Putin’s major aim with regard to the Minsk agreements is to stop Western sanctions and turn Donbas into a simmering conflict which can be fanned any time, renowned Ukrainian journalist Serhy Rahmanin writes in Dzerkalo tyzhnia Oct. 12.
On the one hand, Russia strives for the lifting, or softening, of sanctions and, on the other, is unwilling to lose its grip over the occupied territories, the analyst says.
“Putin is not after the full implementation of the Minsk agreements which envisage Ukraine’s full control over the state border, withdrawal of weapons and disarmament of all illegal formations,” Rahmanin says.
“Putin will do his best to retain control over the occupied territories. He wants Ukraine to legalize the local regime by holding the local elections, by introducing the appropriate changes in the Ukrainian constitution on the status of Donbas and pay up for the maintenance of the de facto uncontrolled territory,” he says.
Given this, Putin will demonstrate as much formal observance of the Minsk agreements as is needed to get rid of the western sanctions, retain his grip on the occupied territories and continue to destroy Ukraine from within, the expert says.
“Important, unlike other peace talks participants, the Kremlin would be satisfied with the continuation of the Minsk process and its disruption. On one condition: Russia should not look as the mastermind of the disruption. Otherwise, the lifting of the sanctions will be a dream,” Serhy Rahmanin says.