Donbas special status law – will it end the war?

UKRAINE - In Brief 16 Sep 2014 by Dmytro Boyarchuk

Today the parliament voted in law on special status of Donbas. With this law Ukraine approves Transnistria-style gray zone on its territory. From this law we do not have clear vision how relations will be organized but very likely Ukraine will pay some money from the budget for maintenance of the territory.

Reaction of the society was very mixed. Some part of observers supported this step since it is assumed to bring peace to Ukraine; however, many people are deeply disappointed with this decision repeating words of W. Churchill - “You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor and you will have war.”

Indeed, it is not clear whether this step will stabilize situation at the country and will allow Ukraine developing smoothly? In our opinion Petro Poroshenko could not be that naïve to believe in simple solutions. Moscow pushed for creation of this gray zone to destabilize Ukraine and to prevent from smooth development. If Kyiv easily cuts off this piece of territory and starts recovering, we should expect Kremlin to create new point of tension. In fact, cease-fire, predictably, never really started (though large-scale operation eased) thus there will be no problem to resume Russian advance.

Against this backdrop, for the moment we assume that Petro Poroshenko made the move to stall for time for arranging smoothly parliament elections which is a clear political priority for the country. At the same time hardly any anticipates separatists to accept the approved law and we also can hardly anticipate Ukrainian authorities to finance the gray territory given scarce funds at the budget. All in all, i...

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