By Jan Oberg
Let’s be cautiously optimistic; the meeting did not break down and a ceasefire document was signed. But that is a minimum in this extremely tense situation. One would have hoped for more than what seems to be a revision of the first Minsk agreement.
What are the next steps for this ceasefire agreement to lead to a peace plan, the two things being vitally different?
First, what no one talks about, it seems: A rather large UN peace-keeping and peace-making force with a unit of some 8.000-10.000 robust military from countries completely neutral to this conflict. The classical three legs: military, civil police and civil affairs, perhaps 20.000 in all.
Why the military component? Because the OSCE can monitor and report but it cannot enforce. And because the parties don’t trust each other. And why should this agreement be more durable than the first without it?
If on the 16th of February some shots are again fired by a madman on either side, hell will break lose and accusations fly. And if this agreement doesn’t hold either, we are close to a large-scale war and the U.S. will pour in its weapons (if not before).
What is needed is something like Read More »