Key Clusters for Carrying Out the Minsk Agreements
The Minsk agreements have been in place since 2015, aimed at resolving the conflict between Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists in the Donbass region. However, implementation has been slow, and there are several key clusters that need to be addressed to move forward with the agreements.
1. Security: One of the main clusters is security. The agreements call for a ceasefire to be put in place, followed by the withdrawal of heavy weapons and the demilitarization of certain areas. However, violations of the ceasefire are still occurring, and both sides have been accused of failing to withdraw heavy weapons. Without progress in this area, it is difficult to move forward with other aspects of the agreements.
2. Political: The political cluster includes the restoration of Ukrainian control over the border with Russia, the holding of local elections in certain areas, and the granting of special status to these areas. However, disagreements over the sequencing of these steps and opposition from certain parties have stalled progress in this area.
3. Humanitarian: The humanitarian cluster includes the release of prisoners and the provision of humanitarian aid to those affected by the conflict. While some prisoner exchanges have taken place, more need to be released, and the provision of aid is still insufficient in certain areas.
4. Economic: The economic cluster involves the restoration of economic ties between the conflict-affected areas and the rest of Ukraine, as well as the resumption of pension and other social payments. However, the continuing conflict has made it difficult to restore these ties, and the economic situation in the conflict-affected areas remains dire.
To carry out the Minsk agreements, progress needs to be made in all these clusters. This will require political will, compromise, and cooperation from all sides. While the agreements offer a framework for resolving the conflict, implementation remains a challenge. With continued efforts, it is still possible to achieve progress and bring about a lasting peace in the region.