It’s _extremely_ early, but it looks like the Geneva ‘statement’ by the US/EU/’Ukraine’/Russia is not moving forward from words to actions. The building and square occupiers, the pro-referendum forces, have not moved, and Kiev has not made any conciliatory moves: no announcement of negotiations with the eastern rebels, or that there will actually be a referendum on federation.
I am not a fan of the deal anyway, which seems mainly directed at disempowering the eastern Ukraine ‘occupiers’ and thereby normalizing the coup government, which will be further normalized and legitimized if the May 25 general election goes through (without a simultaneous federation vote). All of this benefit to the coup side without any concrete requirements placed upon them.
But, if the only hope for an anti-Western-empire and pro-Ukraine win is that this ‘deal’ fails, then, as I said in paragraph one, there is definitely plenty of that kind of hope:
If we should leave our buildings then everyone should leave their buildings. [Oleksandr] Turchinov and [Arseniy] Yatsenyuk should also leave the buildings they occupied illegally.
– Denis Pushilin, chair of the Donetsk People’s Republic
The commenter below also locks onto what matters in the second paragraph below. Where are the guarantees in the Geneva statement? Nowhere. There’s ‘talk’ of a referendum being prepared but no action. There’s no trust and there shouldn’t be any in an agreement without any specifics and no movement toward concrete negotiations and mutual trust. And yeah, it would be a sign of trust if representatives of the eastern Ukraine were invited to sit down as equals with coupsters and work out a _concrete_ agreement with specifics and a speedy _timetable_!
We watched [Russian Foreign Minister Sergey] Lavrov, we are quite happy with what he has said. But the Ukrainian side has interpreted the agreements in an absolutely different way.
It will not take long to disarm, to dismantle the barricades – but where are the guarantees? [The Kiev authorities] need to reach out to us. The talks of preparing a referendum – we still see no steps in this direction. We need to trust each other, for that we need to sit down at the negotiation table – but no one has so far invited us to talk.
– Anatoly Khmelevoy of the local Communist Party (KPU) in Slavyansk
All of the following is very interesting. It is very good that Pushilin makes a point of disarming the National Guard, which the Kiev coupsters likely will claim is not an ‘illegal armed group’. (In fact, the ability to claim that ‘legality’ was likely/obviously the reason that that Svoboda and Right Sector infested group was created, and another reason the Geneva statement reads as it does.):
The self-proclaimed Donetsk Republic meanwhile said it will not follow the treaty’s calls until Kiev starts doing so. Speaking to Itar-Tass, the republic’s chair, Denis Pushilin, said that the Kiev authorities are “refusing to pull back the troops from the territory of the Donetsk Region, and in those conditions it is impossible to talk of compromise.”
Kiev “must vacate the seized buildings, disarm the illegal armed groups – the National Guard and the Right Sector – and free all the political prisoners,” Pushilin stressed. “After that, we will be ready for dialogue.”
However, speaking to journalists on Friday, the coup-imposed Ukrainian foreign minister said that Kiev activists do not have to quit Independence Square (Maidan) because it has been occupied “legally.”
Deshchytsa stressed that the amnesty law for eastern Ukrainian protesters, which Kiev says has already been tabled for a vote in the Ukrainian parliament (the Verkhovna Rada), will only be applied after “complete disarmament” of the protesters in the region and total vacation of administrative buildings.
So it’s a “you go first” deal from both Deschytsa and Pushilin. Good, because lack of trust will surely make Geneva a dead ‘statement’. Respect to the occupiers. Hold fast or the EU/IMF/US/NATO win.
P.S.: In much shorter form, this was originally a comment at moonofalabama.