Ukraine Roundup

First up, SecState John Kerry:

As the humanitarian crisis in eastern Ukraine deepens, US Secretary of State John Kerry is in Kyiv to meet with the Ukrainian president. The question on the table is whether America is willing to send weapons to Ukraine to help fight pro-Russian rebels.

Ahead of the meeting President Poroshenko appeared confident that the US would deliver ‘lethal aid’.

“I don’t have the slightest doubt about the weapons supply to Ukraine from the United States and our other partners. We have to have the ability to defend ourselves. Because the reputation that Ukraine has, its authority, is a responsible position and we’re authorities of peace.”

But perhaps working at cross-purposes are our EU friends:

French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will travel to Ukraine with a new peace initiative Thursday.

Speaking at a news conference in Paris and describing the Ukrainian conflict as a war, Hollande said the two will go to Kiev and then head to Moscow on Friday with a proposal “based on the territorial integrity of Ukraine.”

“Given the escalation of violence in the past days, the chancellor and President Hollande are intensifying their months-long efforts for a peaceful settlement of the conflict in eastern Ukraine,” Steffen Seibert, Merkel’s spokesman, said in a statement.

Given the current situation in eastern Ukraine, “territorial integrity” is one of those diplomatic phrases which sounds nice, but means nothing.

Now the latest from Moscow:

Moscow is “seriously concerned” by discussions in the West about possible arms supplies to Ukraine which is battling a pro-Kremlin insurgency in the east, said foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich, adding that any decision could “cause colossal damage to US-Russian relations”.

We’re simultaneously pissing off the Russians while extending them an olive branch, without actually doing enough for Ukraine to make either the threats or the peace ploy accomplish anything.

You get the feeling the only one who has any idea what he’s doing is Vlad Putin?