Judging by the reports in Russian propaganda media, today Minsk hosted a meeting of representatives of the so-called "LPR-DPR" and those of the Alternative for Germany party.
The meeting was organized with direct participation of Vladislav Surkov and Russian intelligence services as part of a large-scale campaign to legalize pseudo-republics in the international arena.
"LPR" and "DPR" were represented by heads of the respective "foreign ministries" of said quasi-entities, V. Deinego and N. Nikonorova.
The main goal of these negotiations is to outline specific tactical steps to include the issue of Donbas settlement in the agenda of European organizations, especially the Council of Europe.
Besides, the parties to the meeting claim, it will allow outlining the sequence of steps and, with the support of the West and its political establishment, finally provide much-needed progress in resolving the Ukrainian issue in the light of the decisions of December's Normandy Summit.
I'll disagree here because the event is seen, above all, as a deliberate move, a kind of response to Putin's extremely unsuccessful performance in Paris within the framework of the Normandy format".
Indeed, other participants in the Paris talks showed no will to discuss, let alone push Ukraine on the issue of "gas transit". Apparently, in the near future Moscow will have to agree to Kyiv's conditions. However, the ky point in the Kremlin's agenda was to try to create conditions for the start of direct talks between Ukraine government and the pseudo-authorities of the unrecognized republics.
It did not work out either. Also, Putin failed to settle with Angela Merkel on another issue fundamental to Moscow, albeit less important. It's about a pressing and rather awkward issue of Russian intelligence operation to assassinate Mr Khangoshvili in central Berlin.
These failures piled up, resulting in Putin being close to an actual nervous breakdown, which was clearly manifested during a joint presser by his tone and response to a German journalist's question in the issue.
At the same time, since the Kremlin mistakenly believes that Ukraine is the "key" to solving all their problems, or rather, the recognition by Kyiv of the annexation of Crimea and consent to the reintegration of the occupied territories of Donbas, Vladislav Surkov, immediately after Putin returned to Moscow, organized that weird meeting in Minsk, which, according to the idea of the Kremlin manipulators, should have resonated internationally and help portray “DPR” and “LPR” as valid actors.
Most likely, it will put these quasi-entities in international focus, but with the negative connotation.
It seems like the AfD, which, according to The Insider, is closely affiliated with the Kremlin and the Russian GRU, now has to compensate for it's failures in the Bundestag during the November attempts by Russia to “neutralize” the Nord Stream 2 load limitation to 50%.
After such a fail, they were probably ready to meet with the devil, let alone puppet authorities of the occupied Donbas.
The mechanisms for raising the subsequent “information wave” are also generally understood: the word “alternative” will disappear from the name of the German party in Russian media reports. It will go as something like this: "German politicians are negotiating with representatives of Donbas".
The goal is no secret: to create a favorable background for exerting pressure on Ukraine through “direct negotiations” between Kyiv, Donetsk and Luhansk, which, if they start, will raise the issue of the West lifting sanctions off Russia.
Despite the fact that there really are quite a lot of supporters of “resuming economic cooperation with the Russian Federation,” it’s worth recalling that the Kremlin has already tried to implement an absolutely similar campaign regarding representatives of the so-called “government” of the annexed Crimea, but no one shook their hands in the West anyway.
Thus, for some reason, it seems that this meeting is unlikely to "create a real basis for the success of the new meeting of the Normandy Four leaders in March-April 2020, while the implementation of the Minsk Agreements will move forward."
Rather, this process is reminiscent of “working for the sake of work,” as Putin is not in his best mood these days so he can snap at someone, with Surkov being one of the main potential targets. After all, he flunked his Ukraine test, while his replacement in the face of the Kozak-Babich group is already out there.
That is why Surkov and GRU's suffering in Minsk are likely to have little effect, because the meeting was most likely held amid a “sense of self-preservation”, rather than to achieve a real result. Meanwhile, no one is even talking about the potential loss of reputation for “Alternative for Germany” or "independent ministers" as their reputation is zero - whatever the Kremlin tells them, they do.
Meanwhile, German counterintelligence should finally take a closer look at the GRU nest in Germany.