Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Putin Outlines 7-Point Plan for Ukraine Cease-Fire

SEPT. 3, 2014

KIEV, Ukraine — On the eve of a NATO summit focused on Russian aggression, President Vladimir V. Putin unveiled on Wednesday a seven-point peace plan for Ukraine while President Obama and other Western leaders tried to keep the spotlight on the Kremlin’s role in stoking the conflict there and the penalties it should suffer for doing so.

Never at a loss for theatrical flair, Mr. Putin announced soon after arriving on a state visit to Mongolia that he had sketched out the plan in flight, brandishing a notebook page on which the first point was that both sides “end active offensive operations.”

But the plan seemed to raise more questions than it answered. First, there was no mechanism agreed for implementation. Second, just hours earlier the president’s own spokesman had repeated the Russian position, widely criticized as implausible, that Moscow could not negotiate a cease-fire because it was not a direct party to the conflict.

The timing of Mr. Putin’s announcement was lost on no one, however. The Russian leader managed to deflect some attention from President Obama’s speech in Tallinn, Estonia, where he made some of his harshest comments to date about the Kremlin’s armed intervention in Ukraine and hinted that NATO might now be willing to provide military assistance to Kiev.

(More here.)


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