BEIJING, December 13. /TASS/. Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s recognition that the Western countries had no plans from the outset to promote the implementation of the Minsk agreements indicates that the West has never considered Russia as a dialogue partner, the Chinese daily Global Times said in an editorial on Tuesday.
"From pushing for the Minsk agreements to inciting the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev, the West is attempting to exhaust and contain a country which they deem as a rival through protraction efforts, be they explicit or inexplicit. It has never really genuinely regarded Russia as a dialogue partner," the editorial reads. "Merkel actually confessed [in an interview with the German weekly Die Zeit] something Western politicians do not want to admit about the Minsk agreements: They were just a stopgap to buy time for Ukraine and the West, and Western countries have never put real effort into resolving the differences with Russia over the Ukraine crisis."
"What the former German leader stated tears down the last remaining bit of the ‘friendly’ mask some Western countries put on with Russia. In the eyes of some Western countries, Russia is just a diplomatic and political ‘alien’," Global Times says.
After the coup d'etat in Ukraine in February 2014, mass protests began in the east of the country, where the Russian-speaking majority disagreed with Kiev’s new course. In response, the Ukrainian authorities in mid-April of the same year launched a military operation in the Donbass with the use of aviation and massive bombardments of residential areas. The Minsk agreements, reached in 2014-2015, were expected to furnish the basis for a settlement in the Donbass. They were signed with the mediation of the OSCE, Russia, Germany and France.
In an interview with the German weekly Die Zeit, published on December 7 this year, Merkel said the conclusion of the Minsk agreements was an attempt to give Ukraine time to get stronger. She argued it was clear to everyone that the conflict was frozen and the problem had not been resolved, "but this is what gave Ukraine invaluable time." She expressed doubt that at that time the NATO countries were able to provide support to Kiev to the extent that they do now.