Judging by the statements of the U.S. Department of State special representative for Donbass Kurt Volker and Russian diplomats, the idea of ending the war by introducing peacekeepers will not be realized. The UN Security Council will not be able to vote either on the resolution on introduction of peacekeepers along the line of demarcation (Russian option) or on the whole territory of CDDLO, including the Ukrainian-Russian border (an option, acceptable to Ukraine). This means that the parties will either have to return to the Minsk agreements or consider alternative projects. The group of experts of "The Future of Donbass" debating club conceived the policy framework of work of the International provisional administration in CDDLO as an alternative to the idea of introducing a peacekeeping contingent.
Several options were discussed – negative, realistic and optimistic. "Red lines", which Ukraine should not cross in negotiations with the Russian Federation on the settlement of situation in CDDLO, were defined. Each point of the concept was considered taking into account the real geopolitical and internal situation in Ukraine, having abstracted themselves from the party rhetoric and ideology as far as possible.
Participants in the discussion agreed that the IPA should face complex tasks on security and restoration of the system of legitimate management of the territories, but all the problems of Ukraine's relations with temporarily uncontrolled territories should not be shifted to the international community.
Director of the Institute for Global Transformations Oleksiy Semeniy breaks up reintegration into several stages. The first should be cessation of armed hostilities and achievement of constant security, the second - settlement of economic issues and launch of civil administration, and the third – a political one. But at the same time, the International provisional administration can act as the main provider in resolving security issues, and promote the formation of legitimate power in the region, with which Ukraine will later conduct a dialogue.
Head of the Centre for Research of Donbass Social Perspectives Serhiy Harmash agrees with him. "Reintegration of the territories is not the IPA's task, it is the task of Ukraine itself. It will be possible to start solving this task only after the establishment of a security regime and control over the state border", - the head of the Centre for Research of Donbass Social Perspectives says.
"Control over the border is the question of sovereignty of the state, - Valeriy Kravchenko from the National Institute for Strategic Studies believes. – This is the key and the most important question. If it is successfully resolved, it will be possible to proceed to the rest".
of work of the International provisional administration (IPA)
in the territory of CDDLO
OBJECTIVES AND SAFETY
1) The purpose of the International provisional administration (IPA) is sustainable reintegration of CDLLO into Ukraine on the basis of Ukrainian legislation and international treaties.
Activities of the IPA are guided by the UN mandate and Ukrainian legislation.
Reintegration is a complex of measures to restore the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Ukraine, namely:
- complete ceasefire, disarmament of all illegal armed formations on the territory of CDDLO, provision of stable security regime and restoring control over the Ukrainian-Russian border in the territory of CDDLO.
- provision of legal regime of socio-economic activities in the territory of CDDLO in accordance with the legislation of Ukraine, organization of legitimate elections of deputies in the territories of CDDLO in accordance with the legislation of Ukraine;
- return of institutions of Ukrainian state power in the territories of CDDLO, support of justice processes, reconciliation according to the legislation of Ukraine.
2) Disarmament of all armed formations in the temporarily uncontrolled territory of the Luhansk and the Donetsk oblasts is a right (based on the UN mandate) and one of the priorities in the work of the IPA.
3) The IPA establishes control over a section of state border of Ukraine and the Russian Federation in the territory of CDDLO.
Staffing of the peacekeeping mission in CDDLO is an essential point. The international practice is that the neighboring states do not directly participate in the settlement of such conflicts in order to avoid the emergence of other territorial disputes. Although Ukraine does not have other territorial conflicts now, except with the Russian Federation, the conflictogenic potential of neighboring states is proposed to be excluded just by such a restriction. A similar restriction is also proposed for the police forces. The war in Ukraine has its own specifics – there are neither religious nor ethnic conflicts between the parties, it is not necessary to agree to participate in the police forces of "locals", in the ratio 50/50 (as it was in Eastern Slavonia). On the contrary, it is politically correct to bring both parties "beyond the brackets", at least at the first stage.
Moreover, such a norm will allow avoiding military participation of the Russian Federation in the military and the police contingent, without discriminating against Russia directly and not creating a conflict at the negotiation stage. Politically, this does not deprive either Ukraine or the Russian Federation of the possibility to involve friendly states in the contingent.
One of the key discussions of experts unfolded around the participation of representatives of the Russian Federation – the aggressor and the instigator of the conflict - in the civil administration of the IPA. On the one hand, according to Serhiy Harmash, it is impossible for Ukraine to ignore the Russian Federation, on the other – it is illogical to maintain the key influence of the Russian Federation on the management of territories, temporarily uncontrolled by Ukraine. Therefore, if the world community is really interested in ending the conflict, it will have to exert appropriate pressure on Moscow.
4) Peacekeeping contingent in the territory of CDDLO cannot include representatives of states that have a state border with Ukraine.
The control at the border is exercised by the UN peacekeepers and the OSCE mission. Participation and continuous presence of representatives of the relevant state authorities of Ukraine in the contingent on the Ukrainian-Russian border is mandatory.
5) Police forces on the territory of CDDLO for the time of operation of the IPA are formed according to the resolution of the UN Security Council or the UN General Assembly on the basis of proposal of the UN Secretary-General.
Operative management of police forces is carried out by representative of the UN Secretary-General.
Police forces in the territory of the CDLLO cannot include representatives of states that have a state border with Ukraine.
The mandate of the UN police forces activities on the territory of CDDLO is approved by Ukraine
In case of achieving a stable security regime, the IPA will have to take control of the socio-economic situation in CDDLO and hand it over to legitimately formed (including elected) local self-government bodies after the elections.
Financing of restoration of the region's infrastructure will be the key issue of the second stage. It is logical that Russia should participate in it, but experts also discussed the "Budapest pool" - a list of states that guaranteed the territorial integrity of Ukraine in 1994. Although the events of recent years have shown that these guarantees did not give the expected effect to Ukraine, the fact of existence of the memorandum should be taken into account when taking appropriate political decisions and developing an integrated settlement package.
At the same time, experts are ready to agree that it is irrational to directly restrict the participation of Russian representatives in civil management of the IPA, since this is an unconstructive position and it will give Russia a reason to block the whole process of IPA creating.
6) The IPA should take over the socio-economic management of the CDDLO territories after establishing a stable security regime, complete disarmament of illegal armed formations and establishing control over the Ukrainian-Russian border in the territory of the CDDLO.
7) The number of representatives of states having a state border with Ukraine, as part of the bodies of the International Provisional Administration in CDDLO cannot exceed 50%.
8) After the IPA receives control over the mentioned territory, the currency and financial system of CDDLO will operate according to the legislation of Ukraine.
9) The guarantor countries of the Budapest Memorandum take a significant share in the restoration of the damaged in 2014-2018 infrastructure of CDDLO and subsequent economic development of the region after its transfer to the control of IPA.
MEDIA AND FREEDOM OF SPEECH
The issue of the work of the media in the territory of CDDLO is as important as disarmament. In fact, the Russian Federation started invading Ukraine from seizure of transmission towers and the disconnection of Ukrainian TV channels. The agenda of local media is anti-Ukrainian, not pro-Russian, and there is a big difference between these two concepts: local news are devoted to Ukraine, not to Russia.
It is essential that the introduction of the IPA will be accompanied by the return of Ukrainian media - the Internet, television, radio and newspapers. At the same time, another problem will be the physical security of Ukrainian journalists who will be able to work in CDDLO.
10) The IPA maximally contributes to the technical and physical admission and functioning of the Ukrainian media (television, newspapers, radio, Internet media, journalists and technical staff) to the territory controlled by the IPA. All media will be working according to the requirements of the legislation of Ukraine.
Investigations of criminal offenses committed in CDDLO and not related to military operations and national security should be handled by a local law enforcement system. But war crimes and crimes against humanity should be considered by the international court of the United Nations in order to avoid political context, bias and injustice.
Ukraine has the right to condemn those who violated the oath - servicemen, security forces and government officials who openly worked against the state, organized and participated in the war. At the same time, the investigation should be guided by the Criminal Code. For some of these categories, amnesty may not be ruled out (under certain conditions).
11) Citizens of other states, who have moved to the territory of the CDDLO during 2014-2018, must comply with the current legislation of Ukraine, which regulates the rules for the stay of foreigners in Ukraine.
12) The IPA forms independent bodies of pre-trial and judicial investigation to investigate the facts of crimes committed in the temporarily uncontrolled territory of the Luhansk and the Donetsk oblasts in the period of 2014-2018, according to the legislation of Ukraine.
13) All crimes committed by members of illegal armed groups motivated by political, ethnic, religious hostility, war crimes, crimes against humanity on the territory of CDDLO in 2014-2017, will be submitted for consideration by an international court established by the UN.
14) Ukraine adopts a special amnesty law, which will be applied in the territory of the CDDLO.
15) Ukraine guarantees that all citizens of Ukraine who did not commit crimes against humanity, are not involved in the creation, organization and participation in illegal armed formations, did not take part in hostilities against Ukraine during the period 2014-2018, will not be brought to criminal responsibility.
All crimes committed in CDDLO in 2014-2018 are investigated according to the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
Experts believe that it is irrational to set any time limits for planning and holding elections on temporarily uncontrolled Ukrainian territories. From a political point of view, elections can be organized after achieving stable security. The main objective of local elections is to elect legitimate local councils, to which the IPA can then hand over civil administration in the region. Elections to the Verkhovna Rada should be held at least one year after the local elections.
16) Ukraine restricts the right to participate in elections of all levels and to be elected to councils, be appointed to posts in executive and law enforcement, judicial and local authorities of all levels, the right to create public and political organizations for all citizens of Ukraine who held leading posts in quasi-governmental bodies in the CDDLO territory during 2014-2018, and also those who violated the oath of employees of law enforcement agencies, military personnel and civil servants.
17) After achieving stable security, namely a complete ceasefire, IPA’s obtaining full control over the border of Ukraine and the Russian Federation in the territory of CDDLO, disarming all illegal armed formations, as well as ensuring legal regime of socio-economic activities there in accordance with Ukrainian legislation. The IPA organizes and conducts elections of deputies of local councils according to the legislation of Ukraine. The date of elections is appointed by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.
The reintegration of CDDLO will be a long and painful process, which in many respects will depend on geopolitical conjuncture, including the results of elections to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and presidential elections.
18) The reintegration of the CDDLO cannot be a condition for determining the foreign policy course of Ukraine.
The IPA can be a tool for a real settlement of the conflict, because if only peacekeepers are introduced as a military contingent, all economic, humanitarian problems, unresolved issues of responsibility for crimes can greatly complicate the situation in the region and thereby complicate reintegration of Ukrainian authorities. And it is the IPA that can objectively remove the conflicting political potential, provide an adequate transition period and create real conditions for the return of the occupied parts of the Luhansk and the Donetsk oblasts to Ukraine, without undermining the economic and political situation in the country.
Maryna Vorotyntseva, Centre for research of Donbass social perspectives
The project is supported by The Black Sea Trust, a project of the German Marshall Fund of the United States. Opinions expressed in written or electronic publications do not necessarily represent those of the Black Sea Trust the German Marshall Fund, or its partners