Saturday, June 25, 2016


Russia

The Daily Vertical: Time For A Little Reality Check (Transcript)

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By Brian Whitmore

European leaders are apparently getting impatient with Ukraine. 

In comments on February 5, Danish Foreign Minister Kristian Jensen said, "If Ukraine doesn't come through with the reforms linked to the Minsk peace process, it will be very difficult for Europe to continue united in support for sanctions against Russia."

European leaders are also apparently anxious to get back to business as usual with Russia.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini has reportedly initiated discussions on how Brussels could improve cooperation with Moscow.

WATCH: The Daily Vertical for February 10
 

Sounds to me like it's time for a little reality check here.

So let's look at whether there are grounds for impatience with Ukraine over implementing Minsk.

It is true that Kyiv has not completed the process of amending its constitution to devolve power to its regions -- and this is a key obligation of the agreement. 

But one should bear in mind that Ukraine is a democracy and amending a constitution in a democracy is a highly contentious, politicized, and drawn out process.

Now let's look at the Minsk provisions Russia and its proxies have not fulfilled, shall we?

Russia has not removed its armed forces from Ukraine -- you know, the ones it claims aren't even there, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Pro-Moscow separatists continue to shell Ukrainian positions with heavy weapons. 

Russia and its proxies have not allowed the OSCE complete access to separatist-held territories. 

They have not allowed humanitarian organizations to deliver aid. 

And they continue to control parts of Ukraine's border. 

And it is worth noting that Russia, unlike Ukraine, is not a democracy. 

All these issues could be resolved by one man -- and we all know who he is -- with the stroke of a pen.

Keep telling me what you think in the comments section, on The Power Vertical's Twitter feed, and on our Facebook page.

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