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article imageWorld leaders huddle in Minsk over Ukraine peace summit

By Abdul Kuddus     Feb 11, 2015 in World
Minsk - Amid a history of failed negotiations and a looming civil war in Ukraine, world leaders huddled together in Belarus to prevent a bloody confrontation between the West and Russia that has already claimed thousands of lives.
Reportedly pro-Russian rebels broke up a five-month-old truce since January and are attempting to take over government forces in the Ukrainian town of Debaltseve. The strategic town has reportedly been under siege by pro-Moscow separatist forces for weeks.
To halt the fighting Belarus is hosting the peace summit under the Franco-German stewardship. Reportedly Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Francois Hollande have started talks with Ukraine's Petro Poroshenko and Vladimir Putin.
To deal with the alleged “Russian aggression” and the worsening situation in Ukraine, the United States is now openly looking for options to arm the exhausted Ukrainian government forces.
According to the Los Angeles Times, “President Obama says he is weighing the growing calls for U.S. military aid to badly outgunned Ukraine in its nearly yearlong struggle against separatists armed and instigated by Russia.”
The move could provoke Moscow to further its confrontational stance against what it perceives as US incursion is Kremlin’s interests.
“A decision by the West to provide arms to Ukraine could prompt a rapid escalation of Russian support for the separatists, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a global security think tank, said on Wednesday” NDTV reported.
Western powers allege Putin’s involvement in the Ukrainian conflict, tacitly supporting pro-Moscow separatists against the forces of Kiev's pro-Western government.
Protracted war in eastern Ukraine is getting worse threatening civilians lives and the stability of the region.
Even if a consensus is reached, media outlets are skeptical of a lasting solution to this conflict given that there have been numerous ceasefires, none of which lasted. The present talks envision a broader demilitarized zone spanning along the front lines.
Last year, the annexation of Ukraine's southeastern Crimea by Russia triggered the conflict that has claimed more than 5, 000 lives so far.
More about Ukraine peace summit, Moscow, ProMoscow rebels, debaltseve
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