It seems Russia really wants it to end this time, the war in East Ukraine that is. The most likely reason is that the Kremlin is out of money. At least Moscow is tired of spending money in a stalemate that is costing it dearly in terms of financial resources. With the price of crude oil breaking below $30 a barrel, this decision may be forced on the Kremlin by the financial markets.
The Associated Press reported this morning that negotiators in Minsk for the Trilateral Contact Group, the parties that put in place the current cease fire in East Ukraine, have decided to ‘enforce’ the February 2015 agreement.
Negotiators at the Ukraine peace talks have promised to make new efforts to enforce a shaky cease-fire in eastern Ukraine, an envoy said Wednesday.
Boris Gryzlov, a former speaker of the Russian parliament who has been named a Russian envoy, made the offer during peace talks Wednesday in the Belarusian capital of Minsk, and representatives from Ukrainian government and the pro-Russia rebels have backed his proposal, OSCE envoy Martin Sajdik said.
Sajdik said the parties agreed to try again to fully halt fighting between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russia rebels and discussed new efforts to exchange war prisoners.
Gryzlov, a member of Russia’s presidential Security Council, is seen as more influential than his predecessor, Mikhail Zurabov. His appointment has been interpreted by some analysts as a sign the Kremlin wants to intensify the talks.
The conflict in East Ukraine has killed over 9000 people since early 2014. Fighting has intensified in spite of the cease fire and Ukraine reports over 70 attacks on government troops leading up to the Minsk meeting.