"Putin is likely to betray these latest commitments unless he's convinced that doing so will have consequences. That's why stiffer sanctions before today's negotiations would have helped. Today's agreement works the other way: by raising false hopes it will encourage Europeans opposed to new sanctions to resist all the harder. It's exactly what Putin wanted," writes Bloomberg in an editorial.
"If the deal holds, it's likely to open the way for what many U.S. strategists have seen as the most stable path for Ukraine — a country that looks east and west at the same time. The Euromaidan protests last winter showed that western Ukrainians want passionately to be part of Europe. The Russian-speaking protesters who massed in eastern Ukraine may have been orchestrated by Moscow, but they feel deep ties with Russia. What Thursday's initial deal says is: Stand down," writes David Ignatius in the Washington Post.
"The majority of EU member states do not believe or do not want to believe that they are threatened by Russia's actions. And because they do not feel threatened, they do not see the need to protect Ukraine. This attitude has bred a disturbing intellectual and moral complacency among Europeans. Yet Russia's behavior affects Europeans' way of life on two fronts: it undermines democracy by promoting instability in Europe's East; and it undermines a strong and principled European foreign policy by strengthening national egoism," writes Judy Dempsey in Strategic Europe.
Planning for U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan "may be smart, but it's not wise," writes CFR's Daniel Markey.
INDIA: The Wall Street Journal investigates real estate purchases by the son-in-law of Congress Party president Sonia Gandhi at a time when widespread resentment over economic privileges for those with political connections threatens the incumbent party at the polls.