Friday, June 20, 2014

Poroshenko decides to give statesmanship a try

It's almost as though he's stopped taking advice from his friends in Ottawa!

Big Steve and Little John will be grievously vexed that their bestie in Ukraine has decided to tone down the tough talk and turn on the brain switch instead. Poroshenko today announced what he should have announced at his inauguration two weeks ago; a unilateral cease-fire.

Instead, his speech on that occasion was all hell-fire and righteousness. The troubles in the east would be ended in a matter of hours.

It sounded suspiciously as though John Baird's Ukrainian speech-writer had crafted it.

Two weeks and hundreds of needless deaths later, Poroshenko is going to make a new start.

This gesture of goodwill would have been more significant had it been the first hand he played. Now it looks like an afterthought, brought on by the fact that the insurrection that was going to be crushed in hours shows no signs of abating.

Still, better late than never. And a goodwill gesture from one side may well bring about a reciprocal gesture from the other. The hotheads who want war are a distinct minority on both sides. It's time to sideline them and give the ordinary people a chance to get on with their lives.

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