Secretary of State John Kerry, who attended and represented the United States in a Geneva meeting, said that a deal to alleviate aggression in eastern Europe was an important step to help avert the outbreak of warfare. The agreement, made by Russia, Ukraine, the US and the European Union to ease the tensions in Ukraine after an extended meeting in Geneva, marks a positive milestone in a series of violent events surrounding the Ukraine crisis. The pact calls for the disarmament of all illegal armed groups and the reclaiming of all seized properties during the crisis.
Despite the growing violence in Ukraine, Kerry believes that negotiation can still work to prevent any further escalation of the problem.
It will be up to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to carry out the conditions of the pact. Meanwhile the US, Russia, Ukraine and European Union will supplement the OSCE with monitors to fortify the organization’s manpower.
United States President Barrack Obama considered the gathering of the parties to be a “glimmer of hope”. However, Obama insisted on a “wait-and-see” stand on Russia’s participation in calming the tension in Ukraine. He also added that even though the outcome of the agreement is uncertain, he hopes that diplomacy would help Ukrainians realize that what happens next is up to them.
John Kerry issued a cautionary to Russia stating that the US has clear evidence of how crucial Russia’s presence was in the conflict. According to Kerry, Russia still holds responsibility for organizing the pro-Russian demonstrators in eastern Ukraine, supplying them with weapons and leading them through their operations. However, the sanctions on Russia had been suspended due to their presence in the meeting.
During the Geneva gathering, government forces intensely collided with armed protestors. One demonstrator was killed in the town of Mariupol when pro-Russian protestors attempted to take the military base situated there.
Though the meeting was expected to last only a few hours, an understanding was made after seven hours. The primary purpose of the deal was to alleviate the tensions in Ukraine and provide the citizens safety.
The main points of the agreement were:
1. All illegal armed groups will be disarmed and all illegally captured buildings will be returned to their legitimate owners
2. Amnesty will be granted to those who participated in the demonstrations with the exception of those who have committed capital crimes
3. All sides must abstain from using violence
4. The OSCE will oversee the implementation of the agreement
5. “Constitutional reform would be inclusive, transparent and accountable”
However, according to the alliance’s secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the agreement did not cover the increasing of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border nor Nato’s presence in the Russian western border.
[Image from Ralph Alswang via Flickr]