As Wednesday comes to an end, we have learned that the meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, did not led to a resolution regarding Crimea. However, “things have moved in a good direction,” according to Laurent Fabius, the French foreign minister. Kerry and Lavrov are expected to continue their discussions and debate tomorrow.

 

While talks appear to be moving in the right direction, there were some major pitfalls in the discussion today. For example, despite the US government’s efforts to arrange a meeting between Lavrov and acting Ukrainian foreign minister Andrii Deschchytsia, the meeting did not occur. This was not a problem of location, as Lavrov and Deschchytsia were in the same building today; rather, it demonstrates the degree of seriousness surrounding Russia’s refusal to accept the legitimacy of Ukraine’s current interim government.

 

Lavrov also reasserted Putin’s claims that the 16,000 troops controlling Crimea were not Russian forces, but rather Crimeans with no connection to Russian military control. He stated that Russia does not have the power to call back forces that they are not associated with and do not control. This has been interpreted by Western leaders as a refusal to accept proposals that have been offered up.  Of course, this is not a problem that can be solved overnight, particularly in light of the current tense conditions.

 

Yet, as the day of talks came to a close, Kerry stated, “I don’t think any of us had an anticipation that we were coming here at this moment, in this atmosphere of heightened tension and confrontation, that we were suddenly going to resolve that here, this afternoon.”

 

Meanwhile, back on the home turf, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton compared Putin to Hitler:

If this sounds familiar, it’s what Hitler did back in the 30’s. All the Germans that were, you know the ethnic Germans, the Germans by ancestry, who were in places like Czechoslovakia, Romania, and other places. Hitler kept saying, ‘they’re not being treated right. I must go and protect my people.’ And that’s what’s gotten everybody so nervous.

 

Rep. Eliot Engel (D) Foreign Affairs Committee defended Clinton’s comparison. He argued the analogy is valid, for the reasons behind Hitler’s invasion of Sudetenland and Putin’s invasion of Ukraine were both reportedly to support ethnic groups, and, “it was a lie then and it is a lie now.”

 

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet me @dannystevens91 with your thoughts!