by Xinhua writer Huang Yinjiazi
BEIJING, April 17 (Xinhua) -- The top diplomats of Russia, Ukraine, the United States and the European Union convene in Geneva on Thursday, kicking off just another round of frenzy diplomatic efforts to defuse the rapidly deteriorating Ukraine crisis.
With Crimea having broken away, Ukraine is no longer united. And with pro-Moscow sentiment and cries for independence and integration with Russia bubbling up in its east, the country is essentially on the brink of disintegration.
Unfortunate but true is the fact that Western countries, not least the United States, played no small part in plunging Ukraine into the current predicament.
The West planted the seeds of confrontation by fomenting discontent and inciting unrest. They turned sparks of protest into a vicious fire and stoked the flames while Ukraine was burning.
From a geopolitical perspective, the region's balance of power was disrupted after Western countries made Russia feel insecure by pushing their frontier of influence further closer to Moscow.
As it is widely feared, the still escalating situation could snowball into the worst standoff between the West and Russia since the end of the Cold War, a scenario that would not only inflict more pain on Ukraine but also undermine regional and global peace.
Immediate de-escalation is needed to prevent the flames of the Ukraine crisis from devouring the whole region and burning down the entire edifice of the current world order.
The only viable exit is a political solution. All parties involved should avoid any action that might deteriorate the situation, and start laying the foundation for dialogue.
Outside powers should be firefighters instead of flame-stokers. They need to play a constructive role by persuading Ukrainians of all sides to calm down and jointly seek a way out.
The four-party Geneva meeting, the first of its kind during the months-old crisis, offers an opportunity. It is imperative that the participants make good use of it and turn the sparks of hope into a bright beacon for dialogue and peace.
Right now, the West should show more appreciation for what Russia can do to solve the crisis in Ukraine. Instead of threatening Russia with fresh sanctions, they should make it clear that they can and will work with Moscow to solve the Ukraine crisis.
After all, given Russia's historical and cultural influence in the country, the Kremlin is a major piece of this messy political puzzle.
UN reports ever "deteriorating" crisis in Ukraine while envoys look to talks
UNITED NATIONS, April 16 (Xinhua) -- The UN Security Council met in an open session once again on Wednesday to hear another grim report on the deteriorating conditions there, with Western ambassadors criticizing Russia's role and Moscow's envoy defending its actions.
It was the 12th such session of the 15-member UN body, Ivan Simonovic, the UN assistant secretary-general for human rights, reminded at the outset of his report. Full story
Ukraine on verge of civil war: Putin
MOSCOW, April 16 (Xinhua) -- The escalation of the conflict in Ukraine has brought the country to the verge of civil war, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said.
Putin warned of the possibility during a late night telephone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday, the Kremlin press service said Wednesday. Full story