David Kramer: The West should announce ‘Minsk process’ dead, but not lift sanctions from Russia

David Kramer: The West should announce ‘Minsk process’ dead, but not lift sanctions from Russia

The latest meeting in the "Normandy format" showed that Moscow continued to fail to comply with its commitments and to violate the sovereignty of Ukraine. 

David Kramer, Senior Director for Human Rights at the US McCain Institute expressed such a view in an exclusive commentary to an Ukrinform correspondent.

"The latest Minsk meetings and Normandy format meeting in Berlin don't offer any hope at all. There was arrangement in Berlin on roadmap that the foreign ministers supposed to produce sometime next month – it doesn't seem to be a sense of urgency. But more importantly, I don't think is any reason to believe anything that Putin, or Lavrov, or Surkov – anyone says. They have been lying about the fact that Russian forces present in Eastern Ukraine. Initially – if you remember – they lied that there were no Russian forces in Crimea," the expert said.

However, he stressed that there still had been positive signals in Berlin. "We can thank the tough line that Chancellor Merkel has maintained, particularly given the challenges within her own coalition government, and the challenges within the EU as a whole, when you have some governments in Europe who want to see the sanctions lifted," Kramer praised consistency f the German Chancellor.

In this regard, the expert noted that the U.S. President should have given Merkel "more support from the U.S. than it is now."

Asked whether it is time for Washington to become a full party to the settlement of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, Kramer said: "I'm a strong critic of the Minsk process. I think, the West should announce that it is dead end, it's not working. I don't think Kyiv should announce it, I think we should announce it."

He explained that Ukrainian side continued to bear losses after signing of the Minsk II. "Russia continues to defy the international community by its obligations' failure. Russia is still violating Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity," David Kramer said.

So, he continued, "I'd like to see the West announced to Moscow and to the world that Minsk is over, but sanctions will keep in place, and even will be increased until Russia occupy Ukrainian territory." Negotiations for sake of negotiations are useless, David Kramer summed up, adding that effective ways should be found.


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