• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
4m 22s

Diplomats agree on way to ease tensions in Ukraine

By CBS/AP 10:11 AM April 17, 2014
GENEVA –

Top diplomats from the United States, European Union, Russia and Ukraine reached agreement Thursday on immediate steps to ease the crisis in Ukraine.

The agreement, reached after seven hours of negotiation in Geneva, requires all sides to refrain from violence, intimidation or provocative actions. It calls for the disarming of all illegally armed groups and for control of buildings seized by pro-Russian separatists during the protests to be turned back over to authorities.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters that in one eastern Ukrainian city notices were sent to Jewish people saying that they had to identify themselves as Jews.

“In the year 2014, after all of the miles traveled and all of this history, this is not just intolerable; it is grotesque,” Kerry told reporters.

Previously, members of the Russian Orthodox Church in eastern Ukraine had expressed worries that they would face discrimination from the new government in Kiev.

The agreement also gives amnesty to protesters who comply with the demands, except those found guilty of committing capital crimes.

Monitors with the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe will be tasked with helping Ukraine authorities and local communities comply with the requirements outlined in the agreement. And Kiev’s plans to reform its constitution and transfer more power from the central government to regional authorities must be inclusive, transparent and accountable – including through the creation of a broad national dialogue.

The tentative agreement could put on hold – for now at least – economic sanctions the West had prepared to impose on Russia if the talks were fruitless. And that would ease international pressure both on Moscow and nervous European Union nations that depend on Russia for their energy.

Russian President Vladimir Putin criticized the U.S. and its European allies for having what he called a double standard and said he hoped he would not have to deploy troops to Ukraine.

“Each time Russia takes these kinds of steps that are designed to destabilize Ukraine and violate their sovereignty, there are going to be consequences,” President Obama said Wednesday in an interview with CBS News. “Mr. Putin’s decisions aren’t just bad for Ukraine. Over the long term, they’re going to be bad for Russia.”

Ukraine was hoping to use the Geneva talks – the first of their kind over the crisis that threatens the new government in Kiev – to placate Russia and calm hostilities with its neighbor even as the U.S. prepared a new round of sanctions to punish Moscow for what it regards as fomenting unrest.

Meanwhile, Russia was honing a strategy of its own: Push the West as far as possible without provoking crippling sanctions against its financial and energy sectors or a military confrontation with NATO.

In a television appearance in Moscow on Thursday, Putin denied claims that Russian special forces were fomenting unrest in eastern Ukraine. He called the Ukrainian government’s effort to quash the uprising a “crime.”

In Washington, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the U.S. would send non-lethal assistance to Ukraine‘s military in light of what he called Russia’s ongoing destabilizing actions there. He told a Pentagon news conference that the military assistance to Ukraine will include medical supplies, helmets, water purification units and power generators.

Ukraine has asked for military assistance from the U.S., a request that was believed to include lethal aid like weapons and ammunition. Obama administration officials have said they were not actively considering lethal assistance for fear it could escalate an already tense situation.

The U.S. has already sent Ukraine other assistance, such as pre-packaged meals for its military.

In Brussels, NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the military alliance would increase its presence in Eastern Europe, including flying more sorties over the Baltic region west of Ukraine and deploying allied warships to the Baltic Sea and the eastern Mediterranean. NATO’s supreme commander in Europe, U.S. Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, told reporters that ground forces also could be involved at some point, but gave no details.

Officials said a full-scale Russian invasion of eastern Ukraine would result in broad U.S. and European sanctions on key Russian economic sectors, including its powerful energy industry. However, European nations are divided on whether to limit its access to Russia’s oil and gas supplies, and a vote to sanction must be unanimous among the EU’s 28 member states.

The sanctions that could be levied in the aftermath of the Geneva meeting were expected to focus on Putin’s close associates, including oligarchs who control much of Russia’s wealth, as well as businesses and other entities they control. It was unclear whether those sanctions would change Putin’s calculus, given that the U.S. and the Europeans already have launched targeted sanctions on people in Putin’s inner circle.

 

© 2014 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Latest Stories

  • DayBreak

    Workforce Wednesday: Business helps people find jobs in Alaska

    by Daybreak Staff on Sep 28, 12:10

    It’s the business of finding a job — local employment matchmakers do background checks and fit the skills of people looking for work to those in-demand jobs. Joy Bunde with Personnel Plus says her company connects people with prospective employers. They place people in all types positions including chefs, executives, even floral designers. There are […]

  • Sports

    William Wrenn returns to the Aces for another season

    by Dave Goldman on Sep 28, 11:15

    As the Aces embark on a new season, they’ll do it with local favorite and Anchorage native William Wrenn. The team announced Wednesday that the 25-year-old defenseman will re-sign with the Aces. The team captain had a stellar season last year for Glacier Blue playing in 57 games, scoring four goals with 37 assists. Wrenn […]

  • DayBreak

    Recipe Box: Pumpkin muffins

    by Sierra Starks on Sep 28, 11:03

    To celebrate the fall season, KTVA 11′s Daybreak is adding a new flavor to its Recipe Box, inspired by the Pumpkin Spice Latte, one of autumn’s signature beverages. Anchorage mom and blogger Lesleigh Frank shares her version of pumpkin muffins and gives tips on how to get the kiddos involved in the kitchen. She says […]

  • Crime

    Officers involved in Palmer shooting that left K-9 dead identified

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Sep 28, 9:19

    Alaska State Troopers have identified the officers involved in a weekend shooting that left a suspect injured and an trooper K-9 dead. A complaint filed Monday at the Palmer Courthouse states that at 5:20 a.m. Sunday, Palmer Police Department Officer Szipszky tried to pull over a green sedan, carrying four people, for having a tail […]

  • News

    Multiple agencies rescue Palmer climber impaled with ice ax

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Sep 28, 8:24

    A Palmer woman fell while hiking Pioneer Peak on Tuesday, lodging an ice ax into her back and prompting a rescue by multiple agencies. In an online dispatch, Alaska State Troopers (AST) stated 23-year-old Shawnee Whitehorse was climbing with a partner at 9:44 p.m. Tuesday when she fell and, “had an ice axe (sic) lodged […]

  • Crime

    Burglar gets away with $170,000 of cash, goods

    by Associated Press on Sep 28, 7:17

    Juneau police are investigating after about $170,000 in cash, gold, jewelry and other goods was reported stolen on Douglas Island. KTOO-FM reports that police say in a news release officers responded Sunday to a report that a building off North Douglas Highway had been burglarized. The robbery affected a business and a private residence in the […]

  • News

    Warm Springs Bay: A secret gem locals would like to keep secret

    by Emily Carlson on Sep 27, 23:46

    In Warm Springs Bay, the clouds and ocean mark the time. Herring pounce on giant salmon, swallowing them in one gulp. Fishermen travel hundreds of miles out of their way to bathe in the public baths fueled by the nearby hot springs. At the Alaska Whale Research Center, biologists’ lives revolve around the ever-changing wind. […]

  • Sports

    UAA hockey now gets to the ice after months of talk

    by Dave Goldman on Sep 27, 23:22

    Finally. The talk ends. In the case of the University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves, the discussion of breaking a two-year playoff drought was replaced all off-season with the constant chatter of whether or not the program will be around next year. That possibility still lingers. Budget cuts are coming. But at media day on Tuesday the […]