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Why Did the Sanctions of the European Union not Make Russia Comply with the Minsk Agreements?

Student: Charles, marie, roger, joseph Billet

Supervisor: Anastasia Likhacheva

Faculty: Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs

Educational Programme: International Relations in Eurasia (Master)

Year of Graduation: 2019

The Ukraine crisis undoubtedly marks a history break in the relations between Russia and Ukraine. In March 2014, following the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation and its support to separatists in the Donbass (Eastern Ukraine), the US, the EU, and several other Western countries, imposed sanctions on Russia. The Western countries viewed the sanctions as a means of political leverage on Russia. They considered that it would be an efficient tool to condemn Russia for the annexation of Crimea, which is a violation of international law. These sanctions were considered to be also a way to push Russia into implementing the Minsk agreements, which is a document signed in Minsk in February 2015 by the representatives of Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany to end the war in eastern Ukraine and to settle this crisis by political means. Over the past four years, several ceasefires have been implemented but not always respected. Moreover, the political part of the Minsk agreements has not been implemented by the parties to the Minsk agreements. The sanctions have therefore not had the desired effect of forcing Russia to implement these agreements, although Ukraine also bears a share of responsibility for this situation, which is now at a standstill. The recent election of a new president in Ukraine creates perhaps a new momentum and provides an opportunity to revitalise the Minsk agreements and coerce Russia to implement them, if there is also a political move from Kiev because as the saying goes, it takes 2 to tango.

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