Though no real agreements appear to have been reached, French officials dubbed today’s Paris talks, the first between NATO members and Russia on the Ukraine crisis a significant step “in the right direction.”
Much of the discussion centered around pressing Russia to recognize the “interim” government in Ukraine, installed after protesters chased President Yanukovych out of the country. Russia has yet to recognize them, insisting the new government was installed following an extra-constitutional coup.
The other Western demand was for Russia to order all Crimean troops back to their bases in a step toward ending the secessionist movement there. Russia spurned that demand out of hand, saying they don’t have the authority to order Crimean troops to do anything in Crimea.
The situation within the Crimea itself appears basically unchanged, with the autonomous region still moving toward a referendum on secession from the Ukraine.
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