Foreign media digest 4 December 2014

Tagesanzeiger Switzerland

OSCE representative: hot heads should be collected together

Swiss diplomat Heidi Tagliavini, the OSCE’s envoy to the Trilateral Contact Group that includes senior representatives from Ukraine and Russia, did not think Minsk agreements meet a dead end and insists on compliance. She stated in an interview with Swiss newspaper Tagesanzeiger. The truce, on which parties agreed in Minsk, “has been constantly violated in strategically important areas,” Tagliavini admitted.


Stratfor | The USAA private US think tank Stratfor writes that small problems and emergencies (as, for example, an accident at Zaporozhiya nuclear power plant on Nov.28) underlines Ukraine’s energy independence. An accident at Zaporozhiya nuclear power plant occurred following the existing conflict in the east, energy supply shortage and the fact that most of Ukraine’s coal reserves are under control of separatists.


The Wall Street Journal | The USA. The Wall Street Journal informs European Union finance ministers will discuss Ukraine’s financing needs at a meeting next Tuesday. Following a request by Germany, which will hold the presidency of the Group of Seven leading nations in 2015, ministers will take stock of Ukraine’s financial situation and look in particular at what additional loans the EU’s executive could give. The edition reminds the European Commission has already approved two balance of payments loans totaling €1.6 billion for Ukraine. The latest €500 million tranche of that loan is due to be disbursed this week. Ukraine has requested an additional €2 billion balance of payments loan for 2015—an amount that EU officials have privately said is probably too high. The EU still has more than €200 million left over from its already approved balance of payments loan for Ukraine, which it can still disburse in the coming months.


Le Temps | Switzerland. Brussels is not ready to marry Ukraine. Europe should have courage to take a clear position: its promise to marry has no future. Otherwise, it could come to an end and result in  confrontation with Russia. “With these appointments Kyiv only adds fuel to the fire and embarrasses relationship with former friend. Two nations can’t easily break off relations, they need to portion out the common property and the common heritage. Raising children requires mutual support” – the author concludes.


Spiegel | Germany. German edition Spiegel writes Ukraine should stop talking about joining NATO. Today any assumptions about Ukraine joining the alliance are like playing with fire, the edition writes. From the beginning of the crisis in Ukraine, NATO officials said the conflict cannot be resolved by military means, that’s why the organization should be out of the conflict.

Stratfor | The USA. US think tank Stratfor published a review, stating Russia strengthens its military position in Ukraine. According to the last month observers report, Russia had brought more troops in separatists’ held regions. After September 5 ceasefire, this flow of troops has weakened. Now it’s back to the full size again. But the authors think the structure and the location of Russian troops prove that further escalation of the conflict between Ukrainian forces and separatists is not the only option. Instead, Russia could strengthen what it had gained before the ceasefire to let separatists strengthen the control over their territory. There is no sign of the campaign moving further into Ukraine’s territory, the analysis says.

World Politics Review | The USA. World Politics Review writes that after Ukraine, Black Sea becomes contested zone for Russia and NATO


Bloomberg | The USA

Ukraine’s plan to diminish its energy dependence on Russia is adrift in the Bosporus Strait. The nation, which gets half its gas from Russia, wants to build a liquefied natural gas terminal on the Black Sea and held talks with Cheniere Energy Inc. (LNG) to import U.S. cargoes. The only path to the terminal is through Istanbul’s 17-mile waterway. Turkey doesn’t allow LNG shipments through the Bosporus because of safety concerns and congestion.