Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Ukraine/Russia/NATO: Update--Very Mixed Signals From Ukrainian Leadership

According to AFP, Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk on Wednesday (September 3) rejected a ceasefire plan unveiled by Russian President Vladimir Putin as an attempt to deceive the West about Moscow's real intentions.
"This latest plan is another attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of the international community ahead of the NATO Summit and an attempt to avert the EU's inevitable decision to unleash a new wave of sanctions against Russia," he said in a statement.
"The best plan for ending Russia's war against Ukraine has only one single element--for Russia to withdraw its troops, its mercenaries and its terrorists from Ukrainian territory."
COMMENT: PM Yatsenyuk's request couldn't be more transparent.
Presumably, the Ukrainian PM is less trusting of Vladimir Putin than is President Petro Poroshenko.
The PM's comments come despite Ukrainian President Poroshenko saying he and Putin had agreed on the peace plan aimed at ending the near five-month conflict in eastern Ukraine.
The proposal, detailed by Putin on the eve of the NATO summit in Wales opening on Thursday (September 4), is due to be discussed on Friday (September 5) by the so-called Ukraine Contact Group, which includes representatives of Kiev, separatist rebels, Moscow and the pan-european security body the OSCE.
NATO is planning a rapid reaction force of thousands of troops to reinforce its eastern flank, a move Russia says is evidence of the NATO's desire to aggravate tensions with Moscow. That being said, NATO is obviously less trusting of Vladimir Putin than President Poroshenko.