Ukraine’s government and rebels are said to be close to finalizing a Russian-brokered ceasefire pact to end the ongoing eastern war, but President Obama is downplaying the chances of the pact taking place, and issuing demands of his own.
Obama insisted no deal was possible unless Russia “stopped pretending” that it isn’t in control of the rebels, and agreed to “stop meddling” in internal Ukrainian affairs.
The comments are in keeping with the administration’s narrative of the Ukrainian war, but issuing demands to Russia is still bizarre, since the US isn’t a party to the ceasefire, and Russia’s only involvement in it is as a broker, not a signatory.
Obama went on to insist that Russia isn’t serious about peace, though Russia has been trying to broker a Ukrainian ceasefire for months, and it has primarily been the US which has been pushing the Ukrainian government not to make any deal and to focus on a military victory over the rebels.
That had been the plan, but a recent rebel counteroffensive has the military losing ground in Ukraine’s east. President Obama is promising to see NATO counter what he called the “Russian aggression,” which is this case appears to be of a peacemaking nature.