The fundamental differences on the ground in Ukraine remain – even following the Geneva agreement-The pro-Russian groups on the ground interpret the Geneva agreement differently that the interim government in Kiev. CCTV’s Nathan King reports from Washington D.C.
Fundamental Differences Remain in UkraineThe fundamental differences on the ground in Ukraine remain – even following the Geneva agreement-The pro-Russian groups on the ground interpret the Geneva agreement differently that the interim government in Kiev. CCTV's Nathan King reports from Washington D.C.
Pro-Russian leaders in the East say the ultra nationalist groups that continue to occupy buildings in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev should vacate those first. One right-wing group, the “Right Sector” has held onto buildings since Viktor Yanukovych was ousted on February 22nd . Russia too has called for this to happen.
Complicating matters is that the pro-Russian groups in Eastern Ukraine also do not recognize the interim government in Kiev and are asking those leaders to resign before stepping back from their barricades. The pro-Russian militias maintain that Kiev is suppressing the rights of the Russian-speaking minority in Ukraine.
Russian officials, meanwhile, are verbally taking a hands-off approach this weekend saying the crisis should be solved internally by Ukrainians themselves. A mediator from Europe’s O-S-C-E security body headed to eastern Ukraine on Saturday to pursue a surrender of pro-Russian supporters in Kiev. Russian Foreign Ministry officials say they are prepared to offer, as yet, unspecified support.
Moscow, however, is also now confirming that military units have been deployed to the Ukrainian border in response to instability inside the country – Moscow says Russian troops have the sovereign right to move anywhere within Russian territory and are not there to intimidate Kiev.
And, as mentioned, U-S Vice President Joe Biden visits Ukraine this coming week- Biden’s trip comes as we also expect an announcement from the Pentagon on the deployment of extra troops to NATO-ally Poland. Warsaw had asked for thousands of U-S troops – there will probably be a few hundred- more joint exercises are being planned for Eastern Europe to reassure NATO nervous allies- but, of course, all this is far to the north of the crisis in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, led by the U-S…Western powers say further sanctions will follow unless Moscow can convince the pro –Russian forces to vacate occupied buildings – U-S National Security Advisor Susan Rice declared Friday, quote: “Those costs and sanctions could include targeting very significant sectors of the Russian economy.”
As Easter Sunday begins in Ukraine there is no peace or war just an uneasy standoff with none of the underlying problems resolved.
Elections looming on May 25th- Russia’s stated goal — after the union of Crimea with the Russian Federation last month — are to secure as much autonomy for regions — in the east and south of the country — that have significant Russian-speaking minorities. Presumably that would secure the “rights” of the Russian speakers while also retaining Russian influence over this key economic region of Ukraine.
For the West the endgame would be a return of Ukraine just as it was after Former President Yanokovych fled- A Ukraine defined by its 1991 borders which would include Crimea and the successful holding of May 25th elections and a new constitution.
Economically, of course, Ukraine is a basket case-on the edge of bankruptcy-and unpopular reforms to right the economy will face whatever government takes hold in Kiev next.
Finding a resolution to the Ukraine crisis is proving to be an enormously difficult task. Pro-Russian demonstrators continue to defy an international agreement reached earlier this week, calling for them to lay down their weapons and vacate buildings they’ve seized. What will it take to end this crisis? For more analysis, Former U-S Ambassador to Belarus and Georgia, Kenneth Yalowitz joins CCTV’s Asieh Namdar to discuss this on-going issue.