The body language said it all. Petro Poroshenko, grim and exhausted, leaned forward imploringly; Vladimir Putin, benevolent and relaxed, smiled a cryptic smile.
The photographs the marathon talks between the leaders of Ukraine and Russia demonstrated which of the two enemies has most cause for confidence about the deal that emerged in Minsk.
In fairness, Mr Poroshenko did not go like a defenceless lamb into the conference chamber. The last Minsk agreement was negotiated directly between Russia and Ukraine, causing Mr Poroshenko’s youthful and stridently nationalistic prime minister to observe: “They will outplay us: that’s what they expect.” Continue reading
Germany’s Angela Merkel delivered a rebuke to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday, telling him that a planned Moscow-backed referendum on whether Crimea should join Russia was illegal and violated Ukraine’s constitution.
Putin defended breakaway moves by pro-Russian leaders in Crimea, where Russian forces tightened their grip on the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula by seizing another border post and a military airfield. Continue reading