Former German Chancellor Reveals
Minsk Agreements Were Only Signed to
‘Give Ukraine Time’ to Build Its Military
The Donbass Insider
(December 10, 2022) — Six months after former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said in an interview that there was never any question of implementing the Minsk agreements, and that they were just a way for Ukraine to buy time, former German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the same thing in an interview with Die Zeit, thus finishing off what little credibility Western countries have.
In June 2022, in an interview with several Western media outlets, including Deutsche Welle, former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko publicly admitted that there had never been any question of implementing the Minsk agreements, and that they had only been intended to give Ukraine time.
“We got what we wanted. We did not believe Putin, just as we do not believe him now. Our task was, first of all, to remove the threat, or at least to delay the war. We gave ourselves eight years to restore economic growth and build up the strength of the armed forces.
“That was the first task — and it was accomplished […]. Despite the fact that the war lasted eight years — as far as a large-scale military operation is concerned, I think the Minsk agreements have fulfilled their role,” said Petro Poroshenko.
This is not the first statement by Petro Poroshenko that the Minsk agreements were just a way for Ukraine to buy time, so it has not particularly caught the attention of those who have long known that Kiev had no intention of implementing these agreements.
But where it becomes shocking is when former German Chancellor Angela Merkel says exactly the same thing, on 7 December 2022, in an interview with Die Zeit (available in full here). https://archive.ph/OY5cG
“I considered the 2008 discussion on the membership of Ukraine and Georgia in NATO to be a mistake. These countries did not have the necessary conditions for it, and the consequences of such a decision had not been fully considered, both in terms of Russia’s actions against Georgia and Ukraine and for NATO and its rules of assistance. And the 2014 Minsk agreements were an attempt to give Ukraine time.”
“We all knew that this was a frozen conflict, that the problem was not solved, but this is precisely what gave Ukraine precious time.”
I would remind you that Germany was the guarantor of the Minsk agreements, and especially of their implementation by Ukraine! Clearly, from the start Angela Merkel, and therefore also François Hollande and Emmanuel Macron, knew perfectly well that not only would Ukraine not apply the Minsk agreements, but that this would leave Kiev just enough time to prepare for a resolution of the conflict by force!
Moreover, the telephone conversation between Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel Macron that took place four days before the launch of the Russian special military operation, and which was leaked by the French President, clearly showed that the latter knew that Ukraine was going to attack, since he asked the Russian President not to react to Ukrainian provocations (in other words not to intervene to defend the Donbass).
When one has this information in hand, and recalls the endless litanies of France and Germany complaining that Russia (a guarantor like them and not a party to the conflict) was not applying the Minsk agreements, one thinks that the level of hypocrisy of the German and French authorities is literally cosmic!
The Russian authorities of course reacted strongly to Angela Merkel’s statement, starting with Maria Zakharova, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, who said that this interview gave Russia proof of what she had been saying for years about the lack of will on the part of the West to push Ukraine to implement the Minsk agreements. Above all, the purpose of the agreements was to serve as a diversion while NATO countries pumped arms into Ukraine and then reignited the conflict.
“In this revelation, the main point was that, from the West’s point of view, it was all a fabrication, flirting with the use of international law for the sole purpose of supplying the Kiev regime with weapons. It was all about “distracting” the eyes of the international community from the real events on the territory of Ukraine, the humanitarian catastrophe, the endless killings, which claimed more than 13,000 victims on all sides before 2022.
“This had only one purpose: to supply the Kiev regime with weapons and to prepare it politically to launch the hostilities that we saw at the beginning of 2022, when the Kiev regime started to launch deadly strikes against the Donbass. This left no room for any other action than that taken by the Russian Federation: first recognizing these territories as sovereign, and then accepting them as part of the Russian Federation so that they can really defend them, to save their lives,” said Maria Zakharova.
But above all, for the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Angela Merkel’s statement proves that the West does not shy away from any lie, and sits on international law when it suits it, regardless of the consequences for innocent civilians.
“This confession by former German Chancellor A. Merkel sounds terrible. Merkel sounds terrible: forgery (as a method of Western action), machinations, manipulations, all sorts of distortions of the truth of law and law that one can only imagine. They knew even then, in 2015, when they were holding talks for several hours, that they would never implement it and that they would supply arms to the Kiev regime.
“They had no mercy for anyone: women, children, civilians in Donbass, and even Ukraine as a whole. They needed a conflict. They were ready to do it already in 2015,” she added.
Then it was the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, who commented on the former German Chancellor’s statement, saying that Angela Merkel’s words not only surprised but disappointed him.
“To be honest, it was a complete surprise to me. It is disappointing. Frankly, I didn’t expect to hear this from the former Federal Chancellor, because I always assumed that the leaders of the Federal Republic [of Germany] were being sincere with us. Yes, of course they were on the side of Ukraine, they supported Ukraine, but I always thought that the leaders of the Federal Republic had always sincerely sought a settlement on the principles that we had agreed and reached, including in the Minsk process,” he said by way of introduction.
“He went on to point out that Angela Merkel’s words only proved that Moscow had made the right decision in launching the special operation, as the former German Chancellor made it clear that Ukraine’s aim was indeed to resume hostilities and settle the Donbass conflict by force of arms, and therefore in blood.
“What has been said now only proves that we made the right choice in launching the special military operation. Why did we do it? Because it turns out that nobody was going to implement the Minsk agreements.
“The Ukrainian leadership, in the words of former President Poroshenko, who also said it: he signed them, but he was not going to implement them. But I still hoped that the other participants in this process were sincere with us. It turns out that they were also deceiving us. It was only a question of showering Ukraine with weapons and preparing it for military action,” the Russian President added.
Vladimir Putin then said that in view of Angela Merkel’s statement, perhaps Russia should have intervened earlier. But what Angela Merkel failed to realize in making this thunderous statement is that she has definitely undermined any trust that Russia might have placed in Western governments, which means future diplomatic problems.
It seems that Angela Merkel has not learned the lessons of the diplomatic disaster that was the disclosure of the telephone conversation between Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel Macron by the latter. I recall that since then, the Russian President has not spoken with his French counterpart.
Angela Merkel’s statement on the Minsk agreements has not only deprived Kiev of a diplomatic way out of the ongoing conflict (since, in Vladimir Putin’s words, the question is “whether there is anyone to negotiate with“), It also offered proof of the legitimacy of the Russian intervention in the Donbass (by throwing out the Western narrative of poor Ukraine wanting peace), but as a bonus, it also torpedoed relations between Russia and Germany for good.
At this point, when I see the disastrous consequences of the former German Chancellor’s statement, I hesitate between premature dementia or a pronounced taste for masochism. Whatever the option, it is the people of Ukraine, Russia (especially Donbass) and the European Union who are paying and will pay the consequences of the decision of France and Germany to opt for phoney Minsk agreements, total hypocrisy, and the path of war, rather than that of peace.
Translation V.Z yan for Donbass Insider
Moscow Was Hoping to Find
A Solution via the Minsk Agreements
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he is “disappointed” by former German chancellor Angela Merkel’s recent comments regarding the Minsk agreements — the now defunct roadmap for peace in Ukraine — which she admitted was a ruse to buy Ukraine more time to build up its military.
“What can you say to that?” Putin said during a press conference on Friday, adding that he was shocked to hear such a confession from the former German leader, having believed that Russia’s partners in Berlin “treated us with sincerity.”
The Russian leader said Merkel’s remarks once again prove that launching a military operation in Ukraine was the correct decision.
“As it turns out, nobody intended to fulfil any part of the Minsk agreements,” Putin said, recalling that former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko also recently admitted that he had no intention of adhering to the documents when he signed them in 2014 and 2015.
“I thought the other participants of this agreement were at least honest, but no, it turns out they were also lying to us and only wanted to pump Ukraine with weapons and get it prepared for a military conflict,” Putin said. Russia may have realized this little too late, and should have launched its operation earlier, the president concluded.
Vladimir Putin said Merkel’s admission raises an important question about trust. “Trust is already almost at zero, but after such statements, how can we possibly negotiate? About what? Can we make any agreements with anybody and where are the guarantees?”
Putin asked, while acknowledging that some sort of agreement will have to be reached eventually.
Putin’s comments follow Angela Merkel’s interview with the newspaper Die Zeit on Wednesday, in which she said the actual purpose of the 2014-2015 Minsk agreements was to stall for time and allow Kiev to build up its military potential for a future confrontation with Russia.
Moscow has expressed shock over the admission, with Russia’s Foreign Ministry claiming that Merkel’s words are legitimate grounds for a tribunal.
The Minsk agreements, brokered by Germany and France, were supposed to be a roadmap for peace in the war-torn country, giving the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state, whose rule they rejected after the 2014 Maidan coup [orchestrated by the Obama-Biden administration in Kiev].
Russian has explained that its current military offensive in Ukraine was largely prompted by Kiev’s failure to implement the terms of the accords.
Russia has submitted a letter to the United Nations Security Council and General Assembly offering a detailed description of recurring Ukrainian strikes on civilian targets in Donbass. The document also heavily emphasizes the role the Western-supplied weapons have played in these atrocities.
The former chancellor admited the West had orchestrated hostilities in Ukraine.
Merkel’s ‘Confession’ May Be Grounds for Tribunal
(December 8, 2022) — A confession by former German chancellor Angela Merkel about the Minsk peace agreements could be used as evidence in a tribunal involving Western politicians responsible for provoking the Ukraine conflict between Moscow and Kiev, the Russian Foreign Ministry warned on Thursday.
The deal, brokered by Germany and France, was supposed to be a roadmap for peace in the war-torn country. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that his country’s current military offensive was prompted by the failure to implement the terms of the accords.
The former German leader admitted in an interview with Die Zeit on Wednesday that the actual purpose of the Minsk agreements was to give Ukraine time to prepare for a military confrontation with Russia.
“They talk a lot about legal assessments of what is happening around Ukraine, certain tribunals and so on in all sorts of ways,” Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said during a media briefing on Thursday. “But this is a specific reason for a tribunal.”
She claimed that Merkel’s comments were nothing short of the testimony of a person who had openly admitted that everything done between 2014 and 2015 was meant to “distract the international community from real issues, play for time, pump up the Kiev regime with weapons, and escalate the issue into a large-scale conflict,” Zakharova added.
She said Merkel’s statements “horrifyingly” reveal that the West uses “forgery as a method of action,” and resorts to “machinations, manipulation and all kinds of distortions of truth, law and rights imaginable.”
The spokeswoman claimed that the West had known well in 2015, when it spent hours negotiating the second part of the Minsk accords, that it would never even attempt to fulfill any part of the agreements and would instead pump weapons into Kiev.
“They did not feel sorry for anyone: women, children, the civilian population of Donbass or the whole of Ukraine. They needed a conflict and they were ready for it back then, in 2015,” Zakharova said.
Earlier this month, a number of Western officials called for the creation of a special UN-backed court to investigate alleged war crimes committed by Russia during its ongoing military campaign in Ukraine.
The Kremlin has said the West has no legal or moral right to set up any courts to investigate or prosecute Russia over the conflict, which Moscow claims was ultimately provoked by the US and its allies.
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