Kyiv Security Forum

Vladimir Sokor: Russia is trying to integrate ‘people’s republics’ into the political space of Ukraine

25 March 2015, 19:38

Russia has suspended the project of creating a separate state entity on the territories of Ukraine – ‘Novorosiya’ and is trying to integrate so called ‘DPR’ and ‘LPR’ into the political space of Ukraine with to influencing the decision-making in the state, said analyst on Ukraine, representative of the Jamestown Foundation Vladimir Sokor  during  the 3rd Youth Kyiv Security Forum organized by Arseniy Yatsenyuk Open Ukraine Foundation. 

“Russia has suspended the project ‘Novorosiya’ for a while and now it operates with such thing as a united Ukrainian political space in which the so-called ‘people's republics’ will be represented through an agreement to be achieved with the central government of Ukraine. And this, as we understand, will give Russia leverage over constitutional and the decision-making process in Ukraine,” – he said.

However, the American expert welcomed the law passed by the Ukrainian parliament on March 17, on special local self-administration in some parts of Donetsk and Lugansk regions. According to him, the law prevents respective aspirations of the Kremlin, as it implies that in order to hold elections in these areas out of the control of Kyiv, necessary conditions shall first of all be created and should Russian troops be withdrawn.

On the other hand, he is convinced that both those ‘people's republics’ and Kremlin itself “will not accept this”. That means the suspension of this dangerous political process through which the so-called ‘people's republics’ could gain access to decision-making, to influence decisions, "- he said.

Analyzing the previous conflicts in the Black Sea region, V.Sokor pointed out that there can be a decision “to conserve these conflicts by a silent consensus between Russia and the West”. “This is a joint decision, not declared, yet real – to conserve these conflicts, leave them unsolved for an uncertain period of time. That is the thing to be changed,” – he stated. 

The expert noted that in all these conflicts Russia follows a similar pattern: it begins a conflict, presents it as an internal one, and then shows that “only Russia can enhance the conservation of this conflict, and a political decision shall be generally acceptable to both parties of the conflict which they claim internal”.

Thus, said V.Sokor, Russia calls for a political settlement after it imposed the military situation in the respective territories itself. “That is why any political solution in this case would be a result of unilateral military action of Russia in relation to this area. This is why Western governments should not say that the conflict in the Donbas can have only a political solution. Any coflicts ends up with a political settlement, but in there conflicts in in the Black Sea region Russia has unilaterally created military conditions that should have resulted in the need for a political solution to the conflict,” – stated the analyst of the Jamestown Foundation.  

In the conflict in Ukraine, Russia introduced some specific innovations that have been integrated to the Minsk agreements, V.Sokor added. In particular, “the aggressor proposes to change the constitution of the victim of his aggression, and it is incorporated into the body of the agreement”.

According to the analyst, the Minsk arrangements are very uncomfortable “because they contain both political and military aspects”.

For your information:

The Youth Kyiv Security Forum is a new initiative of the Arseniy Yatsenyuk Open Ukraine Foundation, which aims at creation of a discussion platform for young experts from different countries on important issues of international relations and foreign policy. The main goal of the Forum is to empower the new generation by increasing their capacity to participate in policy analyses and policy development processes.

The Arseniy Yatsenyuk Open Ukraine Foundation is a non-governmental organization aimed at facilitating the development  of public diplomacy and international cooperation with Ukraine.