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Alexander Rahr: Kiev must recognize autonomy of Donbass

Alexander Rahr, political analyst, Research Director of the German-Russian Forum. Photo: civilfund.ru

The parties to the Ukraine conflict have realized that it is time to settle the conflict. The statement came from Alexander Rahr, a well-known German political analyst, in response to EADaily correspondent’s question in an online news conference for the Armenian and regional media.

The expert said all the conflicting parties understand this now, perhaps, except certain radicals in the private armed units (in Ukraine) and the self-defense forces (in Donbass).

“I think all the conflicting parties, except the radicals in the private armed units of Ukraine and militia have realized now that it is necessary to settle the conflict, or at least to freeze it like in Transnistria,” Alexander Rahr said. He believes that a range of conditions must be implemented to settle the conflict. “Ukraine must recognize the autonomy of Donbass. This implies a special status resembling the one described in the treaties once signed by the first president of Russia Boris Yeltsin and the Russian regions.  It enabled the president to prevent from Russia’s collapse,” the political analyst recalled saying that Russia, in turn, must stop sending military aid to the self-defense forces and agree on an OSCE monitoring of the entire Russian-Ukrainian border.

Rahr addressed the “horror stories” of Western media claiming that Russia plans to invade the small countries in Europe, namely, the Baltic states. “I know no politician in the Kremlin who seriously thinks on how to bring back the Baltic states, and much less Poland. Why? It is absurd. Maybe, Novorossiya is a certain backup in case Ukraine becomes decentralized. However, I do not see (unlike some Western experts) any aspirations of the self-defense forces to seize Mariupol, and then move along the southern shore of the Black Sea to Transnistria,” Rahr said.

According to the expert, at a certain moment during the Ukrainian crisis, Vladimir Putin’s task number one was not to let NATO to Crimea, “as security issues were prioritized in the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement.” The expert is sure that a thorough analysis would reveal that they were paving a way to NATO for Ukraine.  Anyway, he said, the task is fulfilled now and the “horror stories” are no longer relevant.

The news conference was organized as part of the Regional Research Center’s project “Dialogue International Press Center:  diversification of international information sources for the Armenian media” with the support of the OSCE Yerevan Office.

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