John Kerry arrived in Geneva for today’s crucial talks between top foreign ministers on the Ukraine crisis. Expectations of progress are low as diplomatic efforts appear to have fallen far behind the pace of events.
The US Secretary of State along with Ukraine’s foreign minister will be joined by counterparts from Russia and the EU. Kyiv has already made it clear what it wants:
“We want Russia to withdraw their troops from the eastern borders of Ukraine. We want Russia to not support the terrorist activities in the eastern regions of Ukraine. We want to confirm that Crimea is an integral part of Ukraine,” announced Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsia.
But judging by Wednesday’s UN meeting, opinions are already entrenched. Western ambassadors demanded an end to what they said was Russian propaganda on the escalating crisis. Russia’s representative to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin countered it with his view:
‘‘Some delegations express their understanding for the plans of the Ukrainian authorities to use force against their fellow countrymen. Well, the results are clear, Those who as a result of the forcible coup, who set up power in Kyiv, have chosen to ignore the demands of the inhabitants of the southeast.”
Meanwhile the US is planning to announce new sanctions punishing Russia for its actions in Ukraine as early as Friday in the likelihood of no big breakthrough in Geneva.