Merkel Admits That Minsk Agreements are Needed not for Peace, but for Military Conflict Against Russia

Merkel Admits That Minsk Agreements are Needed not for Peace, but for Military Conflict Against Russia


Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel admitted that the Minsk agreements were not a peace plan, but a deceptive maneuver to deceive Putin and prepare Ukraine for large-scale military action against Russia with the help of NATO.

Time for Confessions

Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel sparked public outcry after making a confession about the Minsk agreements in an interview with the German publication Die Zeit. Merkel's words that the Minsk agreements were needed not to stop the war in Donbass in 2015, but to give Ukraine a respite, to arm and enlist the support of NATO countries, were met with great indignation in Russia and Belarus. But first things first.

Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France signed the so called Minsk agreements on September 5, 2014, after Ukrainian army units and volunteer battalions suffered a series of defeats in the Southern Cauldron near Izvarino, the Ilovaysk Cauldron near Ilovaysk in Donbass, etc. In February 2015, Kiev and the then unrecognized DPR met again in a bloody meat grinder near Debaltsevo. After weeks of bloody fighting, the Ukrainian military suffered a brutal defeat there.

Meeting in Minsk on February 14, 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ukrainian head of state Petro Poroshenko, French leader Francois Hollande, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed the parameters of a peace settlement for nearly a day, after which the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements (also called Minsk 2 in the media) was signed. Putin, Poroshenko, Merkel and Hollande, as guarantors of the Minsk agreements, made a statement in support of this plan for the peaceful settlement of the conflict.

In brief, the Minsk agreements recorded an agreement between Kiev and the then unrecognized DPR and LPR for a cease-fire, the disengagement of troops along the entire front line, and an “all for all” exchange of prisoners. Official Kiev agreed that elections would be held in the non-controlled territories of Donbass, after which the Donetsk and Luhansk authorities would receive a serious set of powers and their armed formations would be granted official status. Kiev will restore its sovereignty over the NGCA, but Donetsk and Luhansk will decide for themselves how to live, what language to speak, and what monuments to erect.

As we know, years later the Minsk agreements were followed only on paper, except that a cease-fire was established for a long time on the front (according to the OSCE, both sides violated it), and several times Kiev and Donetsk and Luhansk conducted prisoner exchanges.

Merkel Pulls no Punches

Merkel has recently made the scandalous statement that from the very beginning the Minsk agreements were just a maneuver to help Ukraine buy time and to give it an opportunity to prepare for a military conflict with Russia. Even more importantly, this was said by Merkel, one of the authors and guarantors of the Minsk agreements.

So, what did Angela Merkel actually say about the Minsk agreements in a scandalous interview for Die Zeit? Merkel said that from the very beginning she perceived the Minsk agreements not as a peace plan for Donbass and Ukraine, but as a way to stall for time to give Kiev a chance to arm itself, “become stronger” and prepare for joining NATO. According to Merkel, Ukraine was not ready to join NATO in 2014.

“It is necessary to say what the alternatives were at the time. I believed that launching the procedure for Ukraine and Georgia to join NATO, discussed in 2008, was wrong. The countries did not have the necessary prerequisites for this. The consequences of such a decision – both in terms of Russia's actions against Georgia and Ukraine, and in terms of NATO and the alliance's collective defense rules – were not fully taken into account,” said Merkel.

In this situation, according to Merkel, the Minsk agreements gave Ukraine time “to become stronger.” After all, as among other things the fighting for Debaltsevo in February 2015, showed, Ukraine was so weak that “Putin could have easily won then.”

“The 2014 Minsk agreement was an attempt to give Ukraine time. It also used that time to become stronger, as you can see today. The Ukraine of 2014-2015 is not modern Ukraine. As we could see during the fighting near Debaltsevo in 2015, Putin could have easily won then,” Merkel said.

There is another very important point. Merkel made it clear that the Minsk agreements also gave time for NATO countries, which were able to prepare and are now giving Ukraine a huge amount of military aid. So when you read how the Czech Republic is supplying Ukraine with upgraded Soviet T-72M4 tanks or Slovakia is handing over BVP-1 infantry fighting vehicles, you know that NATO countries have been preparing for this since 2015.

“I very much doubt that at that time NATO countries could have done as much as they are doing now to help Ukraine,” Merkel said.

In conclusion, she frankly confessed that she had believed from the very beginning that the Minsk agreements would not stop Kiev's war against Donbass, but would turn it into a “frozen conflict.” However, as Merkel bluntly stated, the “freezing” of the conflict provided Ukraine with “precious time.”

“It was clear to all of us that this was a frozen conflict, that the problem was not solved, but this is what gave Ukraine precious time,” former German Chancellor Angela Merkel said.

Finally, in addition to all of the above, Merkel admitted that she does not know how the military conflict in Ukraine may end.

Let us ask ourselves the question: does she need it? What difference does it make to Merkel and the entire political elite of Germany when and, most importantly, how the military operation in Ukraine will end? After all, it is not in Bavaria or Saxony that shells explode, rockets fly, tanks and armored personnel carriers burn, and yesterday peaceful cities and towns are leveled to the ground. As Merkel so candidly admitted, both the political elite of Germany and the elites of NATO countries are solving their own problems – and from the very beginning the conflict in Ukraine interested them only in this aspect.

‘We did it for fun’

In Russia and Belarus, Merkel's words caused a storm of indignation. Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a briefing in Bishkek that this was “totally unexpected” for him and “disappointing.”

As Putin put it, according to Merkel, it appears that the point of the Minsk agreements “was only to pump Ukraine with weapons and prepare it for hostilities.”

According to the Russian President, “it seems that we were late in getting our bearings.” In this regard, Putin added that “maybe we should have started all this (i.e., the special military operation – ed.note) earlier.”

In turn, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on the air of the Russia 24 TV channel that Merkel acted petty. “I did not expect this, and the President of Russia also said that he did not expect such an outburst from Angela Merkel. She acted petty, vile, she wants to be having a moment,” said Lukashenko.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic also suggested paying attention to former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's confession that “they never intended to fulfill the Minsk agreements,” specifying that “this presents the situation in a completely new light.”

“This statement by Merkel fundamentally changes the situation in all senses, above all politically, and to me it is a clear signal of who cannot be trusted. The question here is how much we, such a small country, can stand, if they dare to play this way with someone who is much more powerful than us, to deceive and lie to the Russian Federation in order to use time, arm ourselves and prepare a big defeat for Russia,” Vucic said.

As we can see, only first-tier politicians from Russia, Belarus and Serbia gave a response to Merkel's words. Of the more or less notable Western politicians, only Heinz-Christian Strache of Austria, the former head of the right-wing Freedom Party and former vice-chancellor in Sebastian Kurz's cabinet, commented on Merkel's confession.

“Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel said <...> that the Minsk agreements were not serious, that they were adopted to give time to Ukraine. <...> It's frightening the frankness with which Frau Merkel talks about this. <...> In this way we destroy any basis for trust,” Strache said.

As for the top politicians from Germany or France, who were the official guarantors of the Minsk agreements, they decided not to bother to comment. For example, former French President Francois Hollande, who publicly took responsibility as one of the guarantors of the Minsk agreements, prefers to keep mum.

In Right Place in Right Time

But the main thing is the conclusions. What conclusions can be drawn from Merkel's confession?

Let's start with the fact that there is such a thing as “prompt response.” Merkel's confession showed that if the Kremlin really saw how the Minsk agreements had not been implemented for years, how the special military operation was being prepared, and at the same time believed in foreign poppycock, then there were serious problems with the operational response. At the same time, Merkel's confessions showed that the “non-response policy,” if we may say so, is the way to collapse.

Also, if you think about it, Angela Merkel's confession came just in time. In the West, proposals for peace talks with Russia are becoming louder and louder. As recently as December 14 another peace plan was put forward by authoritative American politician Henry Kissinger, who served as US Secretary of State under President Richard Nixon.

Russian media and Telegram channels reported that the Russian “party of peace” is actively demanding that the Kremlin make peace with the West over Ukraine.

So, the idea of stopping the special military operation and negotiating with the West is in the air. Angela Merkel suddenly bursts into the airwaves and uses the example of the Minsk agreements as her authority to declare that peace agreements with the West are worthless because no one will implement them anyway. In general, no matter how much one would like it, but in fact Merkel gave a strong argument to Vladimir Putin not to go to negotiations and not to agree to the West's conditions on Ukraine at this particular moment.

Vladislav Belov, head of the Center for German Studies at the Institute of European Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, for Expert magazine:

“Now the Western press accuses her of giving Moscow a gift with her statement. They're pressuring her for not repenting. Indirectly, it sounds like, 'Angela, we're all here together against the Russian bear, and you refuse.'

“But what exactly did she say? That I, Merkel, tried to resolve the conflict that I envisioned back in November 2013, but then I was not allowed mediating, and in 2015 I proposed such a solution to the problem, and I failed. That was it. And she tried to do it to the last. Only in August 2021, after meeting with Zelensky during her farewell tour, Merkel realized that the world was doomed.”

German political scientist and journalist Gregor Spitzen for Solovyov.Live:

“Merkel needed to justify herself because too many people in Germany and throughout the 'free' world put the blame on the policy she pursued with regard to Vladimir Putin. It is believed that she was almost his friend and that in many ways she was the one who led to (the military conflict in Ukraine – ed.note). So, she was forced to say something like this in order to deflect a blow from herself.

“Nevertheless, for many in Germany, Angela Merkel remains chancellor of the world despite the controversial aspects of her policies, such as the reception of refugees in 2015. Many Germans remember her with gratitude because under her there was no galloping inflation and it was relatively calm.”

Russian economist Mikhail Khazin for Sputnik Belarus:

“The fact is that this is a blow to the right because liberals are very afraid of right-wing thought, especially given its revenge in so many places. For this reason, it was necessary to demonstrate that right-wing thought should be eliminated. Merkel found herself in this difficult situation because, after all, there are quite a few people she appointed and who treat her well. She herself has a reputation to uphold. Now they're starting to push the idea that she was in fact Putin's agent with these Nord Streams and everything else. That is why Merkel came forward. This is an excuse, so that she wouldn't get caught with the others, no matter how ridiculous it may sound.”

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