The Russian President is trying to leverage his countries military support for the failing separatists into some sort of autonomy ….
The separatists have reeled trapped Ukraine soldiers and the Ukraine has returned Russia solider ‘s back home….
Meanwhile American Congressmen have called for President Obama to offer arms to the Ukraine something NATO and EU have NOT done in trying NOT to give Putin a reason to increase HIS military aid past the current 1,000 troops that just marched into the Ukraine…
The militants remain enclosed in the area of two cities , while a group of Russian troops push towards along a land route to the Crimea…
The European Union is taking about tightening their already issued sanction…
President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia on Sunday called on Ukraine to begin talks on “the statehood” of that country’s rebellious southeast, a vague and provocative turn of phrase used by Mr. Putin as he demanded that the Ukrainian government negotiate directly with pro-Russian separatists.
Western governments have accused Russia of backing the separatists with arms and fighters and of sending Russian troops to lead a counteroffensive in Ukraine over the past week that threatened Mariupol, an important port city, and left thousands of government troops encircled.
“We must immediately begin substantive, meaningful negotiations, not on technical questions, but about the political organization of society and the statehood of Ukraine’s southeast for the unconditional securing of the legal interests of the people who live there,” Mr. Putin said.
Dmitri S. Peskov, Mr. Putin’s spokesman, said that Mr. Putin was not calling for independence for eastern Ukraine. Rather, he said, the Russian leader was seeking inclusive negotiations that would provide greater autonomy for the country’s southeast as it remained a part of the country…..
The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Sunday said the U.S. and its allies should provide lethal aid to Ukraine’s military, calling Russia’s recent incursions into the country an “invasion.”
“This is a watershed moment,” Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) said during an interview from the capital city of Kiev on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “Thousands of Russian troops are here … and they are directly engaged in an invasion.”
President Obama has been reluctant to provide even defensive weapons to Ukraine’s military, believing Kiev had the capabilities to fight pro-Russian separatists in the eastern part of the country.
Menendez said that while that may have been the president’s “initial assessment,” circumstances on the ground today are “dramatically different.”
“This is no longer the question of rebel separatists, this is an invasion,” according to Menendez, who is on a trip through Estonia, Poland and Ukraine.
The senior lawmaker late Saturday fired off a letter to the administration, urging it to change its stance and to get NATO allies onboard with a such a strategy when the countries meet this week in Wales.
Menendez said that providing defensive equipment to Ukraine’s military “may very well be on the table right now” within the administration due to the “changed circumstances.”
He dismissed concerns that such action would provoke Russian President Vladimir Putin into greater military against Kiev
European Union leaders have given Russia a week to reverse course in Ukraine or face a new round of sanctions as Kiev warns it is on the brink of full-scale war with Moscow.
Fears are growing that the confrontation on the EU’s eastern borders could engulf the whole continent after Russia sent troops to back a new offensive by pro-Kremlin rebels in south-east Ukraine.
The EU president, Herman Van Rompuy, said the 28 leaders meeting in Brussels had agreed to take “further significant steps” if Moscow did not back down.
He said the European commission had been ordered to produce options for fresh sanctions within a week. “Everybody is fully aware that we have to act quickly given the evolution on the ground and the tragic loss of life of the last days,” Van Rompuy told a news conference.
Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, said the new sanctions would build on existing measures against Russia.
Senior diplomats confirmed the punitive measures were not so much new as a tightening of the restrictions imposed in July on the financial, energy, and defence sectors in Russia. ”