UKRAINE’S FOREIGN MINISTER DMYTRO KULEBA ON X: TO THOSE WHO HAVE MISSED THE PREVIOUS 30 YEARS, HERE IS A SHORT LIST OF THE RESULTS OF NEGOTIATIONS WITH RUSSIA THAT IT NEVER RESPECTED.
- The Budapest Memorandum of 1994. Russia agreed to “respect independence, sovereignty, and the existing borders of Ukraine” as well as “refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine”. Breached by Russia invading Crimea in 2014.
- The Russian-Ukrainian Friendship Treaty of 1997. Russia agreed to respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity and “reaffirmed the inviolability of the borders” between the two countries. Russia breached it in 2014.
- The OSCE Istanbul Summit in 1999. Russia committed to withdrawing its troops from Moldova’s Transdniestrian region and Georgia by the end of 2002. That never happened.
- The 2008 Georgia ceasefire agreement following Russian aggression against the country. Russia agreed that “Russian military forces must withdraw to the lines prior to the start of hostilities”. That never happened.
- The Ilovaysk “Green Corridor” in August 2014 and other “humanitarian” death corridors. Russia pledged to let Ukrainian forces leave the encircled town of Ilovaysk in the east of Ukraine, but instead opened fire and killed 366 Ukrainian troops. In the following years, Russia attacked numerous humanitarian corridors in Syria.
- The “Minsk” agreements of 2014 and 2015. Russia agreed to a ceasefire in the east of Ukraine. There had been 200 rounds of talks and 20 attempts to enforce a ceasefire, all of which the Russian side promptly violated. On February 24th, 2022, Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
- The 2022 Black Sea Grain Initiative. Russia pledged to “provide maximum assurances regarding a safe and secure environment for all vessels engaged in this initiative.” It then hindered the initiative’s operation for months before withdrawing unilaterally a year later.
I am only focused on deals made with Russia to address specific issues and conflicts. I am not mentioning almost 400 international treaties that Russia has breached since 2014. There are no conclusions to be drawn here, except that no one can seriously use the words “Russia” and “negotiations” in the same phrase.
Putin is a habitual liar who promised international leaders that he would not attack Ukraine days before his invasion in February 2022. Russia’s tactic has remained consistent in its many wars over the last three decades: kill, grab, lie, and deny.
Why would anyone genuinely believe that Russia in 2023 is any different from Russia in 1994, 1997, 1999, 2008, 2014, 2015, and 2022?