Why not jettison the Minsk agreements?
The deficiencies of the Minsk agreements, and the consequent failure to implement them, have prompted calls for them to be abandoned and replacements negotiated. A variation on this is the suggestion that the authorities in Kyiv should simply cut ties with the DNR and LNR, which in this version cannot be reintegrated and are a costly burden on Ukraine.
These are dangerous arguments, which misread Russian intentions. There is no obvious reason why Russia would accept a course that amounted to relinquishing its central objective: imposing its conception of special status on Ukraine. The main effect of a unilateral Ukrainian decision to withdraw from the Minsk framework or to sever all links with occupied Donbas would be to remove any remaining diplomatic constraints on Russia, giving it a pretext to re-escalate the fighting. In addition, such a move might well splinter Western support for Ukraine, which would be left even more isolated. One analyst wisely counsels:
The Minsk Agreements have often been called into question by critics arguing that they disadvantage Ukraine and have failed to bring about an end to the conflict. But all relevant actors should remember how unlikely it is that a new agreement could be reached – still less a better one – and how dangerous it would be if there were none at all.