The EU informal meeting of heads of state or government comes at a critical time to discuss the biggest challenges facing Europe right now: restoring peace in Ukraine, fighting terrorism, the difficult situation with Greece and improving European monetary union,
The European Central Bank said earlier this month that it would no longer accept Greek sovereign debt as collateral for low-cost short-term borrowing, which pressured the euro (EURUSD) as Greece’s new government was trying to renegotiate its bailout deal.
On Ukraine, the agreement in Minsk is definitely a welcome news.., a very important one. In fact, everything in this case has to do with European security. The Russian aggression and the fighting in eastern Ukraine are a clear threat to peace in Europe.
Beyond the military arrangements, the Minsk agreement contains provisions on local elections in the separatist-controlled areas in Donetsk and Luhansk, and on constitutional reform, including decentralization of authority to Donetsk and Luhansk. The latter point goes to the heart of the relationship between Kyiv and the two eastern provinces.
The deal likely was the best that Poroshenko could have achieved under difficult circumstances, with Russia continuing to back the separatists and pour tanks and other heavy arms into Donetsk and Luhansk. It is a fragile arrangement, requiring good faith and follow-through from parties that have shown little of that in the past.
News of the Minsk Package agreement helped push European stocks to their highest levels in seven years. Although the cease-fire won’t go into effect until Sunday. The real test is now the respect of the cease-fire on the ground.