Посол А.Олефіров дав інтерв'ю фінському друкованому виданню «Kaleva» про ситуацію на сході України, Крим та про протистояння України російській агресії.
Ukraine: new efforts for the ceasefire
Started on Monday in eastern Ukraine, ceasefire brought much needed break from the fighting in the area. So far, ceasefire has been observed, although the data are partly contradicting. Ukrainian army, on Monday, accused the rebels in eastern Ukraine of ceasefire violation and informed that one soldier was killed and one wounded. Instead, a rebel representative have told that the Donetsk region, for the most part, have kept ceasefire soon after midnight.
On Saturday, ceasefire was agreed at the Munich Security Conference. The ceasefire is a new attempt to revive the Minsk peace agreement which implementation has failed time and time again. The first agreement was signed in 2014 and the second two years ago.
Sociologist and researcher at the University of Helsinki Arseniy Svynarenko welcomes cease-fire with scepticism.
- It's not going to be respected. Even earlier ceasefires have not stood the test, even if the agreements and conditions have been accurate. I do not see anything unusual here. Escalation can grow again within a week, Arseniy Svynarenko says.
Ukrainian Ambassador to Finland Andrii Olefirov disagrees with Svynarenko.
- We have no other choice. We are looking for full-time options, so that none of the Ukrainians no longer dies. I am optimistic, says Olefirov.
A final peace may be complicated by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who, last week, signed a regulation. Regulation states that Russia recognizes identity and travel documents issued at the rebels held area. It says that the separatist - Ukrainian citizens or people who are not nationals of Ukraine residing in the rebel controlled areas can travel to Russia without a visa. The setting is temporary and will remain in force until the situation in eastern Ukraine is resolved.
According to critics, this is a step in the direction in which Russia recognizes the independence of the separatists. Its practical decisions is not very important. According to press reports issued by the separatist newspapers, visa-free regime is in place for a long time. The regulation is to hinder access to the Ukrainian-Russian border controlled by separatists.
In its turn, Putin's representative mentioned that the background of the regulation is about humanitarian reasons. Ukrainian Ambassador to Finland dismisses such claims.
- Regulation was made to delay the implementation of the Minsk agreement and to enable all to understand the influence of Putin, says Olefirov.
- We, and I mean Ukraine, we believe that Putin's actions to be in breach of the Minsk Agreement. Germany and France have also condemned the decision, reminded Olefirov.
However, Olefirov and Svinarenko believe that peace is possible.
- Conflict on the East of Ukraine is very different and сan not be compared with a civil war. The background of the war is not religion, ideology or ethnicity, Svynarenko says.
- As soon as Russia stops its involvement in Eastern Ukraine, the situation will calm down immediately, Areseniy Svynarenko continues.
Proposals of peace in the Eastern Ukraine were heard last week. A Ukrainian politician Andrii V. Artimenko, in accordance with the New York Times newspaper, suggested that a referendum could hand over Crimea to Russia for a period of 50 or 100 years. In return for this, Russia would withdraw its troops from the Eastern Ukraine.
The proposal was heavily criticized in Ukraine. Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States rejected the proposal as one made in Russia.
- It violates the Constitution, commented Veleriy Chaly.
Arseniy Svynarenko thinks the proposal makes sense only in the sense that the war in Donbas is the continuation of the occupation of Crimea.
- I think it might be discussed only if Donald Trump’s administration sees it as a potential peace agreement, says Svynarenko.
Ukrainian Ambassador Andrii Olefirov considers the proposal terrible.
- It is against our policy. We expect to get the Crimea back peacefully. The claim was illegal and we will not give up Crimea. We will never sign a paper that would transfer Crimea to Russia, Olefirov says.