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Long Ukraine talks end with peace deal

Long Ukraine talks end with peace deal
The deal was full of potential pitfalls, however, that could derail its implementation. In announcing the plan, Russia and Ukraine disagreed over what exactly they had agreed to in marathon 16-hour talks, including the status of a key town under rebel siege.

Russian president Vladimir Putin told reporters the agreement envisages a ceasefire that will be effective starting from the start of the day Sunday as well as a special status for the rebel regions, provisions on border controls and humanitarian issues.

Ukraine president Petro Poroshenko said there was no agreement on any autonomy or federalization
for eastern Ukraine, a longtime demand of Russia that wants it to maintain leverage over its neighbor and prevent it from ever joining Nato.

The deal, however, requires the Ukrainian parliament to give wide powers to the eastern regions as a condition for restoring Ukraine’s full control over the border, a provision that would be certain to trigger heated political debate in Ukraine. 

The agreement is a complex compromise that allows both Russia and Ukraine to claim victory, but it’s full of potential pitfalls that may derail its implementation.

Uncertainty remained even regarding the declared cease-fire, as Putin admitted that he and Poroshenko disagreed on assessing the situation in a key flashpoint, the government-held town of Debaltseve.

“We now have a glimmer of hope,” said German chancellor Angela Merkel, who brokered the talks in the Belarusian capital together with French president Francois Hollande. “But the concrete steps of course have to be taken, and we will still face major obstacles. But on balance I can say that we have achieved gives significantly more hope than if we had achieved nothing. So one can say that this initiative was worth it.”

Agencies

Agencies

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