Russia is showing willing to pull back from conflict with the Ukraine after President Putin revokes a law to provide military assistance. Melanie Ralph reports on whether this will be enough to help turn the situation around.
The Ukrainian President Poroshenko has called it a 'first practical step' But the response to Vladamir Putin's revocation of the right to order military intervention in Ukraine has been mixed. Although its clearly a positive move, the world is left wondering HOW sincere Putin's olive branch is. ING's Rob Carnell says investors will need to see MORE proof before they'll believe the Russia/Ukrainian conflict is really turning a corner: (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) INGS CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIST, ROB CARNELL, SAYING: "Revoking that law to provide military assistance in the Ukraine if necessary is something that presumably can be fairly swiftly re-imposed should the conditions worsen on the ground again. So it's a nice gesture at this stage but in the back drop people are also saying its a little bit ambiguous where Putin stands on this because it does look as if there's still assistance being given to some of the separatists in the terms of arms they've been able to get hold of." Many western leaders remain skeptical too, and Ukraine will top the agenda at the European council meeting at the end of the week. Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel has already voiced her concerns about HOW fast progress is being made: (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN CHANCELLOR, ANGELA MERKEL, SAYING: "I cannot yet tell you what decisions President Poroshenko will take on Friday. We are helping wherever we can because we are saying that diplomatic solutions are preferable to all other solutions (applause heard) but if nothing else helps, sanctions can return to the agenda." Russia could do without tougher sanctions. And although Putin is showing willing, the troops of the ground are sending another message. The Russian leader may have trouble explaining away news of a downed helicopter resulting in a number of Ukrainian casualties.