Assuming it doesn't unravel — a big assumption — the agreement on the future of Ukraine announced Thursday is preferable to the continuation of a conflict in which 5,000 people have died and nearly a million have been displaced. The deal, negotiated by Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany, calls for a "comprehensive" cease-fire and envisions a political settlement that would preserve Ukraine's territorial integrity while granting some autonomy to pro-Russian regions of the country.
The U.S. welcomed the agreement, but Secretary of State
It's crucial that all parties to this agreement abide by its provisions, which also include the withdrawal of heavy weapons, amnesty for separatists and new political arrangements, beginning with interim self-rule for areas in Donetsk and Luhansk. From the standpoint of Ukraine's sovereignty, the most important provision is the requirement that foreign troops be withdrawn. Bizarrely, Russia agreed to this provision even as it continued to maintain that its forces never crossed into Ukraine.
Even if this agreement succeeds, questions will linger about whether Russian President
If Russia is now willing to cease its military subversion in Ukraine in exchange for autonomy for pro-Russian regions, that's a positive development. It is also, arguably, a vindication of economic sanctions. But, as German Chancellor