US, Europe Split on Ukraine Peace Talks

US Eyes Escalation of Civil War as France Proposes Settlement

Top European leaders French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have been making the rounds in Eastern Europe, stopping off in Ukraine and Russia in an effort to settle the ongoing Ukrainian civil war.

The efforts to come up with a deal to end the war aren’t sitting well with the US, which is considering arming the Ukrainian military to crush the rebels, and is continuing to talk up the crackdown as “self-defense.

The Obama Administration has made it clear they oppose any concessions to the eastern rebels, while France is pushing for the creation of a demilitarized zone and a pledge of more eastern autonomy.

Ukraine had a ceasefire in early September, which collapsed late last month. Both sides have blamed the other, but it is only now, with the resumed war going poorly, that Ukrainian officials are once again expressing support for the ceasefire.

The last ceasefire was supposed to lead to reforms that would give easterners a measure of autonomy, and guarantee rights for Ukraine’s ethnic Russian minority. The Poroshenko government didn’t follow through on that, however, and the US has expressed support for that.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.