Diplomacy? What diplomacy? might be many people’s reactions when observing the Ukrainian, Russian and assorted western government’s positions this week. It was a week that was supposed to see a de-escalation of the crisis in the wake of the 8-day-old Geneva Statement.
Ukraine’s prime minister certainly was not mincing his words on Friday: “The world has not yet forgotten World War Two, but Russia already wants to start World War Three,” said Arseniy Yatsenyuk, pausing ominously between each phrase.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also maintained his hard line putting the blame for the latest clashes firmly at Kyiv’s door: “They’re fighting with their own people. That is a bloody crime, and those who incited the army to do that will pay, I am sure, and will face justice,” he warned.
President Barack Obama, currently in South Korea, says he will be holding consultations with European leaders on Friday, and it is likely further sanctions against Russia will be on the agenda.
And in Germany, Russia’s leading European trade partner, Chancellor Angela Merkel has been on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin.