When he called for a cease-fire in Ukraine today, President Obama was not merely calling for something that inadvertently helps Putin cement his control on the “Donetsk Republic” through his proxies. Obama was calling for the exact same thing that Putin had already called for.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is calling for a ceasefire between pro-Russian rebels and Ukrainian government forces following the downing of a Malaysian passenger plane.
“Direct talks between the opposing sides must be established as soon as possible. All sides in the conflict must swiftly halt fighting and begin peace negotiations,” Putin said at a meeting with Russian Orthodox Church leaders, Reuters reported.
That went out several hours before Obama’s call for a cease-fire. President Obama followed it by calling for the exact same thing Putin had already called for.
Putin ought to be the man on the defensive here, not the man offering a policy that helps himself, and is then supported by the President of the United States.
I guess I’ll make the obligatory reference to “flexibility” at this point. Here’s the Russia Today clip of that moment. Russia Today is Putin’s mouthpiece in the West.
Either Obama knew that Putin had already called for a cease-fire, or he didn’t. Either Obama understood that a cease-fire helps Putin’s proxies keep the Ukrainian territory that they currently hold, or he didn’t.
Which would be worse? It’s hard to say.