France, Germany Tell Ukraine to Cooperate with Putin

Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin / AP

Leaders in France and Germany pushed Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to accept a plan requiring him to cooperate with Vladimir Putin during a meeting in Paris last week.

The plan was developed for the meeting by French diplomat Pierre Morel, and Poroshenko was prepared to dismiss it in the negotiations with French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Putin Friday. The Ukrainian president planned to call on Russia to obey the Minsk ceasefire agreement, cancel elections in areas controlled by Russia-backed rebels, and relinquish control of Ukraine’s eastern border by the end of 2015.

However, Bloomberg reported:

After five hours of talks in the Elysee Palace, the Morel plan was imposed on Ukraine in a form more beneficial to Putin. First, Ukraine must design the special election law in consultation with Moscow and the separatists. Then, it will have to pass it and amnesty the separatist leaders so they can run for local legislatures. In 80 days’ time, after the passage of the law, the election should be held. Then, if international observers declare it acceptable, Ukraine is supposed to regain control of its border with Russia.

The plan would therefore require Poroshenko to get Ukraine’s parliament to accept election legislation approved by Russia, a likely near impossible feat. Otherwise, Russia appears poised to retain control of the eastern border of Ukraine.