The Minsk (dis)agreement and Europe’s security order

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Three years ago in Europe there was a forced annexation of part of the territory of one state by another. The annexation of Crimea by Moscow, and then the provocation and support of the separatism in Eastern Ukraine were the beginning of an ongoing armed conflict. Two years ago in Minsk an agreement was made whose official objective was to restore peace in Eastern Ukraine. However, none of its provisions have been so far fully implemented. Significant events for the European continent, such as the huge wave of migration, terrorist attacks, Brexit and the controversial actions of the new US president, meant that the Russian-Ukrainian conflict was relegated to the second place in the thinking of European politicians and societies. It is time to focus on it again and think about further EU policy towards the conflict.

In the report "The Minsk (dis)agreement and the future of Europe's security order" the authors -Piotr Buras and Katarzyna Pełczyńska-Nałęcz – argue that the EU’ current strategy is characterized by significant tension. Its main operational aim (to execute further provisions of the Minsk agreement) is in contradiction with its strategic and geopolitical aims: to maintain a democratic and stable Ukraine and to frustrate Moscow in its attempts to change the international order. The analysis begins by outlining the significance of this conflict in the context of discussions on the model of European security (part 1) and of Russia’s policy on the West (part 2). Moving on from this perspective, the authors subsequently present the risks associated with the process of implementing the Minsk agreement (part 3) and conclude with several conclusions for EU policy.

The policy taken on the Ukrainian conflict will to a large degree determine which principles and conditions the new European order will be based on.”

We do hope the report will contribute to the ongoing debate on how to deal with the conflict and help in finding sustainable solutions for Ukraine, Europe and European Union.

The report was prepared within the framework of the Open Europe programme of the Stefan Batory Foundation in cooperation with the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Warsaw.

Product details
Date of Publication
March 2017
Stefan Batory Foundation, Heinrich Böll Foundation
Number of Pages
Language of publication