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Minsk Agreements, Ukraine Debated at UN Security Council

Feb. 17, 2022 (EIRNS)—The UN Security Council, with Russia serving as its president for February, held a debate on the implementation of the Minsk Agreements and the situation in Ukraine. The Minsk Agreements were supported unanimously by the United Nations seven years ago through Resolution 2202.

Speaking on behalf of the Russian Federation, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin pointed to the failure over seven years to implement the Minsk Agreements, which essentially call for a federal organization of Ukraine, with greater autonomy for Donetsk and Luhansk within it. Despite claims that Russia is not living up to its “obligations” under the agreements, the agreements make no mention of “Russia” at all. In fact, Vershinin cited a judge on the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, who recently proposed criminal prosecution of those Ukrainians who helped draft the Minsk Agreements, on the basis that they place 20 obligations on Ukraine, six on the OSCE, two on the Donbas, and zero on Russia.

Vershinin expressed his disappointment with the “ostrich-like approach” of other nations, ignoring the non-implementation of the agreements.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken claimed that everyone wants the Minsk Agreements to be implemented, but it is Russia which is not living up to its end of the bargain. The greatest threat to world peace and security, he claimed, is “Russia’s looming aggression against Ukraine,” which he said poses a fundamental challenge to the rules-based order. He did manage to keep a straight face while claiming that no country can “dictate another’s choices or policies, or with whom it will associate.  The principle of national sovereignty.”

Blinken backed up his claim that Russia is prepared to use its 150,000 troops in the area to invade Ukraine in days, via a false inciting event: “Russia plans to manufacture a pretext for its attack. This could be a violent event that Russia will blame on Ukraine or outrageous accusations that Russia will level against the Ukraine government. We don’t know exactly the form it will take.” In response to the manufactured crisis, Russia would hold theatrical meetings, Blinken predicted, and then the war would commence. Kiev itself would be targeted.

Recognizing the similarity of his position as U.S. Secretary of State at the Security Council pushing for war, to the famous images of Colin Powell on Feb. 5, 2003, Blinken offered a non sequitur: “Some have called into question our information, recalling previous instances where intelligence ultimately did not bear out. But let me be clear: I am here today not to start a war, but to prevent one.”

In fact, there’s an easy path forward, he claimed: “The Russian government can announce today with no qualification, equivocation or deflection that Russia will not invade Ukraine. State it clearly, state it plainly to the world, then demonstrate it by sending your troops, your tanks, your planes back to their barracks and hangars and sending your diplomats to the negotiating table.”

China’s representative Ambassador Zhang Jun repeated that, although the Minsk Agreements were unanimously endorsed in resolution 2202, most of the provisions have not been implemented. He broadened the discussion, by pointing at the larger context.

“NATO enlargement is an issue that cannot be overlooked when dealing with the current tensions related to the Ukraine,” Zhang stated.

“NATO's continuous expansion in the wake of the Cold War runs counter to the trend of our times, that is to maintain common security. One country's security cannot be at the expense of the security of others. ... There is one country that refuses to renounce the Cold War mentality. It says one thing and does another, in order to seek absolute military superiority. It has been ganging up in the Asia Pacific region, creating trilateral and quadrilateral small cliques, and bent on provoking confrontation. What it is doing will only throw the Asia Pacific into division and turmoil, and seriously threaten the region's peace and stability to the detriment of the countries in the region, while getting nothing for itself either. China urges the countries concerned to learn from history, subscribe to the notion of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, adhere to the approach of enhancing mutual trust and settling disputes through dialogue and consultation, and do more to contribute to world peace and regional stability,”

Zhang concluded.

Following several comments about the Duma proposal that Donetsk and Luhansk be recognized by Russia, Deputy Foreign Minister Vershinin countered that it was a proposal by the legislature and did not represent Russian official policy. He insisted that the 2014 coup be considered as an essential part of the history, a coup in which the Russian language was discriminated against, and following which a referendum brought about Crimea’s rejoining Russia. Even as Russian troops, inside Russia, have completed aspects of their training and are returning to their bases within the country, weapons flow into Ukraine from the U.S., U.K., Canada, and other nations, he argued.

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