MOSCOW, July 30. /TASS/. Russian and Western efforts to control the implementation of security agreements by parties to the Donbass conflict are crucial for ending the armed conflict in the region, according to the abstract of an expert study conducted by the Institute of Peacekeeping Initiatives and Conflictology in May and June 2021. The study involved 24 foreign policy experts from 13 countries, including the United Kingdom, Australia, Russia and Ukraine.
"A situation where Western countries (the US, Germany) take control of the ceasefire on behalf of Ukraine and Russia does the same on behalf of the Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics" is one of the "most effective and adequate ways to end the armed conflict in Donbass," the document says. According to experts, related measures include efforts to increase trust, recognize the Donbass republics as full participants in negotiations, relaunch the Joint Center for Control and Coordination involving Ukraine, the Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics and Russia, impose sanctions for ceasefire violations and eliminate "those who benefit from the armed conflict."
Experts agreed that as far as tactical security issues were concerned, the security subgroup of the Contact Group on resolving the Donbass conflict was the most effective platform, while the Normandy Four group involving the leaders of the four countries (Russia, France, Germany, Ukraine) was the best format for addressing strategic issues.
At the same time, most experts believe that additional measures aimed at ensuring the ceasefire in Donbass, approved on July 21, 2020, are only "a way to temporarily stabilize the situation." Their main downsides include the lack of clear obligations to pull back troops and military equipment from the line of contact, as well as the lack of mechanisms to ensure the implementation of agreements, the experts emphasized.