Russian Peace Plan for Donbass Rejected by France and Germany

Western nations rejected and blocked Russian proposal that Ukraine puts an end to the bloody fighting in its eastern regions by sitting down with two self-declared breakaway republics, a new tranche of diplomatic documents shows.

In an effort to show that its diplomatic stance on talks over east Ukraine has been misrepresented, the Russian foreign ministry published on Wednesday a number of diplomatic cables it exchanged with Germany and France.

Tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine went from bad to worse recently over alleged Russia’s military build-up near the Ukrainian border, which Moscow dismissed.

The move was also in response to the “distortion” of Moscow’s position after Western media reported that the Kremlin had objected to holding a ‘Normandy Format’ meeting with representatives from Ukraine present to discuss Donbass situation.

France’s foreign ministry accused Russia on Nov. 9 of refusing to accept a ministerial meeting to discuss the conflict in eastern Ukraine with France, Ukraine, and Germany, but denied that it had failed to respond to Moscow’s proposals.

In response, Russia published the documents showing it had said in advance that foreign minister Sergei Lavrov could not take part in the proposed 11 November meeting.

In the first cable, dated 29 October, the Russian FM informed his German and French counterparts on Russia’s preparedness to join the Normandy format meetings, offering at the same time a draft resolution that described as an “internal conflict” the fighting between Kyiv’s forces and separatists in the east and proposing future talks between Ukrainian diplomats and leaders of the breakaway Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

In the joint letter, they sent to Lavrov on Nov. 4, the French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas stressed that Moscow’s proposal contains assessments unacceptable for Germany and France, such as the portrayal of the Ukrainian conflict as an “internal”, and noted they’re looking forward to meeting in person on 11 November.

Lavrov expressed his disappointment in a letter two days later and informed Le Drian that he already has other plans for 11 November.

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