Tag: <span>Crimea</span>

Ukraine Apelaciones

Ucrania-Donbas-Rusia: ¿Se puede reactivar el Formato de Normandía?

Imagen destacada: La famosa Plaza de la Independencia en Kiev en un día soleado. Foto por Euan Cameron en Unsplash.
Últimamente ha habido mucho ruido de sables a lo largo de la frontera entre Rusia y Ucrania. Se ha hablado de guerra si las tropas rusas invadieran Ucrania o reforzaran las áreas separatistas de Ucrania que se llaman a sí mismas República Popular de Donetsk y República Popular de Lugansk
 
El presidente Putin ha creado un hombre de paja contra el que luchar, el evento más improbable de que Ucrania se una a la OTAN. Recientemente ha mostrado su determinación por el reconocimiento público al decir:
 

“Nos preocupan las perspectivas de la posible adhesión de Ucrania a la OTAN, ya que definitivamente dará lugar al despliegue de contingentes militares, bases
y armas que nos amenazan.

 
El ruido de sables ha sido lo suficientemente fuerte como para que la situación en Ucrania fuera una parte importante de la llamada de videoconferencia del 7 de diciembre entre los presidentes Biden y Putin, y la posterior misión de la subsecretaria de Estado de los Estados Unidos, Karen Donfried, responsable de asuntos europeos y euroasiáticos, a Ucrania. y Rusia y luego a Bruselas para reunirse con los Ministros de Relaciones Exteriores de Europa y otros.
Karen Donfried
  Retrato de Karen Donfried como Subsecretaria de Estado para Asuntos Europeos y Euroasiáticos durante la presidencia de Biden. Por el Departamento de Estado de los Estados Unidos, dominio público, via Wikimedia Commons.
 
La crisis actual tiene raíces históricas y estratégicas desde hace mucho tiempo. Las raíces externas e internas de la situación en Ucrania son profundas. Las crisis de seguridad están profundamente influenciadas tanto por el sentido de la historia como por las percepciones actuales. No obstante, podemos utilizar 2014 como un punto de partida crucial con la anexión de Crimea por parte de Rusia.
 

“Crimea siempre ha sido una parte inseparable de Rusia “, dijo el presidente Putin en ese momento. 

 
La respuesta occidental a la anexión ha sido imponer sanciones económicas que todavía están vigentes y han tenido importantes consecuencias para la economía rusa.
Poco después de la anexión de Crimea, hubo un cambio en el liderazgo del gobierno en Ucrania que condujo a una política que algunos consideraron injusta para la gente del este de Ucrania; que eran en gran parte de habla rusa y se volvieron económica y culturalmente hacia Rusia. Así se formó un violento movimiento separatista, muy probablemente ayudado por Rusia, que condujo a la creación de la República Popular de Donetsk y la República Popular de Lugansk. Estallaron enfrentamientos entre los separatistas armados y el ejército y la policía regulares de Ucrania.
 
Vladimir Putin
Fotografía del ruso Vladimir Putin en la Cumbre del G20 de 2017 en Hamburgo. Recortado y aumentado de tamaño por Emiya1980. Por Пресс-служба Президента Российской Федерации, CC BY 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.
   
La Organización para la Seguridad y la Cooperación en Europa (OSCE) envió rápidamente una Misión Especial de Vigilancia a Ucrania para vigilar la situación. La Misión todavía está en el lugar y emite informes diarios sobre las violaciones del alto el fuego. Así, en su informe del 15 de diciembre de 2021 en la región de Donetsk entre el 10 y el 12 de diciembre hubo 444 violaciones del alto el fuego y en la región de Lugansk 104. Sin embargo, la libertad de movimiento de los observadores de la Misión está restringida. El número de violaciones, generalmente intercambios de fuego de armas pequeñas, probablemente sea mayor.
 
Joe Biden
Retrato oficial del Presidente estadounidense Joe Biden, 2021. Por Adam Schultz, dominio público, via Wikimedia Commons.

Estatus Especial.

 
    En 2014, el mandato de la OSCE incluyó no solo observación, sino también esfuerzos en las negociaciones. Así, el 12 de febrero de 2015 se negoció lo que se ha denominado Acuerdo de Minsk. En virtud de este Acuerdo, Ucrania no estaría dividida, pero las áreas cubiertas por las Repúblicas Populares de Donetsk y Lugansk recibirían un “Estatus Especial” establecido en una nueva constitución. Más allá de un debate bastante vago sobre la descentralización, nunca se ha aclarado la naturaleza del “Estatus Especial” y no se han adoptado medidas administrativas.
 

Formato de Normandía.

 
Para facilitar las negociaciones, se creó el “Formato de Normandía”, que surge de una reunión de líderes gubernamentales en Normandía para marcar el desembarco de los Aliados en 1944. El Formato de Normandía reúne a los representantes de Ucrania y Rusia y Francia y Alemania para facilitar Negociaciones. Hasta ahora, no ha habido un avance visible en las discusiones sobre el estatus especial dentro del Formato de Normandía.
 
Sin embargo, con la nueva ministra de Asuntos Exteriores alemana, la ecologista Annalena Baerbock, recientemente en París, puede haber nuevas iniciativas. También es probable que, como resultado de las discusiones entre los presidentes Putin y Biden, EE. UU. Desempeñe un papel asesor más activo.
 
Annalena Baerbock
 
  La ministra de Relaciones Exteriores de Alemania, la ecologista Annalena Baerbock. Por Stefan Kaminski (fotografía), Annalena Baerbock (plenos derechos de uso), CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.
 
La Asociación de Ciudadanos del Mundo siempre ha enfatizado la importancia de desarrollar formas apropiadas de gobierno como un aspecto crucial de la resolución de conflictos armados. La Asociación ha destacado especialmente las posibilidades del confederalismo y la necesidad de cooperación transfronteriza. La necesidad de avanzar en la estructura de Ucrania se destaca claramente en este momento en que existen posibilidades reales de riesgos escalonados. Es necesario adoptar medidas de fomento de la confianza para llegar a los diferentes estratos de la sociedad en un proceso acumulativo.
 
Los avances en el estatuto especial serían un paso importante en la reducción de las tensiones. Las personas que viven en Ucrania deben entablar debates sobre el estatuto especial. Sin embargo, los representantes gubernamentales y las organizaciones no gubernamentales de Rusia, Alemania y Francia también pueden contribuir activamente.
 
 
  Rene Wadlow, Presidente, Asociación de Ciudadanos del Mundo.

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Ukraine Appeals

Ukraine-Donbas-Russia: Can the Normandy Format Be Reactivated?

Featured Image: The famous Independence Square in Kiev on a sunny day. Photo by Euan Cameron on Unsplash.
There has been of late a good deal of sabre-rattling along the Russian-Ukrainian frontier.  There has been talk of war if the Russian troops were to invade Ukraine or to reinforce the separatist areas of Ukraine that call themselves the People’s Republic of Donetsk and the People’s Republic of Luhansk.
    President Putin has created a strawman against which to fight – the most unlikely event of Ukraine joining NATO.  He has recently shown his resolve for public appreciation  by saying:
 

“We are concerned over prospects of Ukraine’s possible accession to NATO, as it will definitely result in the deployment of military contingents, bases

and weapons posing a threat to us.”

 
The sabre-rattling has been loud enough that the Ukraine situation was an important part of the 7 December videoconference call between Presidents Biden and Putin, and  the subsequent mission of U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Karen Donfried, responsible for European and Eurasian affairs, to Ukraine and Russia and then to Brussels  to meet European Foreign Ministers and others.
 
Karen Donfried
  Portrait of Karen Donfried as Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs under President Biden. By United States Department of State, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.
 
There are long historic and strategic roots to the current crisis.  The external and internal roots of the situation in Ukraine run deep.  Security crises are deeply influenced both by a sense of history and by current perceptions.  Nevertheless, we can use 2014 as a crucial starting point with the annexation by Russia of Crimea.
 

“Crimea has always been an inseparable part of Russia” said President Putin at the time. 

 
The  Western response to the annexation has been to impose economic sanctions which are still in place and have had important consequence of the Russian economy.
    Shortly after the Crimea annexation, there was a change in government leadership in Ukraine leading to a policy that some felt was unjust to the people in eastern Ukraine;  who were largely Russian speaking and turned economically and culturally toward Russia.  Thus a violent separatist movement took form, most likely helped by Russia, leading to the creation of the People’s Republic of Donetsk and the People’s Republic of Luhansk.  Fighting broke out between the armed sparatists and the regular Ukrainian army and police.
 
Vladimir Putin
 Photograph of Russian Vladimir Putin at 2017 G20 Summit in Hamburg. Cropped and size increased by Emiya1980. By Пресс-служба Президента Российской Федерации, CC BY 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.
   
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) quickly sent a Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine to monitor the situation.  The Mission is still in place and issues daily reports on the violations of ceasefires.  Thus in its 15 December 2021 report in the Donetsk region between 10-12 December there were 444 ceasefire violations and in the Luhansk region 104.  However, the freedom of movement of the Mission’s observers is restricted.  The number of violations , usually exchanges of small arms fire, is probably higher.
 
Joe Biden
U.S. President Joe Biden’s official portrait, 2021. By Adam Schultz, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Special Status.

 
    In 2014, the mandate of the OSCE included not only observation but also efforts at negotiations.  Thus on 12 February 2015, there was negotiated what has been called the Minsk Agreement. Under this Agreement, Ukraine would not be divided but the the areas covered by the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics would be given a “special status” set out in a new constitution. Beyond a rather vague discussion on decentralization, the nature of the “Special Status” has never been made clear, and no administrative measures have been put into place.
 

Normandy Format.

 
    In order to facilitate negotiations, there was created the “Normandy Format”, growing out of a meeting of government leaders in Normandy to mark the Allied landing in 1944.  The  Normandy Format brings together the representatives of Ukraine and Russia and France and Germany to facilitate negotiations.  So far, there has been no visible advance on the special status discussions within the Normandy Format.
 
However, with the new German Foreign Minister, the ecologist Annalena Baerbock, recently in Paris, there may be new initiatives. It is also likely that as a result of the discussions between Presidents Putin and Biden, the U.S.A. will play a more active advisory role.
 
Annalena Baerbock
 
  German Foreign Minister, the ecologist Annalena Baerbock. By Stefan Kaminski (photography), Annalena Baerbock (full rights of use), CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.
 
The Association of World Citizens has always stressed the importance of developing appropriate forms of government as a crucial aspects of the resolution of armed conflicts.  The Association has particularly highlighted the possibilities of con-federalism and the need for trans-frontier cooperation.  The need to progress on the structure of Ukraine stands out sharply at this time when there are real possibilities of ecalatory risks.  There is a need for confidence-building measures to reach out to different layers of society in a cumulative process.
 
Advances on the Special Status would be an important step in the de-escalation of tensions.  Discussions on the Special Status must be carried out by those living in Ukraine.  However, government representatives as well as non-governmental organizations in Russia, Germany and France  can also contribute actively.
 
 
  Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens.

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Ukraine Appeals

Saber Rattling Along the Frontiers of Ukraine

Photo by  jorono in Pixabay

By Rene Wadlow.

16 Apr 2021 – The meeting today in Paris of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and the French President Emmanuel Macron highlights the tensions between Ukraine, the separatist regions of Donbass and Luhansk and the Russian Federation.  France and Germany are the lead mediators in what is called the “Normandy Initiative” for resolution of the Ukraine-Donbass-Russia conflict.

Tensions have grown recently with increased violence along the lines of contact between Ukraine and Donbass and the increased number of Russian troops along the frontier. It is likely that the change in presidential administration in the U.S.A. is one aspect of this increase in tensions.  Both the U.S.A. and Russia want to remind each other that they are there. In the background is the possibility of Ukraine joining NATO which obviously Russia wants to avoid. Also in the background is the Ukrainian government’s recent approval of a “Strategy for Deoccupation and Reintegration of Crimea” and its Black Sea port of Sevastopol.

While it is unlikely that there will be an escalation of violence with an entry of Russian troops into Ukraine or the reverse, an attack on Russian soil, saber rattling can get out of hand and lead to unforeseen consequences.

The question which faces us as peace-builders is “What can we do?” to help reduce these tensions. The Association of World Citizens sent this past week an Appeal for increased mediation efforts to the authorities of the Normandy Initiative, France and Germany. It is certain that the French and German diplomats are already aware of the dangers of the situation, but it is useful that non-governmental voices be heard.  Are there avenues for Track II exchanges or non-governmental mediation efforts?  Related areas of tension are also in flux: Syria, Libya, Nagorno-Karabakh.  We need to see what doors might open, and what we can usefully propose.

This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 19 Apr 2021.

René Wadlow is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment. He is President of the Association of World Citizens, an international peace organization with consultative status with ECOSOC, the United Nations organ facilitating international cooperation and problem-solving in economic and social issues, and editor of Transnational Perspectives.

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