The elusive peace Ukraine seeks still hangs in the balance dependent on Russian acceptance of terms of Ukraine sovereignty. And while remarkable overtures to peace have been offered by the Franco-German leadership, Kiev today warns of amassing pro-Russian rebels for further offensives on a strategic town and a city in eastern Ukraine, as Putin delays a commitment to peace until a phone call on Sunday.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel doubts that arming Ukraine holds any solution to the Russian fueled crisis in the former Soviet republic, yet, she remains uncertain that the advanced Franco-German plan for a political solution to the Ukrainian crisis would succeed.
As uncertainty over the future of Ukraine continues, Chancellor Merkel, along with French President Francois Hollande, made a trip to Moscow on Friday but left with just an agreement for more talks and a probably peace deal to be finalized by telephone on Sunday. Speaking at the Munich Security Conference in Germany earlier today, Merkel admitted:"...it is uncertain if it(a peace deal) will succeed."
On the other hand, with regards to not arming Ukraine, the Germany leader appeared surer. "...I believe that more weapons will not lead to the progress Ukraine needs. I really doubt that," Reuters news service quoted Merkel. "If it is true that it cannot be solved militarily, then I think we should focus our efforts on the other things," Merkel said. Reuters reported that Merkel observed: "There is already a large number of weapons in the region and I didn't see that this has been a military solution more likely."
There are large weapons in Ukraine and from casualty rates and gains of territory, most of the guns appear to be on the side of the Russian equipped pro-Russian rebels. And since cease fires have been made and have been broken before, and diplomacy advocated and rebuked from time to time, then what other solutions could there be to the Ukraine crisis aside from a combination of military and political actions in lieu of Putin's respect of Ukraine territory?
That Vladimir Putin seeks a considerable retention of a sphere of influence over much, if not all of Ukraine, is a fact. For Ukraine to survive continuous onslaughts of violent aggression, there must be a military component to the crisis. Left unarmed, Ukraine will fall to Putin's arms.
Failing any fears or concerns that post conflict Ukraine could see heavy weapons fall into the hands of extreme right wing Ukrainians, then to arm Ukraine must be rallying cry. Ukraine will cost Putin. An armed Ukraine will force Putin to a real political negotiating table. Barring a formidable armed defense of its sovereignty, uncertainty will continue in Ukraine at Putin's will and whim. Moreover, Ukraine sits as a unique laboratory into the means by which Russian aggression could be curbed in Europe and worldwide.