Talks Unlikely After Ukraine Bars Protester Involvement

Russia: Talks Pointless Without Opposition

Pushes for a new round of peace talks amid escalating violence in eastern Ukraine seem to be hitting a brick wall, with Ukraine refusing to allow any involvement of the eastern protest movement in the talks, and Russia ruling out participating in any talks without them.

Ukraine’s interim government insists it is unnecessary to allow the protesters to attend the conference, on the grounds that as the (interim) government it “already represents all the people of Ukraine,” including apparently the ones their military is killing.

Russian officials insist there is no point in the talks without the protesters’ involvement, and that they would amount to just going around in circles. The last round of talks, which similarly didn’t include the protesters, ended with a call to end the protests. The protesters didn’t, and everyone blamed Russia, insisting that with the protesters dominated by ethnic Russians, the Russian government theoretically could order them to stop.

The last round of talks didn’t change anyone’s position, and instead they all issued a joint statement that every nation involved interpreted as supporting their existing stance, with the interim Ukraine government arguing the call to end tensions in the east was essentially international permission to invade and “liquidate” the protesters to restore order.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.