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