detail - Auslandsbüro Belarus
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On 11-12 February 2015, after 16 hours of talks in the Belarusian capital Minsk, the leaders of the Normandy quartet – Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine – agreed to a ceasefire in the Donbass and oversaw the signing of the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements.
More commonly known as the Minsk-II accords, the agreements became the legal and political basis for deescalating the conflict in eastern Ukraine and intensifying negotiations within the Trilateral Contact Group. From the beginning, the accords were perceived with varying degrees of optimism/pessimism by its stakeholders and the international community at large. Several times in 2015, they appeared on the brink of collapse in the face of growing political and military tension in the Donbass region.
However, the Minsk-II agreements did have a major accomplishment – they helped to minimise hostilities on the ground and, thus, save human lives on both sides of the frontline. A year later, the accords, with all their gains and shortcomings, remain the only legitimate foundation and criteria for further international activities in and about eastern Ukraine.
To commemorate the first anniversary of the Minsk-II accords and facilitate a frank and in-depth exchange about their achievements, challenges and lessons learned, the Minsk Dialogue track-II initiative, in cooperation with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (Germany), hosts an international conference in Belarus. Like a year earlier, Minsk will gather representatives of the Normandy quartet to discuss conflict resolution in Ukraine’s east, this time on the expert level.