When we’re informed of new ceasefire agreement, most of us give out a collective groan. In eastern Ukraine, ceasefires come and go, unlike flying Russian shells which never go away. But here we are, and yet another ceasefire starts on July 27th.
It’s commendable that Ukraine’s president Zelensky is pushing for a “comprehensive” ceasefire. The President said – that an agreement on complete and comprehensive ceasefire on the delimitation line in Donbas should be signed by the leaders of the Normandy Four on July 27, which will increase its status and increase the chances of adhering to the agreements reached. The President noted that Ukraine is fulfilling its part of the Minsk agreements, and the whole world sees it. The other party must also demonstrate willingness to comply with them. He also stated the Ukrainian army can return fire in self-defence.
Despite my ceasefire skepticism, this reference to the Mink Agreements looks promising.
President Zelensky said – We want to decipher each point of “Minsk”. Then we will see whether we are able to do it or not, how we will do it, who will be responsible,” he added. Link to Ukraine’s Defence Ministry and ceasefire info (in English).
Speed will be the key to any potential final resolution of the conflict. Should talks and Minsk agreement haggling drag on, we’ll soon be back to square one faster than a Russian bullet fired west. Putin is a past-master at stalling & has a vested interest in not wanting peace to prevail. The Kremlin has no wish to see a large, peaceful, democratic country like Ukraine sitting on its doorstep. Especially one with NATO aspirations.
Also remember back in Nov 2019 at the last Normandy Format meeting in Paris, Putin committed to a new ceasefire then. Predictably it was short lived with firing soon edging back up. Added to which, 2020 has seen a substantial increase in daily shelling and increased harassment of OSCE monitors by Russia-led forces. So, much as I’d like to clutch at a few straws of hope, there’s no indications Putin’s ever done anything to secure a peaceful settlement. Quite the opposite.
For my part, I suspect this ceasefire will last a little longer than most, but will eventually fizzle out once Russia-led forces get the Russian nod to ignore it.
But hey… fingers crossed everyone.