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Wednesday, August 27, 2014 3:47 AM


Ukraine Seeks Ceasefire Following 'Very Tough and Complex" Talks With Putin


On August 10, Ukraine said No Cease-Fire Until Rebels Surrender.

Things changed.

This just in ... On August 26, Reuters reported Poroshenko Seeks Ceasefire After 'Very Tough' Talks With Putin.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko promised after late-night talks with Russia's Vladimir Putin to work on an urgent ceasefire plan to defuse the separatist conflict in the east of his former Soviet republic.

The first negotiations between the two leaders since June were described by Putin as positive, but he said it was not for Russia to get into the details of truce terms between the Kiev government and two rebel eastern regions.

"We didn't substantively discuss that, and we, Russia, can't substantively discuss conditions of a ceasefire, of agreements between Kiev, Donetsk and Luhansk. That's not our business, it's up to Ukraine itself," he told reporters early on Wednesday.

Poroshenko, after two hours of one-to-one talks which he described as "very tough and complex", told reporters: "A roadmap will be prepared in order to achieve as soon as possible a ceasefire regime which absolutely must be bilateral in character."

Despite the positive tone, it remained unclear how the rebels would respond to the idea of a ceasefire, how soon it could be agreed and how long it might stick.

And with Putin insisting the details were an internal matter for Kiev, there was no sign of progress on a fundamental point of disagreement: Ukraine's charges that Moscow is sending arms and fighters to help the rebels, and Russia's adamant denials.

The leaders shook hands at the start of their meeting in the Belarussian capital Minsk just hours after Kiev said it had captured Russian soldiers on a "special mission" on Ukrainian territory.

In a televised statement at the start of the talks, Putin urged Poroshenko not to step up his offensive against the pro-Moscow rebels, and threatened to slap economic penalties on Kiev for signing a trade accord with the European Union that he said would squeeze Russian goods out of its market.

Poroshenko replied by demanding a halt to arms shipments from Russia to the separatist fighters.

In his comments after the meetings, Putin said the two presidents agreed to talks on a resumption of gas supplies to Ukraine, which Russia severed in mid-June in a dispute over pricing and debt.

"We need to resume our energy dialogue, including about gas problems. Sincerely speaking, this is a complicated issue, it has reached a dead end, but we still need to talk about it. We agreed to resume these consultations," Putin said.
What Changed? 

  • Ukrainian resolve?
  • Ukraine is bankrupt and the IMF made it clear it won't fund wars?
  • Rebels are now winning?
  • Ukraine finally realizes war is a losing game?
  • Russian sanctions starting to bite harder than Ukraine admitted?

It's hard to say what, but something changed. Most likely a combination of things.

It will be interesting now to see what demand the rebels place for a ceasefire.They wanted one on August 10. Do they want one now? At what price?

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com

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