Foreign media digest 26-27 November 2014




NATO fears Russian could control Black Sea region.

Foreign Policy:

” NATO fears Russian could control Black Sea region is the title of the article in Cable blog in Foreign Policy journal. Journalist David Francis explains Breedlove warned about this on Wednesday. “We are very concerned with the militarization of Crimea. We are concerned that the capabilities in Crimea that are being installed will bring an effect on almost the entire Black Sea,” Philip Breedlove said after meetings in Kiev with Ukrainian leaders.

Ukraine’s fate may depend upon the battle within Germany’s ruling coalition over its policy towards Putin’s Russia. In the United States, the new Republican Senate will battle the Obama administration over weapons for Ukraine.


“”There can be no diplomatic solution based on weakness, Gregory sums up. Putin will come to the negotiating table only when the economic sanctions and mounting casualties threaten his hold on power. Until then, he will insist on a federalized Ukraine that gives Russian-occupied provinces veto power over Kiev and the right to intervene anywhere in the world where Russians need protection.”




Stephan Fule summarized the critical outcome of the EU policy towards Ukraine. He says the Association agreement with the EU wasn’t happen not only because of Putin’s pressure, but also because of EU’s mistake. A year ago Germany and other countries refused to give Ukraine the prospect of EU membership. 

Der Spiegel:


Why Ukraine must bargain with Russia.

Foreign Policy: 

Vice President Joe Biden traveled to Kiev last week for this third visit to Ukraine’s capital in the past seven months. He arrived bearing gifts: additional nonlethal military aid for the embattled Ukrainian government, expert and author Samuel Charap writes for Foreign Policy. He thinks Baiden’s visit combined with some tough words in public for Putin is appropriate. He hopes the public cover needed to make a far more important point to President Petro Poroshenko: Ukraine needs to make a deal with Russia if it wants to survive this crisis.

Charap thinks a political settlement would be far more important for Ukraine in the short to medium term than Western support – even more important than the lethal aid. Charap sums up: The West should support Ukraine, but also should simultaneously work on diplomatic strategy, which enablesKiev to achieve broader and better-functioning arrangements with Moscow in order to de-escalate this crisis. “The United States should be encouraging and facilitating talks with just as much if no more, gusto as it delivers military assistance,” the author adds. But thus far Washington seems more interested in delivering body armor than deploying special envoys.




The meeting in Brisbane, and a separate one in Milan one month before — where Putin made promises about Russian behavior in eastern Ukraine that German officials say were broken within days — pushed frustration levels in Berlin to new heights. Merkel had hit a diplomatic dead-end with Putin. Putin stays on his positions. The latest Steinmeier’s visit to Ukraine and Russian did not bring the results. Berlin begins preparing for a new Cold War. 


Poland, Ukraine and Baltic States are given the role of peace disturbers who with no reason cause damage to our fine relationship with Russia, or even “small kids who ought to be silent when grown-ups are talking”. 

Der Tagesspiegel: 

«In the East-European territories between Germany and Russia there live 190 million people, and as neighbors and partners they mean more to us than 140 million in Russia” – writes Kristof von Marshall in Der Tagesspiegel.

Chancellor Angela Merkel was criticizing heavily Vladimir Putin’s policy at the general debates in Bundestag..

Die Welt:

“Crime’sannexation by Russian can’t be justified or forgiven, the chancellor said. (…) Russia’s actions put under question the European belief system and undermine norms of international law.”

The most frequent conversant with Putin among the Western leaders, Merkel has purportedly decided that the Kremlin chief cannot be trusted and that a near-term political solution of the Ukraine crisis is not in the cards.. 


Merkel’s Social Democrat coalition partners, led by foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, appear not to be on the same page. “The Social Democrats (SPD) fear that a reversion to Cold War would negate their signal postwar achievement – Willy Brandt’s Ostpolitik – which SPD lore claims led to German reunification and the end of the Soviet threat,” Gregory explains. “Germany’s coalition conflict has been heating up since the G20 in Brisbane, the article explains. “As Merkel hardened her stance towards Putin, Steinmeier traveled to Moscow to engage in one-on-one personal diplomacy with Putin for a “peaceful solution” to the Ukraine business.” “The German Grand Coalition cannot continue with two competing foreign policies,” Gregory thinks. He writes Putin is again playing a dangerous high-risk game. He could face a united anti-Putin opposition in a new German government headed by a highly irritated Angela Merkel.

               BRITAIN’S POSITION

Former U.K prime minister Tony Blair said that he thought the West would have to work with Vladimir Putin on issues like Islamist extremism, despite standing firm against Russia’s annexation of Ukrainian territory.

The Wall Street Journal:



Delivery of Mistral – Vanity Fair. 

Le Figaro: