Hanna Shelest, PhD
Editor-in-chief, UA: Ukraine Analytica
Director of the European Programmes, International Renaissance Foundation
The analysis of the Minsk agreements implementation (a common name for a package of documents adopted in September 2014 and February 2015 aiming to resolve a current crisis in the Eastern region of Ukraine) demonstrates that despite a few steps forward, the systematic violation of certain clauses as well as serious manipulation of the others by the so-called ‘Donetsk People Republic’/ ‘Luhansk People Republic’ (‘DPR’/‘LPR’) combatants and the Russian Federation has been observed and confirmed by the international community. Lifting international sanctions seems the only incentive for Russia to comply with the Minsk agreements. Its current tactic involves partial implementation, which would help to apply for easing sanctions and thus to decrease the cost of its waging war against Ukraine. At the same time, Russia preserves the possibility to re-escalate the currently low-intensity-conflict at any convenient moment.