The Ukraine peace deal doesn’t look too bad on paper:
Guns would fall silent, heavy weapons would pull back from the front and Ukraine would trade broad autonomy for the east to get back control of its Russian border by the end of 2015 under a peace deal hammered out Thursday in all-night negotiations between Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany.
“Jaw-jaw being better than war-war,” of course but this deal gives Putin most of he wanted — Ukraine cedes much of its national sovereignty to Russian-majority enclaves in the east. What does Kyiv get in exchange? Less:
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said there was no agreement on autonomy or federalization for eastern Ukraine, a longtime demand of Russia, which wants that to maintain its leverage over Ukraine and prevent its neighbor from ever joining NATO.
The deal, however, requires the Ukrainian parliament to give wide powers to the eastern regions as a condition for restoring Ukraine’s full control over its border with Russia — a provision certain to trigger heated debate in Kiev.
Uncertainty remained even on the cease-fire, as Putin admitted he and Poroshenko disagreed on the situation at the government-held town of Debaltseve.
It will be nice if, even temporarily, you have fewer people dying in Ukraine. Mostly what you have here in this agreement though is enough ambiguity to drive an armored maneuver brigade through.
Putin will be back for more.