Exordium and Terminus
- Apr 18, 2013
- Reaction score
- Political Leaning
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier
Germany To Push For Deal On Eastern Ukraine Elections
The impetus for Mr. Steinmeier's push here is that he would prefer that a EU vote in July extending EU sanctions against Russia fail. Mr. Steinmeier is eager for Germany to renew its lucrative business ties with Moscow. However, Mr. Steinmeier wields no political power to force Moscow and its proxies in eastern Ukraine to honor the negotiated terms in the Minsk II Accord. So he does what he can do ... and applies political pressures against Kyiv.
According to the Minsk II Accord, elections in eastern Ukraine are to take place: 1) according to Ukraine law and 2) after other conditions have been satisfied. It is impossible to conduct an election according to Ukrainian law in regions where Ukrainian law does not possess supremacy. Fighting in eastern Ukraine (as I chronicle elsewhere here at DP daily) remains kinetic with KIA and WIA virtually every day. According to Minsk II, by the end of 2015 all foreign fighters (Russian solders and mercenaries) were to have been withdrawn from Ukraine along with their weapons. Rebels were to lay down their arms and governance of the Luhansk/Donetsk territories returned to the Ukraine government. The entire Ukraine border was to be returned to the sovereignty and control of Ukraine. In return for satisfying these conditions, Ukraine would grant amnesty to rebels and constitutionally allow a greater degree of regional self-rule.
None of these Minsk II conditions have been satisfied, and yet Steinmeier is demanding that Ukraine sanction a sham election before July (and recognize the results) on rebel territory that is not under government control and where Ukrainian law (and voting modalities) does not exist and cannot be enforced. The United States recognizes the absurdity of such a position and has stated its position that no elections should transpire until all conditions of Minsk II have been satisfied.