Why Biden-Putin negotiations will change nothing for Ukraine

The meeting of Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin, although not face to face, has caused quite a stir among experts and analysists. The pigeons have perked up, while the hawks tweaked out. Irina Gerashchenko went as far as to promise Biden to draw the “red lines” for him. Arestovich, although from another team, put his two cents as well, saying that Biden does not pressure the Office of Zelensky, he just suggests. Suggest politely, American way. Ukraine is free to act as it wishes, strictly in the national interests. I also wanted to become a believer in defusing tensions come true, but my skepticism is in the way. The worm of doubt is gnawing at me, since it is not the first time that they would promise peace to our people, but it’s been all in vain. 

Judge for yourself: Biden, Putin, and Even Zelensky are promising the Minsk Agreements to become reality. Or, to be more specific, — the Minsk-2, signed as early as in February, 2015, and ever since there has been no movement further than Article 1. And even then not completely – one day the ceasefire is no longer the case, another day the heavy artillery is in the supply. And, while at the international level they would vow to follow the spirit and the letter of the Agreement, literally the day after every item and point are disputed locally. Meanwhile, Donetsk and Lugansk announce the new phase of becoming a part of Russia. The same pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for the Ukrainians as with Ukraine’s membership in the EU and NATO.  

It just seems like the American-Russian fix would settle a beef. When it’s been eight years of the society at war (and the war started exactly in the society), the society is deemed armed and extremely dangerous. President Poroshenko also wanted peace and “Minsk”, and has been keeping Medvedchuk on his side to negotiate with Moscow, and he personally signed the Agreements. And only when it had become apparent, that “Minsk-2015” was impossible to implement in Ukraine, he quickly turned on a dime and embarked on a course of sabotage.

Donetsk and Lugansk, in their turn, though having never officially rejecting the “Minsk”, have been regularly reporting of becoming a part of Russia soon. The “Minsk” case was summarized as: “You can’t fit a square peg into a round hole”, and every time the partners-mentors mentioned “Minsk” too persistently, them in the field would, without mutual consent, trigger a new turn of escalation. Or, with mutual consent between the Ukrainian SBU and MGB of Donetsk and Lugansk republics – the colleagues of yesterday. Then, surely, everything gets back at square one, and the “Minsk” case could be forgotten for months to come.

But the thing is, that this war is the right propaganda. And the more brainwashed are my yesterday’s fellow countrymen with the Ukrainian and Russian jingoistic right propaganda, the more difficult it would be to explain to people the sense and meaning of all that have happened. The more painful would be the inevitable rethinking of all of that.   

Moreover, these eight years of militarism have nourished the economy of war, and the return to former life arrangement has become unprofitable for those, who have this life by the balls. Before the war, Donbas has been generating 25-30% of Ukraine’s GDP. The lion’s share of this venue is lost – pillaged and sold as a scrap metal, destroyed by bombings, and exported to Russia as, for instance, the Lugansk cartridge-manufacturing plant. And what is more, many sectors of our economy have lost their competitiveness due to the neocolonial, at its core, agreement with the EU. When there’s war going on, the economic damage is compensated through credit lines from the West, and for the Donetsk and Lugansk republics – through direct financial and product-specific support by Moscow. Peace implies reducing external support with the following holders of promissory notes requiring to pay the bills. And hence, everybody, who has part of the action and cut, will oppose the peace agenda and aggressively sabotage any peace processes.  

To top it off, Ukraine is not alone here. In the EU, the alliance of countries-parasites has been formed with their foreign policy goal being to instigate conflicts on the Eastern border. And that was also generated by the Ukrainian crisis. And more, there’s still Germany, which, due to the Ukraine-Russia crisis is becoming the main gas distributor in Europe. 

These countries, in alliance with our homebred hawks, will do whatever it takes for the war to last as long as possible. They will require sanctions against Russia, they are eager to lend a helping hand to the radicals in Ukraine. Well, nothing’s too good for the freedom. Does it all mean, that peace in Donbas is impossible to achieve? No, it does not. But implementing agenda of peace is not about nice senile zoom meetings, it requires readiness of Moscow and Washington not to protect “our guys”, but use leverage, threaten, and, more importantly, control the agenda for domestic use, so that the President of Ukraine would not speak out of the treacherous Steinmeier formula, and the leaders of Donetsk and Lugansk republics would not join the United Russia party, — they are allegedly to blend in Ukraine as an autonomous subject, merged with the Opposition Party for Life, and with the ruling Servant of the People Party create the national project anew. While this has not happened yet, and all is quiet on the geopolitical front and no changes are envisaged there, negotiations between Biden and Putin will remain just talks. And it doesn’t really matter, whether or not Biden called Zelensky on the next day, whether he praised or blamed him.

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