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21 Jun, 2014 03:42

Ukraine peace plan: ‘Poroshenko’s PR move in a form of ultimatum’

Ukraine peace plan: ‘Poroshenko’s PR move in a form of ultimatum’

​Ukrainian leader’s 15-point peace plan is in fact a demand for unconditional surrender, under a threat of extermination, Mark Sleboda, Moscow State University’s international relations expert, told RT.

RT:Let’s start off with Poroshenko declaring the ceasefire. Some of his statements haven't really come to fruition, so how are we to believe this one, particularly where civilians are concerned, will happen?

Mark Sleboda: We already had several declarations of ceasefire throughout the past week by various political forces and military forces on the ground. And during all this time, the artillery never stopped shelling, the paramilitary forces never stopped advancing and there is no reason to believe that this should be any different.

In fact, there are already some reports from the ground that mortar fire on positions of the Donetsk and Lugansk military forces has already resumed.

RT:So basically what you are saying is - so far no?

MS: No. No. I think this declaration of a ceasefire is merely a PR move by the Poroshenko regime in the run up. It is no surprise that the declared ceasefire ends on the day that Poroshenko is supposed to sign the EU Association Agreement.

RT:Let's talk about the talks between the Kiev-appointed authorities and the eastern regions. It is not proving to be very constructive, them ignoring the anti-government movement leaders there or is it?

MS: It is a little bit of Orwellian double speak to call this a peace plan, and I'm a little bit disappointed that any Russian media network would call it a peace plan, without at least putting it in quotes. Peace is by definition is negotiated and Poroshenko has already declared that there will be no negotiation with the political and militant leaders on the ground in the eastern Ukraine. So this is not a peace plan. This is an ultimatum, a demand for the unconditional surrender, under promise of extermination.

People wait for a bus to leave the eastern Ukranian city of Slavyansk (Reuters / Shamil Zhumatov)

RT:So talk about the plan. It includes the decentralization of power, early elections, protection of the Russian language, isn't it going to appease the various types of activists who are looking for more right now?

MS: Even three months ago these would have not satisfied their grievances. Promises guaranteeing the rights of the Russian language is what they already had before this putsch regime seized power and started to take away the Russian language rights from the people.

This decentralization is not clearly defined but what we have seen so far is that it only includes local executive committees. The governors would still have the right to be overruled and appointed by Kiev. So there really is no decentralization in this agreement and there is no greater protection for Russian language use than already has existed.

RT:The Russian UN ambassador believes that other UN members are almost stalling this humanitarian resolution on Ukraine proposed by Moscow. So why would they do that?

MS: They have backed this government before it was in power. In fact they have supported and helped orchestrate the riots, the regime change that brought it to power. And they have defended it slavishly, ignoring all the details of the massacres and what amount to an ethnic cleansing campaign and state terror campaign on the ground. There is no way that they are going to allow a UN resolution which would dent the reputation of the regime which they have supported to pass in the Security Council.

RT:Are you at all optimistic that Poroshenko can actually restore peace with his plans?

MS: I think this is not the intention of the plans at all. The intention of the plan is to insure as swift and as thorough a military victory as possible. That is what this document says. This document is in no way, shape or form a peace plan. It is an ultimatum and a promise of further military force.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.