A Resolution in the right way?

Note kindly translated by Anne-Marie de Grazia

The United Nations are finally taking on the situation in the Donbass. The UN Council’s resolution on the application of the Minsk agreement and of the cease-fire decided at this occasion on February 12 is a good thing in many ways. It insists on the necessity to respect the cease-fire and to treat combatants humanely. All too often, the insurgent combatants captured by the “punitive battalions” of the National Guard of the Kiev regime have been tortured and assassinated. Similar facts seem to have also occurred in reprisal with members of the “punitive battalions” captured by the insurgents. It is important to insist on the fact that captured combatants from both sides must be treated humanely. This resolution insists moreover, and there lies its importance, on the integral application of the Minsk agreement. However, one knows that eminent members of the Kiev government have turned it down, as has the far-right group “Right Sector” through the voice of his leader, Dmitro Yarosh. These facts cast a real doubt as to the real and honest implementation of this agreement. It is clear that powerful forces are in motion in Kiev in order to sabotage this agreement and to throw the whole region into war.

The necessary internationalisation of the conflict

Faced with the impossibility of presently settling the conflict between Ukrainians, something which one may regret but which must be acknowledged, it is therefore necessary to internationalize the frame of discussions. This is the meaning of this UN resolution. From this point of view, the attempt by Germany and France to arrive at a settlement in the European framework seems to have also failed. One can understand the will of Mrs Merkel and M Hollande to find a solution to this conflict. But, for this to happen, the United States would have needed to stay on the sidelines, which is not the case. It is clear for everybody at present that the United States are a part in this conflict through their financial and political support, but also they indirect military support to the Kiev government. One estimates at between 150 and 400 the civilian advisers (be they American or financed by American institutions), who are working alongside the government in the various ministries, and at 400 to 600 the military advisers training the Kiev units. Only the United States have presently the capacity to exert sufficient pressure onto the Kiev government to convince it to apply this agreement. This fact must recognized, which relates to the inefficiency of European diplomacy. If Paris and Berlin had emancipated themselves from the tutelage of Brussels (and of NATO) and had as early as June worked towards a global and reasonable approach, maybe they would have been able to keep the United States from getting involved in the Ukraine crisis. Today, this is no longer the case.

Towards designating blue helmets?

As the insurgents seem to have triumphed in the Debaltsevo “pocket,” and the units of the Kiev army have surrendered or are in the process of doing so, conditions are probably together for a real implementation of the cease-fire. The blood of the Kiev soldiers might finally convince the government of Petro Porochenko that it has nothing to win from pursuing combats. If such is the case, the blood will not have been spilled in vain. I have been saying and writing for six months: the real application of the cease-fire will necessitate the sending of Blue Helmets by The United Stations. It is of capital importance that the interposition forces be able to set themselves up between the belligerents and be able to verify the removal of the heavy weaponry (artillery, multiple rocket-launchers) which the Kiev forces have used to shell civilian populations and destroy a great part of civilian infrastructures (hospitals, day-care centers) in the zones held by the insurgents. From this point of view, the resolution of the Security Council, which could be voted only with the agreement of Russia and of China, can be the first step leading to the dispatching of this interposition force, and, through this, the first step towards a political agreement the bases of which have been drawn in the Minsk agreement of February 12th. This interposition force will have to be acceptable by all. This a priori excludes Russia and the NATO countries. One will therefore have to find among those who were once upon a time called the « non-aligned, » and which are now designated under the name of « BRICS », the countries which could contribute to this force. At present, one can consider two, India and the South African Republic. The armies of both countries have a long experience in delicate missions and could provide Blue Helmets contingents which could be rapidly operative. The sooner a decision in this direction will be taken, the better it will be for the civilian populations of the Donbass as well as for peace in Europe.


Jacques Sapir

Ses travaux de chercheur se sont orientés dans trois dimensions, l’étude de l’économie russe et de la transition, l’analyse des crises financières et des recherches théoriques sur les institutions économiques et les interactions entre les comportements individuels. Il a poursuivi ses recherches à partir de 2000 sur les interactions entre les régimes de change, la structuration des systèmes financiers et les instabilités macroéconomiques. Depuis 2007 il s'est impliqué dans l’analyse de la crise financière actuelle, et en particulier dans la crise de la zone Euro.

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