After the unexpected statements on the Syrian issue Emmanuel macron spoke June 26 about another serious problem that, until recently, spoke very evasively. In the case of a meeting at the Elysee Palace with his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko, President of France painted the way he intends to come to a sustainable settlement of the conflict that still rages in the East of Ukraine.
According to the French leader, the formation of a “new fundamental principles became too great loss of time.” Macron believes that the issue concerns only “specific application” of the various points of the Minsk agreements that were signed under the auspices of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and his predecessor, Francois Hollande.
The President of France gave “a few months to achieve success within the framework of agreements” and rejected the idea of an alternative solution, which, in particular, was recently articulated by U.S. Secretary of state Rex Tillerson (Rex Tillerson). He relies on the organization before the scheduled on 7 and 8 July of the G20 summit in Hamburg a telephone conversation the leaders of the States-participants of the “Normandy four” (France, Germany, Ukraine, Russia).
In the context of the conversation will discuss the preconditions that should help progress on the most important issues: the withdrawal of armed forces from both sides of the front, providing control of the OSCE observers over the situation on the contact line, the exchange of prisoners, settlement of the question of “blockade” (the gap of economic ties between Kiev and the separatist regions, the seizure of Ukrainian enterprises by the new authorities of Donbass).
“I would like to conduct meetings with clear objectives and concrete results, even if they may seem not too significant”, — summed up the Makron, emphasizing a “change of tone”. In fact, in the policy of small steps there is nothing innovative: it is this path trying to go Hollande and Merkel, and their it was waiting for some setbacks, although the Minsk process has certainly helped to reduce the intensity of the fighting. Signed on June 24, another truce until the end of summer (its purpose was to allow local harvest) shattered on the same day with the news of the deaths of two Ukrainian servicemen.
During his speech, Poroshenko reiterated the argument that regularly uses to explain its inability to achieve progress in the political part of the Minsk process and, in particular, the organization of local elections. According to him, “in the first place is the part of the Minsk agreement, which deals with security matters”. In other words, while there is no guarantee of ceasefire to discuss other aspects is impossible.
How, then, the Emmanuel Macron will be able to move the process forward? The President acknowledges that relies on self-will and determination. He stated that he is anxious to achieve results and that “don’t get used to fruitless discussions”. His enthusiasm spilled over at least part of the Ukrainian delegation, one representative of which said: “if the Macron was able to self-revive “Channel four”, is a sign that progress is possible. Ukraine is interested to join in this time”.
The second new aspect was evident behind the scenes. “A private conversation was more direct than a public statement, says a diplomatic source. — Macron gave Poroshenko a message: we are demanding of Russia, but you have to behave impeccably. Statements in the spirit of “we are powerless to do anything” to be no longer”. However, the French President has made several gestures of friendship towards the Ukrainian colleague, assuring him that France “will never recognize the annexation of the Crimea” and that we all remember, “what is the reason: we are not talking about Ukrainian aggression”.
In addition, macron intends to actively involve the OSCE discussions to the Russian and Ukrainian sides without end is not shifted to each other the responsibility for the battles and obstacles. He wants the organization to be present at least at the first meetings of the “Normandy Quartet” and played the role of a magistrate. Incidentally, a new feature of the OSCE will be one of the first checks of the “method of Makron”. The French leader spoke of the “observer mission”, while Poroshenko again called for “the deployment of a military mission on the front line”, which regularly appeared in Moscow.