The Grand Stalemate of the Minsk Agreements
Four years have passed since the so-called “Minsk-II” peace agreement was signed on 12 February 2015. It meant to revive the first Minsk peace accord of September 2014 and solve the conflict in East-ern Ukraine. Nevertheless, it has achieved modest results to say the least. The only real accomplish-ment has been the decrease of active hostilities and the number of daily casualties and/or fatalities. In other words, the Minsk agreements have resulted in the formation of a low-intensity conflict. Yet, offi-cials in Ukraine, the Russian Federation, and the European Union have been insisting that there could be no alternative to them. Therefore, the question is why these actors are holding on to the objectively ineffective peace deal and what is next for the Minsk peace process? The analysis suggests that the Minsk agreements have created a stalemate which is the best outcome either of the parties can cur-rently achieve, but which at the same time satisfies nobody. Also, neither of the parties in the present context will attempt any major step which means that the Minsk peace process is likely to endure, at least until Ukraine’s presidential elections in March-April 2019.