Maigre: Putin's presence added optimism to Minsk talks ({{commentsTotal}})

Merle Maigre, the security adviser to President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, said the results of the Minsk agreement are generally positive, and the ceasefire itself is already very important.

She told ERR radio compared to Syria, Bosnia or Chechnya, the war in Ukraine had and still has room to escalate, adding that approval of the separatist leaders and the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin in Minsk added optimism.

“However, life has shown that nothing is certain,” Maigre said.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko will have a lot of explaining to do to the Ukrainian armed forces, she said, adding that it will not be easy for him to sell the plan back home.

Of the many points agreed on, Maigre said the ceasefire and heavy-weapons-free zone will be the easiest to accomplish, but Ukraine taking back its borders or constitutional reform will be far more challenging. “How Ukraine intends to control its borders, how much Russia is willing to allow it and actually pull back, is politically still open.”

Maigre said the sanctions against Russia, and the US threat to hand weapons to Ukraine, are working. “There is pressure on Moscow and I believe they have yielded results and forced Putin to restart talks, travel to Minsk and give even the slightest concessions,” she added.

Editor: J.M. Laats