Foreign media digest 13-17 October 2014


Germany blames separatists for MH17 crash. Spiegel: Germany has blamed pro-Russian rebels for downing the Malaysia Airline MH17 plane with a rocket from a Buk missile defence system, Spiegel informs by quoting the head of Federal Bureau Investigation BND. According to Kyiv, separatists shot down the plane using Buk missile, which they had received from Russia. Both rebels and Russia deny allegations.


European leaders’ hopes for a compromise with Vladimir Putin have failed.
International New York Times: After the breakfast meeting, Ms. Merkel and Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain expressed frustration, as Mr. Putin apparently rebuffed their entreaties that he pressure pro-Russian rebels to put off local elections they have scheduled for November in defiance of the Ukrainian government, which has set nationwide local elections for Dec. 7. “And if those things don’t happen, then clearly the European Union, Britain included, must keep in place the sanctions and the pressure so that we don’t have this kind of conflict in our continent,” Mr. Cameron said.

Fighting continued in Ukraine’s easternmost regions, underscoring the fragility of a cease-fire after two days of talks between European and Russian leaders to shore up the truce failed to produce a breakthrough. Bloomberg:

Markel and Putin couldn’t solve the question over Ukraine. Die Zeit:

West is ready to ease the tension with Moscow. “The danger is that reconciliation is sealed with Putin as if nothing had happened, as if Russian forces had not intervened in Ukraine, Crimea as if it had not been annexed,” warns Camille Grand, director of the Foundation for Strategic Research (FRS). Le Figaro: On October, 15 in Paris US State Secretary John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov had small talks. But in fact, behind the scenes, Western capitals prepare indeed the “normalization” of relations with Russia. “His comments went relatively unnoticed, but the American National Security Advisor Anthony Blinken said last week in London that the lifting of sanctions against Russia could be discussed “in the coming weeks”, if Russia continues to show signs appeasement,” the journalist underlines.


Russia is taking the EU to court over sanctions imposed on some of its biggest companies. The Financial Times: A Russian lawyer who advises one company on legal strategies over sanctions said the challenges by Rosneft and Mr Rotenberg might help sway some EU member states when the bloc begins to discuss whether to renew its sanctions against Russia next spring.” However, as the sanctions generally remain in place during the often lengthy appeals process, legal action does not promise quick relief from the economic pain such measures inflict.”, – journalists comment.

Hungary questions EU sanctions on Russia. Financial Times: Hungarian foreign minister Péter Szijjártó has criticised the EU’s policy of sanctions against Russia, questioning their effectiveness in influencing Moscow’s behaviour while warning that central European exports were suffering the consequences, Financial Times reports.

GAS QUESTION. Europe is more ready for gas delivery problems than in the previous years: European gas pipelines will be rebuilt in such a way, gas could be delivered in both directions. In case of emergency, Germny could supply Poland and Ukraine with gas, – Gunther Oettinger. Die Presse: