Previously I said that it was Putin’s turn to respond to Ukraine’s attempts to restore harmony. Recently he has demonstrated his good intentions. He sent a special envoy, Vladimir Lukin, to the region to help facilitate the release of international military observers being held in Slovyansk. He’s also called for dialogue between Kiev and the separatists. ((Ukraine Resumes Operations Against Separatists, Stratfor Global Intelligence. May 2, 2014. Available: http://www.stratfor.com/analysis/ukraine-resumes-operations-against-separatists))
According to one analyst, the framework of the Geneva Accord still has the potential to promote peace, in spite of the fact that it appears to have broken down. ((Pro-Russian Separatism Poses a Threat in Eastern Ukraine. Stratfor Global Intelligence, May 1, 2014. available: http://www.stratfor.com/analysis/pro-russian-separatism-poses-threat-eastern-ukraine)) The least the West can do at this point is take Putin seriously. It can’t be denied that he has clearly defined Russia’s stake in the region and in this conflict. The degree to which Ukraine and the West are willing to compromise with him will determine the extent of Russian aggression.