Déjà vu: Ukraine 2014 and Belarus 2020 – “De-escalation Plan”

Lithuania, Latvia, and Poland presented a plan for Belarus to get out of the crisis. “The presidents of our three countries have developed a plan to de-escalate the situation in Belarus. It contains three points to resolve the situation,” said Mr. Nausėda at a press conference. He listed these three points: ending violence against protesters, releasing detainees, and starting dialogue with representatives of civil society.

There is something elusively familiar about these lines:

  • On the night of February 21st 2014, many hours of negotiations continued between President Viktor Yanukovych, the Foreign Ministers of France, Germany, and Poland. Opposition leaders joined the talks. An agreement was drawn up to resolve the political crisis, which provided for the return within 48 hours to the Constitution of Ukraine as amended in 2004, the implementation of a constitutional reform with a redistribution of powers towards a parliamentary republic and an early presidential election, the release of captured administrative buildings, and the surrender of illegal weapons.
  • The agreement was signed by Viktor Yanukovych, the head of the parliamentary faction of the “UDAR” political party Vitaly Klitschko, the head of the “Batkivshchyna” parliamentary faction Arseny Yatsenyuk, the head of the parliamentary faction of the Svobodaparty Oleg Tyagnibok. On behalf of the European Union, the agreement was confirmed by Foreign Ministers of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Poland Radosław Sikorski, and Head of the Continental Europe Department of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs Eric Fournier.
  • Subsequently, Yanukovych admits: “I was abandoned like a sucker”. At a press conference on February 6th 2019, Yanukovych said that he had appealed to EU representatives many times, hoping to get an answer to the question: “How did they sign a peace agreement with me on the 21st, and on the 21st armed thugs seized the Presidential Administration, the Cabinet of Ministers, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, and the next day the European countries approved … “.

Sergey Kolyasnikov

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