- Apr 2019
The Munich Conference is the most representative realpolitik forum throughout the world. Russia has not snatched the opportunity to use this international platform to strike a hybrid blow at Ukraine.
On February 14, a document entitled "Twelve Steps Toward Greater Security in Ukraine and the Euro-Atlantic Region" was published on the website of the Munich Conference.
The so-called Reconciliation Plan for Ukraine and Russia, authored by three Western think tanks and the Russian International Affairs Council, fully fits into Moscow's aggressive strategy of the world order (influence zones) revision and destroy Ukrainian identity.
In fact, Russia has used Munich's broad political platform to leak into the information space a plan for settlement of the conflict initiated by it in Ukraine on its own terms. The document does not even mention the Russia's attack on Ukraine, the withdrawal of its troops from the occupied territories, as well as its accountability for the aggression in Donbas and Crimea annexation. Moreover, a number of provisions is absolutely cynical, in particular, imposing discussions on Ukraine on national identity involving Russia, Poland and Hungary. The matter is, the conflict in Ukraine has become a consequence of "catastrophic miscalculations", and measures are proposed to "terminate it and create prospects for constructive dialogue, including on Crimea".
Such a document aims to demonstrate to the international community the "sincere" desire of Moscow to facilitate the settlement of the conflict in Ukraine. The true purpose of such a maneuver is to excuse Russia, resume partnership relations with Western countries, lift sanctions and return Russia to the world economy, without the de-occupation of Crimea and Donbas. At the same time, Russia is trying to impose its own vision of Ukrainian identity, insisting that the role and place of the Ukrainian nation lies within the Russian world.
The Twelve Steps plan is, in fact, another attempt by Kremlin to impose through diplomacy, security services, information and financial levers its agenda on Europe, using the fatigue of the 6-year war and of many events that are far more disturbing for Europe today as compared to the conflict in Donbas.
In his report at the conference, President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky reminded that the war takes place not in Ukraine, but in Europe. The current president of Ukraine makes a lot to put an end to this war, however his desire is not enough. To achieve sustainable ceasefire in Donbas and to succeed in implementation of the Normandy format agreements the crucial is the will of Russia, which supports and equips the militants.
While lobbying the promotion of such "plans" at international summits, Russia attempts presenting the situation in eastern Ukraine to its advantage, using narratives of a purely internal nature of Ukrainian conflict and the need for a direct dialogue with the "heads" of the so-called "L/DPR".
It may be expected that such "Twelve steps" will appear constantly, under different names and in context of different circumstances. However, every time such plans will become increasingly more sophisticated, causing far less discontent and appearing to be ever more acceptable.