Rapidly changing international situation, the change of Washington’s Administration and forthcoming elections in European countries make European politicians commit controversial and sometimes even illogical acts.
In November, 2016 Angela Merkel announced her intention to run for a fourth term as German Chancellor. But in 2017, it is to be the hardest thing for her. The main cause of it is the failed foreign policy of Germany, a failure to adequately respond to modern challenges and threats without reference to the wishes of Washington, which now, under President Trump, ceases to be a voluntary guide dog for European NATO allies. All these factors have led to aggravation of the internal political situation in the country, identifying vulnerabilities of German security in the face of internal and external threats. Due to policy of multiculturalism, migration crisis has jeopardized credibility of the Chancellor and her team while the split in Europe and long-running Ukrainian conflict are only exacerbating the CDU electoral problems.
Owing to the outlined difficulties, Merkel’s team has to find ways to restore its faltering influence. And if it is a good idea to avoid the topic of migrants till the election (it may turn out badly), the Ukrainian issue possible solution within the framework of the Minsk agreements that has actually been widely publicized and perceived as Merkel’s achievement, can be used for earning political points inside Germany. Such peacemaker’s position is rather advantageous for Merkel. In case her ‘recipe’ helps agreements to get reached and the long-awaited peace is declared in the east of Ukraine, this could be the acting Chancellor’s best card in the election.
Ukrainian information resources have got a line that the German Embassy in Kiev is already sending signals to Petro Poroshenko that it is necessary to reach compromises with pro-Russian activists from Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts of Ukraine. As to Ambassador Ernst Reichel’s letter to Poroshenko, it is seen exactly as an ultimatum.
Translation of the letter
‘Dear Mr. President Poroshenko,
The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Ukraine has the honor to inform you that Germany is abiding by the assumed commitments and will further lend assistance to Ukraine.
However, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regrets to state that Ukraine does not comply with the Second Minsk Agreement provisions, which harms German Federal Government’s reputation not only on an international scale, but also at home. In the light of the foregoing, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany recommends Ukraine to implement the commitments confirmed by the Second Minsk Agreement, namely, adoption of regulations relating to the special status of separate territories of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts, the pull-out of forces and military equipment, and advancement of dialogue with representatives of separate territories of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts.
The Government of Germany realizes that such steps may create a considerable stir among statesmen and the general public of Ukraine. Nevertheless, peaceful settlement of the conflict remains a priority. For this reason, some restrictions on rights and freedoms are occasionally permissible. In the case of successfully implemented settlement of the conflict, the Federal Government of Germany guarantees you political and financial support during upcoming presidential elections.
If you put it in simple words skipping the diplomatic etiquette, the Ambassador of Germany to Ukraine, speaking on behalf of Angela Merkel, demands from Ukraine full compliance with the provisions of the Minsk agreements. One question immediately comes to mind: why has such claim been received just now, in the run-up to the Bundestag elections, rather than immediately following the signing of agreements in February, 2015? What have German authorities been waiting for for almost two years? The answer is simple: they have been waiting for an appropriate moment to present Ukrainian conflict settlement as their biggest geopolitical victory. And the Ukrainian President will get political and financial support during the next presidential elections in Ukraine in exchange for peaceful settlement of the conflict, while otherwise he could never win the elections on his own, taking into account his absolutely lame rating.
The Merkel’s Peace Initiative would have been highly commendable if it had been timely and aimed at realization of peace and order in Europe. In this particular case, because of catastrophically losing its reputation, the government will try to ‘feed’ own voters its so-called diplomatic victory, not telling them that actual support of the hugely unpopular president Poroshenko means conservation of the Ukrainian crisis for the sake of solving their own short-term problems. Such long-overdue implementation of Minsk agreements will not solve the problems of Ukraine. There have been too many losses. The split between the eastern and western part of the country has become too great. But does the Chancellor of Germany really care about Ukrainians, considering that migrants’ assaults against Germans are disturbing her much less than her quite expectable retirement?