Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center Associate Director Alina Polyakova writes for US News on the ceasefire agreement brokered today in Minsk and how the threat of weapons forced a political solution in Ukraine:
Today in Minsk, European leaders brokered a new ceasefire agreement between Ukraine and Russia as fighting between Russian-backed separatists and Ukrainian forces intensified since January. The agreement comes on the heels of a policy debate last week of how the U.S. and NATO should act on the Ukraine crisis. The debate, prompted by a report calling on the U.S. government to provide $3 billion dollars in lethal and nonlethal aid to the Ukrainian government, quickly boiled down to one simplistic question: to arm or not to arm Ukraine?
The so-called hardliners on the “pro-arms” side see military assistance as a necessary short-term tool in a broader, long-term strategy to deter Russian intervention in Ukraine and beyond. The self-proclaimed “cooler heads” on the “anti-arms” side see escalation and nuclear threat as inevitable.