Because of his achievement, he loses the real lever of influence on Ukraine.
After meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Osaka, the President of France Emmanuel macron said about the possibility of resumption of work in the “channel format”, and even about hold in July the first with the 2016 summit.
This time in the Kremlin confirmed that such a possibility: the press Secretary of Russian President Dmitry Peskov said that the election of a new President provides an opportunity to talk about the resuscitation of the “Normandy format”. However, the same Peskov said that it is necessary to clarify “the approaches of the new leadership of Ukraine” to the settlement in the Donbass.
How the Kremlin would react to these approaches, and will depend on the real possibility of a resumption of the “Norman format” and meetings at the highest level. And then you need to understand that today the task of the parties to resolve the situation don’t look easily negotiated.
For Vladimir Zelensky the first tactical goal of the settlement – the termination of the hot phase of the conflict, i.e. the establishment of a comprehensive truce on the frontline. For the Ukrainian President it is important to stop people dying – both military and civilians. And in General it reflects the request of the Ukrainian society: according to all polls, people who want a quick end to the war, many times more than those for whom the most important is the restoration of the territorial integrity of the country. Simply put, the average Ukrainian would suit perfectly “frozen conflict” such as in Transnistria – the restoration of the territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova to speak for the past 27 years is not necessary, but there is no war.
The question, however, is whether this situation is Vladimir Putin. For the Kremlin it is important for Ukraine to ensure special status – that is the actual autonomy for the occupied areas of Donbass. It is repeatedly stated close to the government of the Russian experts – what about the special status must first turn to speak in Minsk. And let me remind you that the granting of this special status with the right of the authorities of individual regions to form their own, not subordinate Kiev “people’s militia” – the same integral part of the Minsk agreements and a ceasefire.
The mediators in the conflict – the leaders of Germany and France – also it is important that the shelling ended, and people ceased to die. No allergies on the special status of Donbass they are not. If the Parliament decides so, the question of the constitutional and territorial structure, it is perceived as an internal affair of Ukraine. And Yes, the design of the parties of the Minsk agreements.
But then new problems arise, practically insoluble. Can Vladimir Zelensky to go for the provision of special status of the Donbas – even having controlled a majority in Parliament without fear of provoking a sharp aggravation of the political situation in the country, until the uprising or riots? And would not such a solution to the appearance of the real separatism in other regions of the country?
But even this is not important. Imagine that Zelensky for one reason or another will be willing to take the risk. However, force is it Vladimir Putin to take such a risk in the conditions of frozen conflict and cease fire? After all, power is the same of Moldova, by the way, for 27 years do not go to any serious compromise with Transnistria precisely because the demarcation line, nothing happens.
And if so, what Vladimir Putin to agree to a truce? Because of his achievement, he loses the real lever of influence on Ukraine, but gains the indifference of the majority of Ukrainians to the problem of Donbass and the need to contain this region for an indefinite time.
So to revive the “Norman format” is possible. And you can even hold a meeting at the highest level. It is unclear whether such a meeting to expect a real result.
Vitaly Portnikov, Radiosvoboda.org