For those who would like to know a little about the last few days at the Belarusian capital, here’s a summary of what went on at the Minsk meeting.
Negotiations between the four country leaders Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine’s President; Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel; French President Francois Hollande and Russian President Vladimir Putin began on Wednesday morning. They met in Minsk in order to settle an agreement regarding what’s been happening in Ukraine lately and all who are involved in the dispute.
The meeting lasted more than 17 hours. The foreign minister of Ukraine talked about how the whole event took place in a “difficult atmosphere”.
Over 500 journalists attended the peace summit, eagerly capturing participants’ every move. “Buckets of coffee” were consumed, representatives running back and forth, receiving documents and passing them forwards. Outside the negotiation room, journalists saw delegates opening maps of Ukraine for analysis. It was clearly an event that left everyone with damaged nerves.
Poroshenko was frequently seen worried while heading towards his appointed room in order to contact his military chiefs for battlefield updates.
When the clock stroke midnight, the journalists were announced that negotiations had collapsed and were told to head to the location where Poroshenko was preparing to give an urgent briefing. Only 30 minutes after the first event, press was told to return to the conference area as negotiations had restarted.
As discussions were still unfolding Thursday morning, it was getting obvious that Chancellor Merkel and President Hollande were becoming facilitators, travelling back and forth between rooms.
By the end of the marathon, Russian President Vladimir Putin Stated that this was “not one of the best nights of my life” but that he was glad morning came because “despite all the complexities of the talks, we managed to agree on the main thing”.
The Ukrainian President was however heard by journalists while speaking to Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko as he was talking about a “Russian dirty game”.
A short-term effect that resulted from this meeting was the rehabilitation of Belarusian leader Lukashenko who is considered a pariah by Western Europe due to his severe leadership. The United Stated even described him as “Europe’s last dictator”.
Image Source: BBC