Distributing Russian passports on a mass scale to foreign nationals in a war zone is not the way to peace. If Putin really wants to help the residents of Donbass, then we must stop the war with Ukraine. This will ensure the real and long-term safety of the inhabitants of the region.
It is necessary to do the following:
- Withdraw all Russian “vacationers and militias” and all units of the Russian armed forces from Donbass. Immediately stop military, financial, diplomatic and other support for the separatist forces and movements operating on the territory of Ukraine.
- Contribute in every way to the international peacekeeping forces in terms of ensuring the security of the population in Donbass.
- Abandon the policy of “limited sovereignty” in relation to Ukraine. Not to interfere with the European choice of Ukraine.
- Immediately stop stirring up hatred towards Ukraine and propaganda of war in the Russian state-owned media.
- Conduct an exchange of prisoners on the “all for all” principle and declare an amnesty.
- Offer a form of international custody over the “territories of Donetsk and Lugansk regions with a special order of local self-government” on the basis of the institute of international custody provided for by Chapter 12 of the UN Charter using the experience of the Dayton Agreements of 1995 and the agreements on the status of Saar of 1954.
- Conclude a special multilateral (Ukraine, Russia, Germany, France, the USA and the EU) agreement on the temporary status of the “territories of Donetsk and Lugansk regions with a special order of local self-government” under the auspices of the UN Security Council, according to which all powers in these territories are transferred to international authorities, legal proceedings, law enforcement and border controls are carried out by representatives of the countries participating in the agreement.
- Demilitarise the entire Donbass region and the adjacent territories.
- Develop and introduce a “special economic zone” regime based on a combination of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU and the renewal of the Agreement on the CIS Free Trade Zone. Form special funds of economic assistance for the restoration of the economy and social sphere of the region.
- After the recognition by all the parties of the agreement of the fact that all the necessary conditions ensuring safety and normal life of the population have been created, the entire territory of Donbass will be transferred to full control of Ukraine.
This – the end of the war and ensuring the security of peaceful inhabitants of Donbass (rather than distribution of [Russian] passports) – will be the real path to peace. The “Resolution of the Situation in Donbass: Ten Points” plan could be the basis for discussion on the return of peace to the east of Ukraine. The main thing is that all parties and intermediaries – Russia, Ukraine, the United States and the European Union – take part in this discussion. As for Russian passports for residents of Donbass, the simplified procedure for issuing documents is relevant only in the case of refugees who have expressed a desire to live permanently in Russia, and only in the territory of the Russian Federation.