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Friday, April 18, 2014

The Louder They Come, the Harder … -- By Richard Fernandez, PJ Media

A surprise deal has been reached at the Four Party talks in Geneva, which the president touted as his diplomatic option. Nothing had been expected to come of the talks and the standoff had been predicted to continue. The Daily Telegraph reports that a decisive movement occurred instead.  ”Vladimir Putin has secured key concessions from Ukraine and its Western supporters as the Kremlin was offered a central role in determining the future of its neighbour and former client state.”

In return the West gets to send observers who can watch as Russian agents relinquish their hold on public buildings. The price: Russian say-so over the future of Ukraine.

Well, not really such a surprising deal.
If the agreement holds, a monitoring mission of the Organisation of Security and Co-operation in Europe would oversee the handover of occupied government buildings by protesters in return for an amnesty for anyone not facing capital crimes.
Ukraine’s interim government in turn agreed to accept future talks on far-reaching constitutional reform that would grant the Russian-speaking east the extensive autonomy demanded by the Kremlin. …
There was little detail however on how the parties could meet the challenge of persuading the pro-Russian protest movement to withdraw from public buildings as well as convince the anti-Russian militia groups in western Ukraine to accept Russia demands for all armed groups to disband.

The administration is selling the agreement as an Obama victory. The LA Times says Russia has avoided sanctions for now, as if Putin had just dodged the wrath of Obama. But the Times admits Russia gets to keep troops inside Ukraine.

The eight-paragraph statement offers few details on what changes are expected to come out of the national dialogue, only that it be “inclusive, transparent and accountable.”
It omits any mention of the 40,000 troops Russia has massed along Ukraine’s eastern border. U.S. and European officials have criticized the Kremlin deployment as an attempt to intimidate Ukraine.
As the diplomats met in the Swiss city, Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated what he called his nation’s right to send troops into Ukraine to protect ethnic Russians.
“We know quite well that we must do our best to protect their rights and help them independently decide their fate, and we will struggle for that,” Putin said during his annual call-in show at a Moscow studio.
In the four-hour live broadcast, he reminded the world that Russia’s parliament had authorized him to use armed force in Ukraine, although he said he hoped such a move wouldn’t be necessary.
Maybe they’ll eat the MREs that the administration provided to the Ukrainians as military aid.

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