Everyone Seems To Have A Peace Plan For Ukraine

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(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Christopher Miller – February 23, 2017) KYIV — It seems that peace plans for Ukraine are everywhere these days. Amid a recent surge in violence in eastern Ukraine and yet another failed cease-fire in the nearly 3-year-old conflict are a wave of new proposals to bring peace to the crisis-stricken nation — and from some unexpected […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Kiev and Kremlin trade blame over surge in east Ukraine fighting” – Reuters

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“Ukraine and Russia blamed each other on Tuesday for a surge in fighting in eastern Ukraine … that has led to the highest casualty toll in weeks and cut off power and water to thousands of civilians …. The Ukrainian military and Russian-backed separatists accuse each other of launching offensives in the government-held industrial town of Avdiyivka and firing heavy […]

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Lavrov says no breakthroughs at Normandy Format meeting

Sergei Lavrov file photo

MINSK. Nov 29 (Interfax) – Today’s meeting of the Normandy Quartet foreign ministers has brought no breakthroughs; it is noted that implementation of the Minsk Agreements in the area of security and politics remains stalled as no specific steps have been agreed upon, although the earlier agreements made by leaders of the fours countries are not being questioned, Russian Foreign […]

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Playing The Kremlin’s Game

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(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – August 29, 2016) After more than two years of war in eastern Ukraine, we continue to pretend; we continue to play make believe. We continue to pretend that what is happening in the Donbas is a civil war, when in fact it is the result of a Russian invasion. We continue to pretend […]

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Russian Elite Not Only Believes Its Own Propaganda But is Basing Its Actions on It, New Russian Document Shows

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(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 7, 2016) The Moscow Council on Foreign and Defense Policy released at the end of May a document describing Russian foreign policy for the remainder of this decade. It is filled with propagandistic shibboleths heard every day on Russian TV, and the policies that it recommends flow from them rather than […]

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Savchenko Says Willing To Hold Peace Talks With Separatists

Nadiya Savchenko file photo, adapted from image at osce.usmission.gov

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – June 8, 2016) Ukrainian airwoman Nadia Savchenko says she is willing to talk with Russia-backed separatist leaders in eastern Ukraine to try to end the nation’s two-year-old conflict. Savchenko told Ukrainian media on June 7 she believes direct peace talks with separatist leaders would be more effective than the current, unproductive talks that have included Russia, […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Step-by-Step Rapprochement. Germany Considers Easing of Russia Sanctions. Standing tough on Russia remains official policy, but Germany has begun working on the careful easing of sanctions imposed following Moscow’s aggression in Ukraine. The US is opposed, but many in the EU could support the new approach.” – Der Spiegel

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… What Merkel didn’t say … is that behind the scenes, her government has long since developed concrete plans for a step-by-step easing of the sanctions against Russia and that the process could begin as early as this year. … the message has been that the trade and travel restrictions will only be lifted once all the provisions foreseen by […]

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Russia Sanctions Can Be Lifted If Minsk Implemented – U.S. Ambassador

File Photo of U.S. Embassy Moscow, with Russian Foreign Ministry Building in Distance

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 29, 2016) Sanctions against Moscow can be lifted after it implements the Minsk peace agreement with Ukraine, including restoration of Kiev control over separatist eastern regions, the U.S. Ambassador in Moscow John Tefft said in an interview published on the U.S. Embassy’s website Thursday. Washington has the full backing of its European allies in […]

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Russian Entente Nears as Allies Give Ukraine Sanctions Hint

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – January 26, 2016) After almost two years on the outside, signs are growing that Russia may soon be invited in from the cold. The worsening of crises from Syria to Libya are forcing the international community to reconsider sanctions slapped on President Vladimir Putin’s government over Ukraine as a way of getting a key diplomatic power […]

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NEWSLINK Christian Science Monitor: “Could 2016 see Ukraine crisis resolved? Russian moves hint yes. The halting Minsk process, meant to peaceably reunite Ukraine with its restive eastern regions, got a big boost in recent weeks with the assignment of two top Putin officials to key positions in the Russian team.”

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Interfax: Moscow dismisses Ukrainian official’s idea for new format for talks

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(Interfax – Moscow, January 11, 2016) The statements by a representative of Ukraine in the political sub-group of the Tripartite Contact Group, Roman Bezsmertnyy, regarding the launch of a new Minsk 3 process from 1 January appears incompetent, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mariya Zakharova announced. “The statement by a representative of Ukraine in the political subgroup about the launch from […]

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Putin: Constitutional reform should underlie peace process in Ukraine

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(Interfax – January 11, 2016) German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Holland, who are part of the Normandy Quartet, should pay more attention to implementation of the Minsk agreements on Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said. Speaking in an interview with the German Bild newspaper, Putin said that the constitutional reform in Ukraine should underlie the political […]

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Interfax: DPR prepares new draft amnesty law that will take into account conditions of prisoner exchange on both sides

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DONETSK. Nov 20 (Interfax) – Darya Morozova, human rights ombudsman in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), said that the law on amnesty adopted by Ukraine does not suit the conflict in Donbas and that the DPR is working on its own version. “The republic is not blackmailing anyone, but insists on the fulfillment of the sixth point of the Minsk […]

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Kremlin chief of staff sees little progress in implementation of Minsk agreements on Ukraine

File Photo of Sergei Ivanov, adapted from defense.gov image

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Sochi. Oct 22 (Interfax) – Moscow is not inclined at the moment to make optimistic forecasts regarding the developments in settling the conflict in Ukraine, as the Minsk agreements have yet to be fulfilled, and Kyiv needs to arrange contacts with Donetsk and Luhansk representatives, Kremlin chief of staff Sergei Ivanov says. “I would be cautious about making […]

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Extending implementation of Minsk peace deal for Ukraine depends only on its sides’ political agreements – source

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MOSCOW. Oct 16 (Interfax) – A possible decision to extend the implementation of the Minsk peace agreements for Ukraine into 2016 will not require any specific judicial procedure, a Russian diplomatic source told Interfax. “The Package of Measures is not an international treaty. Rather, it is a political agreement. And prolonging [the implementation of] its provisions into next year is […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Victoria Nuland Senate Testimony on Ukraine

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(US Department of State – Testimony on Ukraine- Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs – October 8, 2015) Statement Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Washington, DC October 8, 2015 As prepared Thank you Chairman Corker, Ranking Member Cardin, members of this committee for the opportunity to join you today and for the personal investment so […]

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Interfax: Moscow hopes Minsk peace accords for Ukraine will be extended – source

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MOSCOW. Oct 9 (Interfax) – Moscow believes that it would be advisable to extend the validity period of the Minsk peace agreements for Ukraine to 2016, a Russian diplomatic source told Interfax on Friday. “We hope that the ‘Minsk-2’ [accords] will be prolonged. This stems from the very course of the settlement [process], in particular the decision of the DPR […]

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Russia Sees Ukraine Peace-Pact Extension Chance as Shelling Ends

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Daryna Krasnolutska and Anton Doroshev – September 11, 2015) Russia said the deadline to implement a peace accord between Ukraine and the Kremlin-backed separatists it’s battling may be extended, as the conflict’s first day in 18 months without shelling raised hopes of progress. The suggestion contradicted the message from Ukrainian officials as President Petro Poroshenko and […]

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RIA Novosti: Ukraine draft law a potential “interim” step to constitutional reform – Pushylin

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(RIA Novosti – Moscow, August 31, 2015) Denis Pushilin [Ukrainian: Denys Pushylin], plenipotentiary representative of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic [DPR/DNR], considers the first reading of draft constitutional amendments passed by the Supreme Council to be Ukraine’s internal affair which has little to do with the Minsk Agreement but which could be an interim step towards constitutional reform harmonized with […]

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Sept. 1 ceasefire in Donbass agreed at meeting in Minsk

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A meeting of the Contact Group in Minsk with representatives from the Donetsk and Lugansk “people’s republics” has ended with the parties agreeing to a ceasefire effective from Sept. 1. However, experts are not convinced this a breakthrough on the path to peace. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Eekaterina Sinelschikova, RBTH – August 27, 2015) The participants of […]

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RBTH: “Kiev under pressure from EU over Minsk accords, insist Russian experts”

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Recent talks between the Ukrainian, French and German leaders on the implementation of the Minsk peace agreements in eastern Ukraine’s Donbass region saw Paris and Berlin express their continued support for Kiev, but Russian analysts say Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is under pressure to make compromises. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Gevorg Mirzayan, special to RBTH – August […]

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Interfax: U.S. should pressure Ukraine into fulfilling Minsk accords – French ambassador to Russia

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MOSCOW. Aug 1 (Interfax) – France and Russia have urged the United States to put pressure on the Ukrainian authorities in order to make them honor their commitments as part of the Minsk peace agreements for Ukraine, French Ambassador to Moscow Jean-Maurice Ripert has said. “Like us, Foreign Minister of Russia Sergei Lavrov has been holding talks with U.S. Secretary […]

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Interfax: LNR, DNR regard Poroshenko’s latest comments on Donbass as imitation of fulfillment of Minsk accords

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(Interfax – July 19, 2015) The special status of Donbass should lie at the core of the peaceful dialogue. By renouncing it Kiev once again imitates the negotiating process on its own part, envoy of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LNR) to the Minsk talks Vladislav Deinego told Interfax on Sunday. “In compliance with the Complex of Measures the special […]

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Kyiv denies shelling Donetsk

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KYIV. May 3 (Interfax) – Kyiv on Sunday denied allegations by Moscow that Ukrainian heavy artillery has been shelling Donetsk. “Any use of weapons by units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, if it takes place, is purely and simply a forced response to armed provocations from illegal armed units that are active in individual districts and is made in […]

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NEWSLINK Wall Street Journal: Ukraine Talks Are Planned on Moving Beyond Cease-Fire. All sides in conflict with pro-Russian rebels to discuss reconstruction, security and refugees

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France and Russia said Thursday that working groups from opposing sides in the conflict in eastern Ukraine will meet within a week to discuss reconstruction, security and how to deal with refugees who have fled the fighting in recent months.

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Belarus Leader Urges U.S. Involvement in Ukraine Peace Process

Alyaksandr Lukeshenko file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Aliaksandr Kudrytski, Ryan Chilcote – March 31, 2015) Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko urged the U.S. to play a bigger role in the Ukrainian peace process and said a lasting solution will be impossible without its help. “The most worrying thing is that the U.S. hasn’t been openly involved in this process,” Lukashenko said in the new […]

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NEWSLINK Kyiv Post: Western defeatism in stopping Russia’s war against Ukraine

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Special status within the Ukrainian state for separatist-held territory in the east, envisioned in Minsk II agreement, is an incongruously crude attempt to undermine stability and make turmoil in Ukraine. It was Vladimir Putin’s script, accepted by the shameless Barack Obama-Angela Merkel-Francois Holland trio, even if the U.S. president was not there in person. It was their alternative to offering […]

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Interfax: Contact Group to review compliance with Minsk deal – Luhansk People’s Republic negotiator

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(Interfax – Luhansk, Ukraine, March 13, 2015) The Contact Group on Ukraine will chiefly focus on the first tree points of the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements in reviewing compliance with the agreements during a planned videoconference, the chief negotiator of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic said. However, the group may also get down to […]

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Interfax: Russia expects “responsible approach” from Ukraine to constitutional reform

Sergei Lavrov file photo

(Interfax – February 25, 2015) Moscow hopes that Ukraine will take a responsible approach to the implementation of the obligations undertaken in Minsk and carry out the constitutional reform, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said. He was speaking at a meeting with President of the Senate of France Gerard Larcher in Moscow on 25 February, as reported by privately-owned […]

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Interfax: Kyiv must supply energy to Donetsk, Luhansk under Minsk accords – Putin

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NOVO-OGARYOVO. Feb 25 (Interfax) – The central government in Kyiv must ensure energy supplies to Donetsk and Luhansk under the Minsk agreements, which were reflected in a resolution of the United Nations Security Council and have now become an international legal document, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said. “We mentioned the Minsk agreements which were not only signed in Minsk […]

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Interfax: DPR Defense Ministry has no information about Ukrainian heavy arms withdrawal

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DONETSK. Feb 20 (Interfax) – The Ukrainian army has yet to begin the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of contact consistent with the Minsk deal, the command of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) army said. “The DPR Defense Ministry does not have information about the pullout of Ukrainian heavy armaments from the line of contact,” Eduard Basurin […]

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Debaltseve Was Fatal Flaw in Minsk Agreement on Ukraine

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – February 19, 2015) When the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France spent 17 hours last week negotiating an agreement aimed at stopping the fighting in eastern Ukraine and paving the way for a future fundamental settlement of the crisis, there was one key issue they failed to agree on. This was […]

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Kyiv blames Moscow, Donetsk and Luhansk republics for violating Minsk agreements

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(Interfax – KYIV, Feb. 17, 2015) Ukraine’s presidential chief of staff has blamed Russia, and the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics for violating the Minsk accords reached on February 12. “Contrary to the expectations that all parties will demonstrate a responsible position after the adoption on February 12 of the Declaration of measures to be taken, including Russia – […]

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Interfax: Russia didn’t make any promises to release pilot Savchenko in Minsk summit – Peskov

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MOSCOW. Feb 13 (Interfax) – The issue of pilot Savchenko was indeed raised by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in the Minsk meeting in the “Normandy format” and Russia made no promises, but gave explanations, Russian presidential press officer Dmitry Peskov told Interfax on Friday, commenting on the statement made by Poroshenko saying he had raised the issue of Savchenko release […]

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Would a Ukraine Peace Deal in Minsk Save the Russian Economy?

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – February 12, 2015) U.S. President Barack Obama has claimed the Kremlin’s role in the Ukraine crisis brought the Russian economy to its knees. So, if a peace accord is reached in Minsk on Wednesday will it reboot the Russian economy? Hopes are high that a gathering of Russian, French, German and Ukrainian […]

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