THE Minsk agreements have been in place since 2014 in an attempt to keep the peace between Russia and Ukraine.
Despite negotiations, Russia has invaded Ukraine, abandoning the Minsk agreements.
What is the Minsk agreement?
The agreement set out a 12 point plan to prevent any further fighting between the two nations.
This did not last long though and on February 12, 2015, a new agreement had to be signed.
Minsk II included removing weapons from boarders and regions of Donbas being given self-government.
The new agreement was signed but the trouble never actually ended, leading to Russia’s current invasion.
What are the 12 points of the Minsk Protocol?
The points of the Minsk agreement are designed to de-escalate and prevent war between the two nations.
- Ensure an immediate bilateral ceasefire.
- Ensure the monitoring and verification of the ceasefire by the OSCE.
- Decentralise power, including adopting Ukrainian law of temporary self-governance for particular districts of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts.
- Ensure the permanent monitoring of the Ukrainian-Russian boarder by the OSCE and create security zones.
- Immediate release of all hostages and illegally detained persons.
- Introduce a law preventing the prosecution and punishment of people in connection with the events in Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts.
- Continue the inclusive national dialogue.
- To take measures to improve the humanitarian situation in Donbas.
- To ensure early local elections in the self-governed regions.
- Withdraw illegal armed groups and military equipment as well as fighters and mercenaries from Ukraine.
- Adopt a programme of economic recovery in Donbas.
- Provide personal security for participants in the consultations.
What happens if the Minsk agreement is broken?
The agreement was broken two weeks after being signed with ceasefire violations on both sides.
A follow-up agreement was signed, which collapsed a year later.
This lead to a second agreement in 2015, with similar aims.
Breaking the agreement means that all diplomatic attempts to prevent war have been abandoned.
The Minsk agreement provided clear diplomatic guidance to navigate the boarder between Russia and Ukraine but the breaking of this completely could escalate fighting.
As Russia begins their attacks on Ukraine, other nations will have to decide how to proceed and whether to come to Ukraine’s aid.
President Biden issued a statement on the attacks:
“The prayers of the entire world are with the people of Ukraine tonight as they suffer an unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces.
“President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering.”