia was behind it, who was the first to violate the agreement and out of this format — that will be responsible for all further actions. Including the responsibility for possible serious escalation.

So both sides — Ukrainian and Russian — accuse each other of undermining the Minsk agreements. When the Russians decided to accept the “passports” issued by the LDNR, in Ukraine immediately interpreted this step as Russia’s withdrawal from the Minsk agreements. Similarly, now Russia has reacted to the official beginning of the blockade ORDO — say, the Ukraine breaks Minsk agreement.

While there is such a dialogue, the situation in some form persists. But when it will be done by the fact that the Minsk agreement will cease to be a tool of deterrence, escalation of the conflict is possible. It is on this point our foreign partners, who see their role as intermediaries.

So the blockade, says the Russian side is undermining the Minsk agreement, because going through the West.

Inconsistency of the Ukrainian government in its relation to the blockade might be a push from Ukraine’s international partners, but not at a great distance. Because the other option and there is simply no alternative.

The Director of the Department international multilateral relations of Fund “Maidan foreign Affairs”Alexander Jara:

Ukrainian community and activists took power, and she took a step that should have been done three years ago, and which was required by the Constitution, the defence law, common sense and understanding of the strategy. We are talking about the recognition of the status of temporarily occupied territories, the severance of diplomatic relations, etc. — the steps that any normal country would take to counter military aggression.

The current blockade that the activists were, had several objectives. One of them is moral — it is impossible for the blood to build business. The second is the return of our prisoners. The third is to cut off the channels of smuggling and uncontrolled movement of goods. No one knows (neither the President nor the Prime), how many and what goods were imported, how many and what taxes paid “controlled by Ukraine’s enterprises located in uncontrolled Ukraine area.”

The decision to blockade — half. The decision of the national security Council says the blockade is introduced: “To vikonannya the other side pershoho I another item Mnski of doublenotes”, that is, the cease-fire and the discharge of weapons, as well as to return to the jurisdiction of Ukraine enterprises (read — Akhmetov and others).

With regard to the consequences. Definitely bad that the public have forced the government to do it unprepared. If we are talking about the angle needed for our energy, the government was to reduce dependence on coal from the occupied territories, to buy it in South Africa or other countries, to modernize our energy, so we are not dependent on expensive anthracite coal. Too bad that done but the good that is done in principle. Because it is an additional lever of influence on Russia. After all, the Russians now have some way to maintain public peace and socio-economic parameters at a certain level at the expense of Russian taxpayers, but not at the expense of the Ukrainian budget or Ukrainian companies.

At the time, even in the Soviet period, was the General Prosecutor Vyshinsky, who represented the Soviet Union in the UN security Council. Once at one of the meetings he dozed off, just as were the American representative. Then it was the turn of Wyszynski to speak. And he actually began to repeat what was said by the Americans. He began to show — say, no, it’s not the same position. He responded quickly and said, “So we said, if we were the American delegation, but since we — the Soviet delegation, we have the opposite point of view.”

In fact, the President Poroshenko in the case of blockade showed a master class in changing views: at first, he condemned the blockade that the activists were, and then offered as the salvation of the same blockade. He also said that the imposition of the embargo and the law on temporarily occupied territories would be a violation of the Minsk agreements. In this he is disingenuous, deceiving society. In fact, nowhere is it written that it is impossible to determine the status of these territories temporarily occupied that it would be logical to do from the beginning. Because everyone knows that occupied the territory of the Russian troops and their supporters from among our citizens. The definition of such a status is not a violation of the Minsk agreements. Moreover, the Minsk agreement ceased to have effect in 2015. And even the extension phone of their validity period gave nothing, as there is no “road map” that would show how to implement these “stillborn” agreement.

Of course, the West, especially the Germans and the French, expressed concern because they believe that Kiev must support socially inhabitants of the occupied territories, from the point of view of humanitarian law. And they are doing absolutely the right notes, because Ukraine was never called the territory temporarily occupied, and, therefore, put all the responsibility for the maintenance of law and order, socio-economic security and other things on themselves and not on the occupier — Russian Federation, which should bear legal and moral responsibility.

It is obvious that the Europeans do not want escalation of the conflict. Although the escalation began with the shelling of Avdeevka. And I don’t remember in this regard was any serious political or diplomatic steps of the Ukrainian authorities. However, in the preamble to the decision of the NSDC dated March 15, stated that it accepted, given the substantial aggravation of the situation in terms of security in the ATO zone, as well as considering the forcible seizure of the Ukrainian enterprises located on the territory of certain districts of Luhansk and Donetsk regions. The escalation began in January, but only now, in mid-March, the government finally noticed that it happened. As for the “seizure of Ukrainian enterprises”, that what they were “Ukrainian” if they were captured and paid tribute to the leaders of the militants. It’s all just blurry eyes and a distraction from the real issues: the definition of the legal status of what is happening, there is no ATO — is the armed aggression of the Russian Federation, no ORDO — is the Russian-occupied territory, etc. If initially the government acted in the legal field, then these issues we have today would not.

Overall, our government is at war with Russia international sanctions. It was a diplomatic puncture. The sanctions originally were imposed by countries in connection with the Minsk agreements and to stop the armed aggression of the Russian Federation and to return to the territory of Ukraine. And then the Ukrainian diplomacy, but rather Poroshenko, has made it so that there was a connection: the fulfillment of the Minsk agreements — the lifting of sanctions. But this is completely wrong, it is a substitution of concepts. This creates the false impression that there is a civil war. And any country has the right to remove sanctions against Russia, if they believe that it has fulfilled at least some paragraphs of these agreements.

In addition, the inconsistent policy of the President and government just pushes us to our international partners who already would like to somehow come to terms with Russia or to reduce the tension between Russia and NATO. Such inconsistent actions will be encouraged to impose certain actions for us, particularly since we took the commitment to fulfill the Minsk agreements will put pressure on Ukraine.