Public Union “Energy of Peace!” invites the expert society to discuss the following topics on the problem of peaceful settlement the situation in the Donbass:

  1. On May 5, 2020, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky by his Decree approved the consist of the Ukrainian delegation to participate in the Tripartite Contact Group (TAG) on the peaceful settlement of the situation in Donetsk and Lugansk regions. We emphasize – the “peaceful settlement.” This once again confirms the mandate of the TKG, created under President Poroshenko in May 2014, to resolve the situation in the Donbass exclusively through diplomacy. Questions for discussion – Are there any contradictions in these mandates by the letter and spirit of the provisions of Chapter 6 of the UN Charter on the “Peaceful Settlement of Disputes” and the OSCE Stockholm Convention in 1992 on reconciliation? If so, which ones? If not, what should be the next steps? We suggest considering the following.
  2. If the previous and current authorities were and are now aimed at a peaceful settlement of the situation in Donetsk and Lugansk regions ( at that in perspective), is it worth it to slightly change the political strategy and tactics (if the government has a clear strategy at all)? Namely, relying on the existing mechanisms of the UN and the OSCE to create a commission on reconciliation. It is mandatory to include activists from the fraternities of Donetsk and Lugansk regions located in the controlled territory of Ukraine. Program principles, methods, etc. the activities of such a commission can also be borrowed from dozens of world successful examples of the activities of such commissions.
  3. Expected objection from a number of experts – such commissions are primarily focused on resolving internal conflicts. The creation of a reconciliation commission in the Donbas legitimizes Russia’s well-known position – “we are not aggressors,” “we have nothing to do with it,” “the problem should be solved in the dialogue between Kiev and Donetsk and Lugansk.” Let’s think about whether we ourselves contributed to the fact that Russia was not officially recognized as an aggressor? Let`s remember – since the annexation of the Crimea and the beginning of the military conflict in certain regions of Donbass Ukrainian authorities, in defiance of their diplomatic missions to the OSCE, the UN and in some capitals of the world did not officially recognize the Russian aggression .The action of its security forces in the Donbass was called nothing more than an “anti-terrorist operation,” while not pointing to the international nature of terror. Thus, giving arguments to the actual aggressor – the Russian Federation – to convince the world community of the exclusively intra-Ukrainian nature of the conflict, namely civil war, which provided grounds for positioning Russia as an equal mediator with Germany and France in resolving the situation. Questions for discussion – how problematic at this stage is the international recognition of Russia as an aggressor against Ukraine in the Donbass? How long will it take? Or will it help to accelerate a peaceful settlement in the region?
  4. We believe that with the existing intention to accelerate a peaceful settlement of the situation in the Donbass, we must look for real and effective mechanisms, while not forgetting the role of Russia in this conflict. The issue of reconciliation will arise sooner or later, because it is a key line of the UN and the OSCE. Those experts who are involved in initiating cases against Russia in international legal institutions should continue their work, but focusing on those cases that can be really proved – МН17, financing of terrorism, appropriation of private and state property, and so on. If the fact of Russian aggression in another region of Ukraine – in Crimea – is obvious in connection with its annexation and thus should be used by Ukraine in international courts to bring the Russian state to justice, then in the case of individual regions of Donbass this will be problematic in the short-term outlook.

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