The Way Forward in Ukraine

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
April 17, 2014
U.S., Russia, Ukraine, EU Hold Quadrilateral Meeting in Geneva

Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Geneva, Switzerland, on April 16-17 to participate in bilateral meetings and a multilateral meeting among the United States, Ukraine, Russia, and the European Union to discuss the ongoing situation in and around Ukraine.  

At the conclusion of the discussions, Secretary Kerry said, "...Diplomacy requires willing partners, and I...want to thank Minister Deshchytsia and also Minister Lavrov for their willing work in the course of today, their readiness to engage in a constructive dialogue. We worked hard, and we worked in good faith, in order to try to narrow what are real differences, some of them significant, and to find a way forward for the people of Ukraine that helps them in achieving their aspiration to live in a stable, peaceful, and unified democracy."

During the meeting in Geneva, the participants agreed on initial concrete steps to de-escalate tensions in Ukraine and restore security for all citizens.  In a joint press availability with European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton, Secretary Kerry outlined several of these initial steps.  The Secretary said, "...The parties agreed today that all sides must refrain from the use of violence, intimidation, or provocative actions. And we strongly condemned and rejected all expressions of extremism, racism, and religious intolerance, including anti-Semitism."

The Secretary continued, "We agreed today that all illegal armed groups must be disarmed, that all illegally seized buildings must be returned to their legitimate owners, and all illegally occupied streets, squares, and other public places in Ukrainian cities and towns must be vacated.

"The Government of Ukraine itself affirmed, and again today, that it will grant amnesty to protestors and to those who have left buildings and other public places and surrender weapons, with the exception of those people who are found guilty of capital offenses.

"We also agreed -- and I think this is a key part of what was focused on today -- we wanted to find concrete steps, not just words, but concrete steps that could be acted on immediately in order to defuse the situation. And so we agreed that the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, which is already on the ground, whose mission has already been defined and granted, that they undertake a special role in assisting Ukrainian authorities in local communities in the immediate implementation of the de-escalation measures, that they will do so wherever they are needed the most in the coming days. That means beginning immediately."

The Secretary concluded, "The Ukrainian Government has exhibited extraordinary patience and fortitude in the face of enormous challenges and pressure. They have asked their people to restrain themselves. They have purposefully assumed a nonviolent posture in the face of challenges that might have invited others to engage in violence. And the Ukrainian people now deserve a right to choose their own future. The international community remains firmly by their side as they travel the difficult, democratic path to prosperity and to peace."

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Ella V.
April 18, 2014
Mr. Kerry, it's not a good idea for the second day in a row to focus so much on those bizarre anti-semitic leaflets. They are so anachronistic, that nobody in Russia could not have possibly come up with this. They strongly convey the mentality and background of the idea's author , and it's not from those parts of the world. If it were for example Sen. McCain idea that would have made perfect sense. Just does not look good for US. Thank you. I am a Russian from Ukraine living in Canada for 20 years.
Eric J.
New Mexico, USA
April 18, 2014

Personally I think it may be premature to suggest that Mr. Lavrov could be said to have negotiated "in good faith" when he says one thing and Mr. Putin does another , completely opposite. One may hope the international; community has turned a corner on this crisis, and Mr. Putin has realized that his approach to realizing his ambitions for geo-political influence have backfired in his face. That there's a much better way to achieve a strong and respected Russia, than acting like a troll under the international order's bridge between nations, and threatening neigbors.

  If the basic definition of Terrorism can be defined as; "a tactic to gain political influence by threat, intimidation, and/or violent acts of agression to create fear in a population in order to gain control over them against their free will." -

  Then the course Mr. Putin has embarked Russia upon would meet that definition.

 Russia's support of Assad is simply an extention of that mindset, by proxi. Lending diplomatic and material support to a genocidal dictator making war upon his own population in order to control them , by attrition and terror.

  Is it any wonder therefore that Assad has been described as "a magnet for terrorism"?

 The real irony of Mr. Putin's actions in Crimea is that had he simply let the natual course of events manifest without forcing the issue, most likely thew Rada would have held a national referendum as part of constitutional reform regarding autonomy and a federalized system,  the people of Crimea may very well have (upon gaining autonomy), chosen to become completely independant of Ukraine, and perhaps ultimately in time chosen by their free will to join the Russian Federation anyway.

  Instead, through Mr. Putin's impatience and by forcing the issue, he has damaged Russia's standing in the world.

 As I conclude this latest chapter in the book; "The cure for Political Stupidity and/or How Not to go to war with America" ,  I hope I won't have to write an addendum to it which would include a blueprint for diplomatic "shock and awe" which would be far more devastating over the long term than any "sector sanctions" folks have contemplated placing on the Russian Federation..

  The fact that the US has just denied visa to an Iranian diplomat to the UN for being involved with an act of terrorism may provide the curious a "spoiler alert", to my thinking on this.


Roy N.
Arizona, USA
April 18, 2014
"The way forward for Ukraine" is this, in my opinion: Get Ukraine into NATO tomorrow!!! I don't know why it was not brought in the day after their release by the Soviet Union's collapse. Figure out the details later! This and my next point are the only ways to put a stop to Putin's actions to regain control of Ukraine. We will NEVER put a stop to his DESIRE to regain this control. The day after you get Ukraine into NATO, get it into the EU! Figure out the details later! I know the EU probably doesn't want only an imaginary line, a border, between them and Putin, but he needs to KNOW he is to STOP at the current border! Thanks in advance for achieving this very difficult goal! Roy Noggle
Arnold G.
United States
April 19, 2014
"The international community remains firmly by their side as they travel the difficult, democratic path to prosperity and to peace." Give me a break! They used violence to overthrow a democratically elected government. And now the IMF will sink its fangs into Ukraine. I don't foresee much prosperity and peace, under the circumstances.
Michael B.
United States
April 20, 2014
"Courage, above all things, is the first quality of a warrior." - Carl von Clausewitz PS: OSCE Special Monitoring Missions are LESS FUNCTIONAL than the UN forces - which are themselves totally non-functional.
Lisa M.
United States
April 26, 2014
Putin pushes European leaders (NATO members) not to get Ukraine into NATO - some of them already expressed their opposition to the idea. Since Europe is so weak - Putin will not allow Ukraine to get into NATO: he doesn't want to have NATO on his backyard. That was the main point why he chopped of Crimea.


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