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Lets hope this agreement can ease the dangerous tensions in the eastern and southern Ukraine, and help avoid the possibility of armed clashes or Russian military intwervention.

Ukraine crisis: Deal to 'de-escalate' agreed in Geneva

Their foreign ministers were speaking at the end of talks between Russia, Ukraine, the EU and US in the Swiss city of Geneva.

Analysts say the outline agreement could stay economic sanctions the West was preparing to impose on Russia.

Those economic sanctions must have caused Putin to reconsider pursuing his covert campaign to destabilize the eastern Ukraine. The economic costs to Russia could undermine Putin's popularity at home.
Following the Geneva talks, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Ukraine's Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsia, US Secretary of State John Kerry and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said there was agreement that all illegal military formations in Ukraine must be dissolved, and that everyone occupying buildings must be disarmed and leave them.

John Kerry: "The job will not be done until these principles are implemented"

Russia's Sergei Lavrov: Solution to crisis has to be found by Ukrainians
They added that there would be an amnesty for all anti-government protesters under the agreement, and talk of "inclusivity" - possibly a suggestion that suggestion that Russian-speaking areas of Ukraine might be granted more autonomy.

These steps will be overseen by monitors from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

This sounds like a clear path forward toward easing tensions with an effective mechanism to provide verification.

Some analysts think getting more autonomy for Ukraine's Eastern provinces and weakening Ukraine's central government was Putin's overriding goal all along. A Ukraine under a strong central government joining NATO is Putin's worst nightmare, and weakening Ukraine's central government makes a scenario where Ukraine joins NATO much less likely. Bur it remains to be seen what "more autonomy" will mean. I do expect the disturbing anti-Semitic proclamation in Donetsk will be rendered moot.


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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (18+ / 0-)

    "If Wall Street paid a tax on every “game” they run, we would get enough revenue to run the government on." ~ Will Rogers

    by Lefty Coaster on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 01:33:28 PM PDT

  •  Coming up with the extensive an agreement (6+ / 0-)

    seems to have be something of a surprise. The predictions that were being made was that the meeting wasn't expected to yield much in the way of immediate results. However, as President Obama pointed out the real proof will be in actions on the ground. I will join him in taking a wait and see approach.

  •  Sounds great...if a little too good to be true... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bear83, Lujane

    My worry is that Putin will in fact continue the same kind of covert activities he has been promoting since the Maidan protests began. The devil will be in the details of this plan...and his face will look a lot like Putin's.

    I think it is clear that Putin will continue to have masses of Russian troops ready to deploy at a moment's notice. His rubber stamp Duma already gave him authority to invade, and don't expect him to give up that open-ended power. Also, Crimea will not be returned.

    So, I see this primarily as a delay of the official Russian conquest of Ukraine.

    Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

    by tekno2600 on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 01:54:54 PM PDT

  •  Defacto giving Eastern Ukraine to Putin (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane, HeyMikey

    That's what that autonomy sounds like.  But frankly, we weren't going to go to war over Ukraine, and Putin was going to get it anyway, so Obama just saved a whole lot of Ukrainian blood.

    Queue war monger John McCain to go nuts on FOX and all the Sunday morning talk shows.  I hope the White House is prepared for the onslaught of the Right Wing propaganda machine.

  •  Mixed signals (4+ / 0-)

    "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

    by gjohnsit on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 02:00:15 PM PDT

    •  And (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OIL GUY, Lefty Coaster

      At the very same time the discussions were taking place, Putin was doing his annual audience for his adoring people. In that he asserted "his right" to go into Ukraine (and by extension anywhere else) with his forces to protect Russians.  

      "Come to Sochi, visit the gay clubs and play with the bears" - NOT a Russian advertising slogan.

      by Lib Dem FoP on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 02:45:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Terrific news! Hope it can work. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lefty Coaster

    I hope those who see Putin as the second coming of Stalin (or even Kruschev) can take a deep breath and let statesmanship work.

    How children dance to the unlived lives of their parents. Rilke

    by ceebee7 on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 02:46:10 PM PDT

  •  Ukraine and US sanctions - boloney (0+ / 0-)

    Once again, the US government is blustering and making emty threats vs Russia.  The US media and the Obama Administration have it all wrong regarding Russia's intentions for its former republics.  We have to admit that initially, it was our government officials that were personally lighting the fires of dissent in Kiev.  Now that it's broke, it cannot be made whole again.

    "Those economic sanctions must have caused Putin to reconsider pursuing his covert campaign to destabilize the eastern Ukraine. The economic costs to Russia could undermine Putin's popularity at home."

    Economic sanctions are silly and only make us look like the bully boy who believes it has the economic authority to dictate world economics.  

    We can make a difference in the world stage by not meddling.

  •  I hate to be a pessimist, but when it comes to: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    all illegal military formations in Ukraine must be dissolved,
    does this really refer to all of Ukraine, or just eastern Ukraine?

    just who decides which military formations are illegal and to be dissolved? once the decision is made, who is actually going to implement it?

    does this include the paramilitary arms of the right-wing parties Svoboda and Right Sector as well as the pro-Russian militias in eastern Ukraine?

    if so, does the Kiev interim-government have the determination or the power to carry it through? if it tries it might well be swept away within days by another right-wing coup

    if it doesn't why expect the militias in eastern Ukraine to do so?

    in other words, and in line with my acknowledged pessimism, I can see any effort to go beyond words and actually implement this as just as likely to bring Ukraine closer to civil war then not

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 03:07:29 PM PDT

    •  "civil war"--the BIG deal (0+ / 0-)

      Does anyone recall the breakup of the former Yugoslavia? The siege of Sarajevo? Kosovo? Srebrenica?

      The new government of Ukraine should've announced immediately that it would hold UN-supervised votes in all regions, letting them decide whether to stay with Ukraine, join Russia, or be independent. Whatever their economic assets are, they're not worth civil war. Better to have a smaller country with a government that is (a) minimally well enough respected among the people that there's no big risk of violent revolution, and (b) not so paralyzed by partisan division that nothing can get done.

      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

      by HeyMikey on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 04:00:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  ...this is good news...hope it happens... (0+ / 0-)

    Ignorance is bliss only for the ignorant. The rest of us must suffer the consequences. -7.38; -3.44

    by paradise50 on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 06:23:30 PM PDT

  •  Peace in our time! (0+ / 0-)

    waves paper

    "The Obama Administration has been an unmitigated disaster" - Osama Bin Laden

    by Explorer8939 on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 09:02:11 PM PDT

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