By The Economist at 11:26 AM 5/30/2020 (PDT)
After years of war, separatists in Eastern Ukraine may soon see some movement in the direction they have been pushing for the past six years. In the first session of the United Nations Security Council, delegates delved into a discussion on the possibility of granting semi-autonomy to the Eastern Donbass region of Ukraine. Semi-autonomy would allow eastern Ukrainians to create new ties with the Russian Federation, while remaining a part of Ukraine, similar to Greenland’s relationship with Denmark. Countries such as the United States, Estonia, and France were all ardent supporters of the solution, believing it would be the best solution for all involved. Others were more skeptical, and suggested gauging the opinion of Eastern Ukrainain citizens.
However, past votes cast by Ukrainian citizens on the possibility of independence have been disputed. Notably, in a previous independence referendum, Russian troops entered Ukraine prior to the votes being cast.
Russia, with a strong interest in this topic, claimed there was no need for semi-autonomy in Eastern Ukraine, stating that “there is no need for western affairs in Ukraine.” However, Russia eventually made a small concession, agreeing that with a referendum, granting semi-autonomy to East Ukraine may be a good solution.
Already a contentious conflict with little progress made in the past few years, the delegates of the Security Council must be careful in their deliberations and the solutions they come up with.
Interestingly, because they are not a current member of the Security Council, Ukraine was not asked on whether or not they would wish to allow their eastern region to secede from their country.
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