The EU threatens more sanctions on Russia unless Russia meets three verifiable demands. One of the demands is reasonable, the other two aren’t.
For starters, the EU wants Russia to halt the flow of weapons into Eastern Ukraine, and it wants that process verified. That appears to be a reasonable demand.
Secondly, the EU demands pro-Russia militants return control of Izvarino, Dolzhanskiy and Krasnopartizansk (three border checkpoints) to Ukraine. The militants refuse to surrender, arguing that theirs is now a sovereign state.
Returning control of three Ukrainian checkpoints is an unreasonable, if not idiotic demand on Russia. Short of invading Ukraine and taking over the checkpoints, there is absolutely no way for Russia to comply with the resolution.
Finally, the EU demands “launch of substantial negotiations on the implementation of President Poroshenko’s peace plan”. Once again, Russia is not in control of militants who may or may not wish to negotiate anything.
Of the three demands, the Financial Times reports the first has been met as Moscow Makes Last-Minute Concession to Ukraine on Border Controls.
“President Vladimir Putin has proposed that Ukrainian border guards be granted access to those crossing points from the Russian side as observers for joint control of the border, and that observers from the [Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe] also be admitted to those crossing points from the Russian side,” said Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov.
“We hope that this initiative of the Russian president will allow all responsible parties to take a decision to extend the ceasefire, to extend the truce,” Mr Lavrov said.
Russia agreed to the first demand after “Vladimir Putin discussed the crisis by telephone with Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel and President François Hollande of France and Petro Poroshenko, their Ukrainian counterpart.”
At this point, there is little else Russia can do, and it would be very unreasonable to impose more sanctions on Russia for a situation in Ukraine that Russia has no fundamental control over.
Anyone but a bureaucrat under heavy influence of US meddling would rapidly come to that conclusion, but don’t count on it.
In politics, stupidity frequently trumps common sense.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock