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What expectations of the Contact Group meeting?

July 4, 2014

On 5th July, the Contact Group consisting  of Ukraine, OSCE, France and Germany meet once more.

The below text is that released by the foreign ministers as a prelude to that meeting, as tweeted just prior to it being made public yesterday.

So, having read that document, what expectations should there be regarding any imminent and lasting ceasefire in eastern Ukraine emerging from this meeting?

exp

To be blunt, it seems extremely doubtful.

Now the ATO has recommenced it seems likely it will – and perhaps should – continue to the logical conclusion of securing its own borders without reliance on other actors.  It is a top priority for Ukraine, now and for the future.

In turn, that will mean a major clear out of fighters for the “People’s Republics” – regardless of external sensibilities or threats from Ukraine’s neighbours.  For them to remain simply creates a de facto Transnistria whether borders are secured or not – and that seems something that the Ukrainian leadership appears rightly keen to avoid.

Only yesterday, Moldova ratified the AA/DCFTA with the EU, and The Kremlin immediately signed seven agreements with Transnistria.  Clearly an obstructionist effort to add further weight for Moldova to have to try and drag towards Europe.

Obviously a situation that Kyiv will want to avoid – that avoidance appears only possible by a logical conclusion to its current activities in the east.

Perhaps an overly gloomy view of the prospects for the 5th July Contact Group meeting – after all it remains 2 days away, and 2 days in Ukraine these days when the situation changes rapidly, is a very long time when making predictions.

 

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