German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that he considered the fact of the meeting of diplomats for the first time in 16 months a success, but he admits that the positions of Moscow and Kiev are very far from each other. We can say that for Kiev, Berlin and Paris this is the only success of this meeting. All the “homework” for this summit, made by the Ukrainian side with the approval of the West, went down the drain.
There was no predictable breakthrough for Russia. But Moscow firmly stands in their positions, and this is in a certain sense, though not a great, but undoubted success.
The fact that the first meeting in a year and a half of the Norman Four ministers took place right now, on the eve of the opening of the 2018 World Cup, is not accidental.
According to Kiev and the West, this was one of the most opportune moments in order to force our country to make concessions. Moscow is extremely interested in the fact that the Mundial passes as well as possible, without the slightest excesses, provocations and scandals. And this circumstance sought to use for blackmail (if you call a spade a spade).
Heiko Maas, the German Foreign Minister, said directly on what concessions the Russian side wanted to get from Russia, stating that the Quartet’s foreign ministers intend to discuss primarily the UN mission in the Donbas to create “new framework conditions” for the Minsk agreements.
That is, in fact, the West tried to achieve through the “Norman format” what Kurt Volker could not achieve from Vladislav Surkov. Namely, in fact, to disavow the existing Minsk agreements by including a provision on the deployment of UN peacekeepers at the border of the Russian Federation and the people's republics, which would mean a blockade of Donbass by forces of the United Nations contingent.
Actually, these goals of the summit were quite definitely reported by experts close to the political department of the Federal Republic of Germany.
DW cites the opinion of the expert of the German Society for Foreign Policy, Wilfried Jilge, who says that Berlin assumes that if “blue helmets”, as Russia wants, will be placed only along the confrontation line, then “this line risks becoming an informal border between the territory controlled by Kiev and the areas of pro-Russian separatists ". What would freeze the conflict and become "a violation of the Minsk agreements providing for the restoration of the territorial integrity and full sovereignty of Ukraine."
The expert stressed that the interests of the West are in line with the approach of Kiev, according to which UN peacekeepers should be deployed throughout the conflict zone, including the Ukrainian-Russian border not controlled by Kiev. In this case, Yilge believes, “the Russian military would have to withdraw to its territory, which would have deprived the Kremlin of the opportunity to pursue its policy of destabilization and would increase security in the region.”
Recall that the Kiev junta does not hide its intention in the case of the implementation of this plan to carry out a punitive operation and a total sweep under the “Croatian scenario” in the Donbas under the barrier and protection of the “blue helmets”.
To get Russia to move in the direction of the “Kiev”, or rather, the American version, the Ukrainian armed forces resumed shelling of settlements and civilian infrastructure. A series of provocations followed in the so-called gray zone. Kiev makes every effort to understand that it intends to undertake a large-scale attack on the people's republics during the World Cup. One that would require serious intervention by Russia, which will undoubtedly be used to accuse our country of “aggression” and to disrupt the world championship.
The fact that this blackmail is supported by the countries-guarantors of Ukraine in the “Norman format” is evidenced by the fact that both the French and the German minister stated that the growing tensions (note the fault of Kiev) require the prompt introduction of UN peacekeepers option.
Actually, the French and German minister did not create any illusions about the fact that they would be able to maximally bend the Russian colleague. They would be completely satisfied with at least minimal, at first glance, insignificant deviations from the existing Minsk Protocol. Even if we agree to discuss possible “adjustments” of the adopted and signed agreements.
But none of this followed. The head of the Russian Foreign Ministry said that he was ready to negotiate only and exclusively within the framework of the Minsk agreements, categorically rejecting even the hypothetical possibility of any “new framework conditions”.
And his partners in the Quartet, so that the summit would not be disrupted, just had to accept as its agenda what Lavrov outlined. Namely - to discuss in the framework of Minsk-2 issues of breeding forces and the exchange of prisoners.
That is why the Russian foreign minister said that the meeting was generally useful.
So, Paris, Berlin and Kiev failed to get what they wanted from Moscow. Will Kiev put its threats into action?
The command of the APU and the Kiev junta rather soberly assesses its capabilities in the event of a direct clash with our country, and therefore a large-scale offensive is not likely to follow. Blackmail was, besides, a bluff. However, there will be no doubt that there will be provocations aimed at discrediting Russia.
Norman quartet and bluff instead of blackmail
- Boris Dzherelievsky