Ukraine crisis: Geneva talks produce agreement on defusing conflict
US, Russia, Ukraine and EU agree measures including end of violence, disarming of illegal groups and amnesty for protesters
The US, Russia, Ukraine and the European Union have agreed a plan aimed at defusing the gathering conflict in eastern Ukraine.
At a meeting in Geneva which began with low expectations but led to seven hours of intense negotiations, foreign ministers agreed a series of "concrete steps" to be taken by all sides.
"All sides must refrain from any violence, intimidation or provocative actions. The participants strongly condemned and rejected all expressions of extremism, racism and religious intolerance, including antisemitism," the joint statement said.
"All illegal armed groups must be disarmed; all illegally seized buildings must be returned to legitimate owners; all illegally occupied streets, squares and other public places in Ukrainian cities and towns must be vacated."
The constitution is also to be revised in a process that is "inclusive, transparent and accountable".
The US Secretary of State, John Kerry said the agreement "represents a good day's work" but would have little meaning if it was not followed by action on all sides to calm the situation. He said if the US and EU did not see progress, new sanctions would follow.
"Over the next few days, over the course of this weekend and the earliest part of next week, some of these steps have to be seen and be evident," Kerry said. "None of us leaves here with a sense that the job is done because of words on a paper."
Ukraine crisis: Geneva talks produce agreement on defusing conflict | World news | theguardian.com
Is this the end? The west accepts Crimea is Russian and Russia realises it's opening a can of worms? Or a meaningless band-aid?
Re: Ukraine crisis: Geneva talks produce agreement on defusing conflict
Basically, so far, this is the EU, USA and Ukraine giving in to Russian pressures in exchange for trivial concessions on Putin's part.
Unless putin comes out and condemns, vigorously, the activity of pro-russian separatists in Ukraine, this won't end here or soon.