It is now clear that the diplomacy that was supposed to usher an end to the conflict in Ukraine is now dead in the water.The Kremlin is calling for an emergency UN Security Council meeting but nobody expects that to bring a breakthrough.
So the situation remains. Pro-Russian separatists control much of the east and south and Kiev is pretty much powerless to do anything about it.
It is a win-win situation for the Kremlin, at least in the short term.
The United States said it would hold Vladimir Putin accountable for the actions of the separatists but he has always maintained they are not under his control.
That argument remains intact and the instability continues.And all the time the authority is leaching from the acting government in Kiev.The country is supposed to be holding elections later this month but at this stage that seems far-fetched.
The Russian separatists, meanwhile, are planning their own Crimea-style independence elections on the May 11.
All Moscow has to do is watch. It has already achieved a core objective.
There is no way Ukraine in its present composition will ever become part of the EU or Nato.
As far as Putin is concerned, he has already stopped the West’s expansion onto his turf in its tracks.
Russia of course is likely to face further sanctions, but the real danger for all sides is that this geo-political game of push and shove between East and West will turn into a real war.