Talks between the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, and the Russian Foreign Secretary, Sergei Lavrov, have failed to 'break the deadlock' on the Ukraine crisis. This is no surprise. Once again the main players are trapped by historical precedent.
Russia has a genuine interest in the Ukraine, but to say that all sounds like Hitler's claims to the Sudetenland. Yet, if there is to be a diplomatic resolution to the crises there is not doubt that Russia's concerns will have to be - dare I say it? Appeased.
It serves little purpose declaring the referendum in the Crimea unconstitutional. It begs the question of which constitution has legitimacy, and in the end the US and the EU will have to accept it. The Russians are not going to give way on it no matter what 'the costs', to use the phrase of the US and the EU. 'The costs' are rarely spelled out. It is a vague threat and has little substance to it.
And so the tension increases with the possibility that Russia may move to 'protect' Russian speakers in East Ukraine.
If there is to be a diplomatic solution, then let it not be hidebound by historical analogies. Given that a diplomatic solution is the only real alternative to conflict then this may be a time when 'appeasement' works!