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The deal is doomed, Moscow says, as Ukraine starts an assault in the East. FP Situation Report vi email

   The NYT's Neil MacFarquhar and Alan Cowell this morning from Moscow: "The Kremlin said Friday that 'all hope' for an internationally negotiated settlement in Ukraine had been destroyed, hours after two Ukrainian helicopters were shot down as government forces launched an assault to dislodge pro-Russian separatists from the eastern city of Slovyansk.

    "A spokesman for President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, Dmitri S. Peskov, told news agencies that the 'punitive operation' against the separatists' eastern stronghold effectively had destroyed 'all hope for the viability of the Geneva agreements' negotiated in the Swiss city on April 17 by the United States, Russia, Ukraine and the European Union, which were intended to defuse the crisis. The agreements, which never taken deep root, had become increasingly frayed in recent days. Much of eastern Ukraine slipped beyond the control of the authorities in Kiev as militants took control of a string of official buildings and captured a German-led team of military observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe."

    "...The clashes on Friday seemed to sharpen the East-West confrontation. While the European Commission in Brussels said it was watching the situation in Ukraine with growing concern, the Russian Foreign Ministry urged Western powers to abandon what it said was a 'destructive' policy of support for the interim government in Kiev. 'This will allow a real process of de-escalation to begin,' the ministry said in a statement, according to Reuters. Russia's response to the clashes were in keeping with earlier efforts by the Kremlin to steer events in Ukraine while casting the authorities in Kiev, along with their supporters, as obstacles.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri May 2nd, 2014 at 09:54:39 AM EST

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