Follow us on:   

EU and Russia: No option but peace and coexistence
February 13, 2015, 9:47 am

At the moment of writing, the ink on the second Minsk agreement has not yet dried.

On February 15, fighting is supposed to come to an end in Ukraine. What are the chances for success of this agreement and what’s in it for the EU and Russia?

Are we on the path to a new peace or to a new cold/hot war? That is the question that will be on the minds of many in the days to come.

There are too many uncertain factors to reliably predict what will happen. The EU and the US have different agendas, and one can even make a case that they have conflicting interests.

For Russia, a peaceful resolution to the conflict means ending the sanctions and facilitating closer economic cooperation with the EU.

But tighter economic relations with Russia, the natural hinterland of Europe, goes against the core of the transatlantic NATO alliance. This has been a nightmare scenario for the Washington elite since 1945.

Pointedly, neither the US nor the UK were involved in the Minsk negotiations, so for Washington all options are still on the table. Considering the warmongering majority in the US Congress, that is not a good omen for peace.

Then there is the matter of the government in Kiev. Hardly ever mentioned in the news, it is far from stable. Extremist militias who do not bother to hide their fascist ideologies have been integrated into the Ukrainian army.

Considering their behaviour on the battlefield so far, it is very doubtful that Kiev will be able to make them abide by the ceasefire conditions.

Besides the extremists in their own ranks, the Kiev government faces another problem – young Ukrainian men in the west are bitterly resisting military conscription. This is not to say that they sympathize with their compatriots in the east – they just do not want to die fighting them.

Furthermore, there is the inner political struggle for power.

While President Petro Poroshenko is more then willing to find a pragmatic solution to the conflict, his prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, however, is a fanatic Ukrainian nationalist, who is not a man of compromise.

He wants total victory and would be more then happy to replace his president.

Then there are the rebels in Eastern Ukraine, the so­-called ‘pro-­Russian separatists’.

Western media make it look like they are mere pawns in Putin’s hands, but that is hardly the case.

Nobody denies that Russia is giving them ample logistic support, but the leaders of the resistance are very unreliable. Will they accept the ceasefire? Hard to tell.

First step toward peace

Russian and Ukrainian officials have said the talks were long and hard, but voiced the final February 12 ceasefire deal is a first step toward lasting peace [Xinhua]

Russian and Ukrainian officials have said the talks were long and hard, but voiced the final February 12 ceasefire deal is a first step toward lasting peace [Xinhua]

Yet, despite all these challenges, history shows that worse situations have led to lasting peace.

The second Minsk agreement might just work. It is only a first step, and a peaceful long-term resolution of the conflict is still to be negotiated, but it is the only way out for the EU, Russia and Ukraine.

One of the reasons it might just work is precisely that the EU alone brokered it, or rather Germany and France, and not the US. That might seem contradictory given the different variables mentioned above, but it’s not. It all depends on who and what will prevail.

The real issues are still on the table – disarmament and federalization of the country. If the EU really wants it, Brussels has the financial leverage to force Kiev’s hand in accepting a new constitution granting the eastern regions meaningful autonomy.

The EU has experience with forging complex compromise solutions. After all, the EU itself is a permanent compromise.

What is really at stake is much more then just an end to an internal conflict stoked by outside forces. A resumption of violence carries with it the risk for an all out war between nuclear powers.

This is about a possible major war on European soil.

Border control

Hence, peace is the only option for Europe and Russia.

Personally, I consider one of the last paragraphs in the Minsk agreement, which focuses on control of the border, the most difficult one.

Kiev wants to regain full control of the border between the eastern provinces and Russia. This may at first appear to be a technicality, but it isn’t. Control of the border is highly symbolic, for all parties involved.

Kiev’s control of the border would impede Russia’s direct influence on the ground; for the rebels it would symbolize a partial surrender. The only party that stands to gain from this paragraph in the agreement is Kiev, which would have been delivered a highly symbolic victory.

A reasonable option would be to deploy UN troops on the border. Russia has proposed it, but apparently it was not on the negotiating table in Minsk.

While the Cold War has prevented Europe and Moscow from peaceful coexistence on their common continent, peace in Ukraine might just open up the whole Russian hinterland to the European economy.

At the end, it boils down to two options: The renewal of the old transatlantic pact with the ally overseas leading to a new Cold War (that could turn very nasty), or peace and coexistence with Russia.

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the publisher's editorial policy.

13 Responses to EU and Russia: No option but peace and coexistence

  1. susano Reply

    February 13, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    Mr Vanoost, I don’t know where you get the mistaken idea that the leaders of the resistance are “unreliable”. Quite the opposite is true. They say what they mean and they do what they say and have conducted themselves with honor, integrity and professionalism – unlike the US, EU and the monsters in Kiev.

    As for the border, I think you’ll find this analysis of interest:

    (excerpt)

    9. Restoration of full control over the state border of Ukraine by the government throughout the conflict zone, which should begin on the first day after the local elections and be completed after a comprehensive political settlement (local elections in some areas of Donetsk and Lugansk regions on the basis of the Law of Ukraine and constitutional reform) at the end of 2015, subject to paragraph 11 — in consultation and agreement with the representatives of individual areas of Donetsk and Lugansk regions in the framework of the Three-Party Contact Group.

    Do you see what I see? Nevermind that the border is supposed to get back under Kiev’s control only after “something” happens, but check out the “something” itself: constitutional reform in consultation and agreement with Novorussian leaders!!!! Does anybody seriously believe that the Rada will participate in anything even remotely looking like this? Liashko? Farion? Tsiagnibok and Iarosh all working together with the “subhuman colorads” from the Donbass to change the Ukrainian Constitution? Of course not!

    http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com/2015/02/the-useless-agreement-which-everybody.html

    The above link is a blog by a former military analyst who worked for the UN. He is Russian, raised in western Europe and lives in the US. I hope you’ll become a regular reader and maybe even contribute as a writer.

    • JP Reply

      February 14, 2015 at 10:31 pm

      Well said SUSANO concerning the resistance movement being ‘reliable’more than any warmongers in the US/NATO/EU arena.

      The problem with Western politicians, as soon as we say ‘resistance’ is if they were ‘terrorist’. For them resistance movement are Terrorist who doesn’t comply with government’s policies. Being honest and the ability to select or discriminate, what we call ‘discernment’ are not given to anyone.

      The ack of sight and fear is the tool of cowardice.

      Anyway, people are waking up, Truth will prevail and for those psychopaths the end is near. Watch the new bomb shell Putin will drop very soon to the media concerning 911. It will hurt very bad.

      Novorossia, May GOD bless you all and protect you,and Hope for Peace may come with this Minsk Agreement.

  2. Lode Vanoost Reply

    February 14, 2015 at 9:59 am

    Dear Susano,

    I understand your point. What I meant to say in this (too) short analysis is that the rebels in the east are not mere pawns in the hands of Putin – as the western media like to portray it. So whether they will feel bound by the agreement is hardly guaranteed.

    I agree that federalization through constitutional reform is the key to a real solution. Whether the parliament will do this does not depend on the politicians you mention, but on the outside pressure from the EU and the US. That is also far from guaranteed.

    Will check your web link.

    So far, Pravy Sektor is the only one openly stating that they will not abide by the Minsk agreement. A provocation? I don’t know. The coming hours will tell.

  3. mahsi k Reply

    February 16, 2015 at 3:12 am

    All the while we have the situation with other Russian interests, Iran and Syria, going on. A ranking Israeli general stating they would strike Iran unilateraly if a nuclear deal were reached, and attempting to undermine it by Netanayu’s address to US Congress. Can the Obama administration stand it’s ground ? It is a distinct possibility that this will affect the position of the US stance on this 2nd Minsk Agreement. Will the US respect an agreement they were not in on ? Will they lose one, renege on another ? Who is more image driven than the US. It is the truth that the next few days will tell. There are however more factors involed in the Ukraine deal than the Ukraine Deal !

  4. mahsi k Reply

    February 16, 2015 at 4:12 am

    Beware of false flags on this one ?!?!.

  5. mahsi k Reply

    February 25, 2015 at 10:23 am

    02/25/15 The expected false flags are waving! A bombing in Ukraine, barrel bomb accusations, and of course a new secret Iranian nuclear site exposed. Britain sending troops and US sendings troops to do medical training. Do I see 1962 ?

  6. kimaro abedi Reply

    February 26, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    The question aim asking myself is that,when will be the end of western movement?What will happen to the world if Brics countries will stand and become strong?Let me leave these questions and think on the other side of the coin,Russia is among the the nuclear powerful counties my worry here is that this sanctions may led to a very bad war which may involve nuclear weapons,not only that but also may lead to the spread of nuclear weapon over the world something which is very dangerous.
    The solution here is to sit down on a table and discuss the future of this world for the western and Russia.Second,the EU and USA should stop sanctioning RUSSIA to give a room for discussion.

  7. mahsi k Reply

    March 4, 2015 at 1:27 am

    To Kimaro. Of course you are correct. It seems the Ukraine cease fire is starting to operate. Today is March 3rd, and Netanayu is speaking to US Congress. The election he set in motion, he may lose. His legacy is in the balance. Obama’S LEGACY IS AS WELL. Will he cave in to Israel. Iran is part of Russia’s backyard. If Israel loses this fight WILL WE SEE 1963 ? IRAN OF COURSE WOULD BE BLAMED. How many saw in the news Netanayu’s “Grassy Knoll” remark. Only in the news one day !

  8. mahsi k Reply

    March 4, 2015 at 1:40 am

    The Turkey Deal was not made public fir 30 years. If US can only make a behind-closed-doors deal with Iran…..

  9. HJay Reply

    March 18, 2015 at 1:57 am

    Thank you for the enjoyable and optimistic article.
    How Kiev ever came to believe that the US populace would support fascism and genocide is dumbfounding. The belief is revealing of the vast, unrealized mental and spiritual development awaiting the junta.
    I look forward to the brave new world being forged by BRICS.

    Best wishes and peace to you.

  10. higheagle Reply

    March 23, 2015 at 9:55 pm

    If anyone thinks for a moment that the Rothschild European Jews might one day sit at a table, they are sadly mistaken… since these people have been working, for a couple hundred years, on taking control of the world, and the only hope of stopping them will be the BRICS…!

  11. mahsi k Reply

    April 29, 2015 at 2:41 am

    What did thr Americans put in the ISS ?

  12. Clare Itty Reply

    June 11, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    As higheagle touched on, All Wars Are Bankers Wars.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Anti-Spam * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.