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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Farce Goes On: Europe Petitions Putin To Use Influence Over His Own Forces

In a phone call late Monday (February 16), German Chancellor Angela Merkel and  (I imagine a very reluctant) Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin to use his influence on the separatists to convince them to stop the fighting. After sitting 15 hours with Putin in Minsk, they surely recognized the futility and disastrous symbolism of going to Putin hat in hand. Merkel’s appeal was not effective. Putin’s response was to advise the Ukrainian troops to surrender, and today (February 18) Poroshenko announced the “orderly withdrawal” of Ukraine forces from the besieged city, after they incurred massive losses. In their wisdom, leaders of Germany, France, and (a reluctant) Ukraine again have scheduled a phone call with Putin, as if that will make a difference. Well, he might be more accommodating after achieving his military goals. I guess Merkel et al have not heard of “don’t shut the gate after the horse has bolted.”

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