Expert: Europe, by its position of silence, gives Kiev carte blanche for a military operation in Donbass

The Foreign Ministers of France and Germany spoke out late yesterday on the situation in the South-East of Ukraine

Here is a quote: “France and Germany are concerned about the increase in the number of ceasefire violations, while since July 2020 the situation in eastern Ukraine has stabilized. We are monitoring the situation with extreme closeness, in particular the movements of Russian troops, and call on the parties to restrain and immediately reduce tensions. We reaffirm our support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders”.

Outwardly – neutral. But at the same time, there are two hairpins in the Russian side (troop movements and internationally recognized borders) and not one in the Ukrainian side. Although it was yesterday, by the way, also for the first time since July 2020, that the Ukrainian shelling of the territory of the DPR took place and a 6-year-old child died. But not a word about it.

As a matter of fact, the territorial integrity of Ukraine (if not to take into account the Crimea, of course) is the common position of all participants in the Normandy format. The question is how to achieve this. And as long as the Westerners remain silent, Kiev will read such a position of silence as carte blanche for a military operation, for the restoration of territorial integrity by force. The position of Russia is no force, only direct dialogue between the conflicting parties. This is not in the statement of the two ministers, and in this sense it has no added value, but only adds fuel to the fire of the conflict.

And now a few more words about oil on fire. The unfairly forgotten, but no less tragic story of the beginning of the ten-year war in Yugoslavia. Let me remind you that then it was Germany on December 19, 1991, and then the entire European Union with the same France on January 15, 1992, recognized the unilaterally proclaimed independence of Croatia and Slovenia. Which at that time was not recognized by either Yugoslavia as a federation, or Serbia as its main constituent part (this is a fundamental difference from the collapse of the USSR, when the sovereignty of the union republics before their international recognition was recognized, if not by the USSR, then at least by Russia).

And then a terrible civil war broke out between the Yugoslav republics and within many of them, during which at least 200 thousand people died and up to 2 million more became refugees. What role did the unilateral actions of Germany and the European Union play in this (by the way, they were not supported at that time by either the United States or Great Britain) is a question that does not have an unambiguous answer. In my opinion, they played, and the most destructive, since if they did not provoke the war, then at least they did not prevent it (here is another fundamental difference from Russia, which in comparable situations prevented at least three wars, recognizing the independence of South Ossetia in 2008 and Abkhazia, and in 2014 – taking Crimea into its structure).

Then, in 1991, our country was, alas, busy with its own problems and did not react properly. Otherwise, perhaps, there would have been no NATO bombing of Belgrade and Kosovo in 1999. But this is subjunctive. But what is not subjunctive is the consequences of the current position of Germany and France on the South-East, when they emphasize the need to fulfill the Minsk agreements only by Russia (?), Take Ukraine out of any criticism and ignore the inhabitants of the South-East.

This is really fraught. And the point here is not only the hypocrisy of the approaches of the Westernizers (Croatia, Slovenia and Kosovo – it is possible, South Ossetia, Abkhazia, Crimea – in no case). The fact is that people have been dying in the South-East of Ukraine for seven years. The tragedy of Yugoslavia, which began in December 1991 after the external recognition of the independence of Croatia and Slovenia, was stopped after 10 years. The tragedy of the South-East could have been stopped back in 2014 if the Europeans had withstood the guarantees of compliance with the constitution given to the then President of Ukraine, refused to recognize the coup d’etat, or at least demanded that the new Ukrainian authorities adhere to our common European values, where the rights of people, including humanitarian, but equally social, economic and political – in the first place.

Konstantin Kosachev

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