The proposal of the Duma faction of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation to appeal to the president on behalf of all deputies regarding the speedy diplomatic recognition of the LPR and DPR at first aroused interest only among the politicized online community. On January 19, on the eve of the meeting between Lavrov and Blinken, largely devoted to the topic of Ukraine, no one wanted to take seriously the initiative of the “Moose Hunters Party”, which decided to take part in a serious matter.
The Communist Party of the Russian Federation, not for the first time in the last 20 years, loudly offered to show Kuzka’s mother to the side with which the Foreign Ministry is conducting difficult negotiations, and therefore no one expected a serious reaction to her speech. Even after the two other major “opposition” factions of the State Duma, the “SR” and the Liberal Democratic Party, almost immediately announced support for the communist project. But then, quite unexpectedly,
ER also spoke out: Vyacheslav Volodin noted the topic of the two unrecognized republics as important and said that later the draft of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation would be discussed with the heads of the Duma factions, and if it was deemed necessary, the appeal would be submitted to the Duma Council, which forms the current agenda chambers.
In other words, if at first many were inclined to think that the Communist Party, since it had been deprived of the opportunity to rehabilitate itself in the eyes of citizens on the topic of pensions, took up what was left, then in the end, some already began to suspect that everything was much more complicated. Moreover, the Russian-American negotiations are actually not over. We asked experts to dispel or confirm suspicions.
The first question we asked them to answer was whether the initiative of the communists had internal political background. And if the director of the Center for Political Analysis Pavel Danilin answered him with a firm “no”, then the director of the Progressive Policy Foundation, Oleg Bondarenko, said that for Russia the issue of recognizing the “Donbass” (LPR and DPR) is as much a domestic political issue as it is a foreign policy one, because that we are talking about “the protection of Russian people, many of whom are citizens of the Russian Federation.”
Oleg Bondarenko also expressed the opinion that this issue should be resolved without regard to the Minsk agreements:
– Yesterday (January 20) there was a wave in telegram channels with an emphasis that if Russia recognizes the LPR and DPR, then it will thereby withdraw from the Minsk agreements. But, you know, it doesn’t matter, these agreements have not worked for a long time. What’s the point of not working? The only expediency of recognizing or not recognizing the LPR and DPR should be to protect the interests of the citizens of the Russian Federation and Russians living there.
On the question of what, in fact, is the initiative of the communists, experts also hold different points of view. Oleg Bondarenko emphasizes that this is a natural continuation of the work of the party:
– The Communist Party of the Russian Federation, the communists have always supported the Donbass, and I do not know of another party that would send more humanitarian aid there than she does. They started doing it from day one. And from the first day there are a lot of their deputies. And it is quite natural that this initiative came from the Communist Party. So this is a completely logical continuation of the consistent policy of the Communist Party in relation to the protection of the Russian population of Donbass.
At the same time, Pavel Danilin points to the objective essence of the CPRF initiative:
– This is the creation of a good political tool just in case, an instrument of pressure. Given the situation that has been developing recently due to the actions of the United States, this element is not superfluous. Let it be not United Russia, but the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, but still it is a parliamentary party that made an appeal. This is a tool in the hands of Russian diplomacy. It is very important that it (the project of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation – author) exists, it has been fixed, it is known about it both abroad, and in Kiev, in particular.
To the question whether the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would be prevented by such participation of the Communists in the difficult process, the experts give a negative answer, but justify it in different ways. Pavel Danilin gives the following reasons:
– Firstly, this is a project of a party, albeit a parliamentary one, but still an opposition one. And we can say that we have different moods: both for the recognition of independence, there is also for inclusion, and there is a mood to leave the situation as it is, if Ukraine implements the Minsk agreements. “If you think that we can ignore public sentiment, you are wrong – we are a democratic country.” Therefore, I do not see how this initiative can complicate the activities of Sergei Lavrov.
Oleg Bondarenko, answering a clarifying question whether the initiative of the communists would be perceived as a kind of signal from the Russian side, says:
– The Americans will be perceived with hostility by any behavior of Russia, except for the surrender of their own positions. Those new sanctions packages that are being prepared by the Democratic Party will be accepted. The only question is when – now or in six months. To base one’s policy on the threat of sanctions is the lot of a weakling.
If the initiative of the communists really turned out to be a significant political tool, then why, given their alleged quarrels with the “power establishment”, and not “ER”, they were entrusted with such a serious matter? Experts answered this naive question in different ways.
– It’s a tool. They may or may not be used. And if this is introduced from the EP, then it will no longer be a tool, but a threat.
– Because United Russia focuses, on the one hand, on the president, and on the other, on the first number of its list (in the elections to the State Duma in 2021 – author) – Lavrov. It cannot act, in this sense, as a political party. Therefore, there is no need to talk about any EP initiative. Negotiations are underway, and they are being led by Lavrov. So they are, as it were, hostages of their electoral politics.
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