La Croix (France): Ukraine and Russia have resumed the peace process

Decided that Ukraine and Russia?

After a telephone conversation on Sunday 26 July, Vladimir Putin and Vladimir Zelensky “welcomed the agreement on full and comprehensive cease-fire in Donbass”. In the night of Monday July 27, entered into force the decision on the cessation of hostilities in the Donbass.

Countries were urged to respect the ceasefire which is a precondition for talks to resolve the conflict. Press Secretary of the Kremlin Dmitry Peskov called a new cease-fire an “important step towards strengthening mutual trust and reduce tensions” in the region. The commander of the joint forces of Ukraine signed the order about introduction of a mode of complete ceasefire.

The situation in the region

In 2014, after the annexation of the Crimea by Russia, Pro-Russian forces opposed to Kiev in the Donbass. Despite all the denial, Russia is considered the political, financial and military patron of the separatists.

According to Cecile Vessey, French Slavist and historian, the influence of the Kremlin in the region clear: “Vladimir Putin has an Imperial vision of his country, he wants to control the territories that surround it, to prevent them to converge with the West.” Therefore, according to the historian, it negatively concerns to attempts of Ukraine to get closer to EU and tries to prevent this, exacerbating the situation in the region. In 2015, the Russian and Ukrainian leaders in Minsk signed a Peace agreement on the establishment of the cease-fire, but to no avail.

The President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky, who was elected in April of 2019, aims to put an end to this conflict, which has killed more than 13,000 civilians and soldiers. In December 2019 summit with participation of presidents of Russia and Ukraine, put an end to the freezing of political relations between the two countries and helped to negotiate the exchange of prisoners.

What does the new cease-fire?

Cecile Vessey notes that the population of Ukraine reacted differently to the new cease-fire. “Some people can’t hide his desire to restore peace in the Donbass, even if it means concessions to the specific demands of Pro-Russian separatists, but others do not want to compromise, “fear of Russian aggression in other regions of Ukraine”, — says the historian.

Cecile Vessey reminds us that “this is not the first cease-fire.” The Ukrainian military has accused Pro-Russian separatists of violating the truce within an hour after its entry into force. The separatists have denied all charges.