Winston Churchill once said it was better to “jaw, jaw than to war, war.”
The great British statesman was right then, and he would be right now. Ukraine and Russian diplomats today announced a potential breakthrough in the standoff between the countries that well could have led to open warfare in eastern Europe.
The Hill reports, “Secretary of State John Kerry said the framework hashed out by foreign ministers meeting in Geneva would disarm separatist militants in eastern Ukraine and have them vacate the government buildings, streets and squares they have occupied. In return, the Ukrainian government has offered amnesty to all pro-Russian militants who lay down their arms, with the exception of those who committed capital crimes.”
The agreement comes after diplomats from the European Union, NATO, the United States, Russia and Ukraine haggled over a way out of the standoff that seemed to bring Russia and Ukraine to the brink of war.
Will it be implemented? Will the deal hold? Will both sides back off? Will there be an end to what’s been called the worst crisis since the end of the Cold War?
This is a potentially huge deal that strikes a blow for the power of diplomacy.
It remains to be determined what impact the economic sanctions may have played in bringing the Russians to the bargaining table.
The United States doesn’t want war. The Russians don’t want it. All that’s left is to talk to each other … and to keep talking until you get a deal done.