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Geneva fourpartite talks result in signed declaration – the “words are words”, hence, all eyes on implementation now


Geneva talks between Ukraine, Russia, EU and US foreign ministers produced a signed declaration, which calls for:

All sides refraining from the use of violence, intimidation, extremism and religious intolerance, including anti-Semitism;

All illegal armed groups to be disarmed, all seized buildings freed, all barricades removed;

Ukraine government commits to an amnesty to everyone excluding those found guilty of capital offences;

Ukraine government commits to immediately open an “inclusive, transparent and responsible” constitutional dialogue;

An OSCE special monitoring mission on the ground to undertake a special role in assisting in the implementation of de-escalation measures. EU, US, Russia will support the OSCE mission by providing additional monitors.
This is the first gesture at a tangible de-escalation effort since the Ukrainian crisis spiralled in late February. The arrangements are sensible and outline an adequate blueprint of an exit strategy for all the parties involved. However, a rapid and comprehensive implementation is hard to take for granted as i) representatives of the Ukrainian pro-federalisation political forces were not part of the talks yesterday, and ii) the timeline for the constitutional dialogue extends to 1 October, according to the decision of the Ukrainian government announced last night. Hence, it is yet to be seen whether these recommendations from the Geneva declaration will be heeded by the actual actors on the ground. Meanwhile, Ukraine yesterday introduced a ban on the entry of Russian men aged 15-60 years, citing a terrorist threat, and US President Obama approved supplies of more non-lethal equipment to the Ukrainian military.
Alexey Zabotkin
VTB Capital analyst


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