Commentary: One year on, Ukraine's fate still hangs by a thread   2015-02-22 16:59:18

by Xinhua writer Li Li

BEIJING, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- As gunfire continues to roar in the eastern frontlines, authorities in Kiev hosted Sunday a series of events to mark the 1st anniversary of the regime change that has caused major upheavals in Ukraine and beyond but still sees no end.

The past year has witnessed in the East European nation the ouster of former president Viktor Yanukovych and the takeover of a fledging pro-Europe regime. It also saw the flaring-up of tensions between the West and Russia to a degree that had been unseen since the end of the Cold War.

While the new leaders in Kiev have been kept busy cracking down independence-seeking insurgents in the east part of the country, they also take pains to survive the big-power tug-of-war.

The West sanctions have worked to strike a major blow to the Russian economy, but they also cost Europe dearly. To corner Russia, experts have warned, would lead to a split in the European Union.

The Ukrainian economy, which relied heavily on Russia and now lives on the EU support, is also lingering on the verge of collapse.

The recent moves made by some European leaders to meet with the Russian side have offered the world a glimpse of hope to break the Ukraine deadlock.

Under a peace deal hammered out earlier this month between leaders from Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany, there are high expectations that guns would fall silent and a buffer zone be created in Ukraine.

Yet, as German Chancellor Angela Merkel has conceded, major hurdles still remain in the peaceful solution of the Ukraine crisis.

U.S. President Barack Obama, who admitted that Washington "brokered a deal to transition power in Ukraine" a year ago, has warned that a collapse in the peace process could push his country into approving deliveries of weapons to the East European country.

Such a proposal is not only counterproductive, but also dangerous. Indeed, the Americans might be the only one poised to gain from the Ukraine crisis with both Europe and Russia being weakened, but they should be mindful that one who sees the crisis as a power game would only drag itself into the quagmire.

By antagonizing Russia, for instance, Uncle Sam might lose a possible - and powerful - partner in its ongoing anti-terrorism drive in the Middle East.

In the Ukraine crisis, there is no winner, but only victims and losers. The most important lesson that the concerned parties should learn from over the past year is that the finger-pointing and sanctions could only complicate and lengthen the crisis, instead of solving it.

Given all the stakes that are involved, the international community should act in a unified manner and seize all opportunities possible to bring an early and peaceful solution to the Ukraine crisis.

Editor: Mengjie
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