Foreign media digest for June 12, 2014

Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek raises a question what waits Ukraine in the Europe for London Review March edition.
The Guardian:
“The issue isn’t whether Ukraine is worthy of Europe, and good enough to enter the EU, but whether today’s Europe can meet the aspirations of the Ukrainians. If Ukraine ends up with a mixture of ethnic fundamentalism and liberal capitalism, with oligarchs pulling the strings, it will be as European as Russia (or Hungary) is today.”

British PM David Cameron says Russia supplies pro-Russian separatists in the east of Ukraine with hi-tech weapons.
Deutsche Welle:
“What I said to President Putin is that … it is noticeable that the so-called rebels have, for instance, very technical, hi-tech weapons such as manpads (portable surface-to-air missiles) and it is hard to believe that they can be coming from anywhere else,” Cameron told the British parliament on 11 June.

Western media criticise Poroshenko: it is unknown where the civilians could be relocated after fleeing ATO territory.
Irish Independent informs about the first orders of President-elect Petro Poroshenko. He ordered security agencies to organise transport and relocation to help civilians leave the affected areas. The newspaper gives official statistics: at least 200 people, including 59 servicemen, have been killed in the attacks.
Petro Poroshenko is likely to fail as Ukraine’s new president.
Corruption and people’s different view on country’s development are the biggest problems in Ukraine. The author prognoses problems with financial stability of Ukraine: it is likely that Western financial support for Ukraine will be ineffective because of corruption. The President is facing more problems at humanitarian level. More young people in Donbass do not want to be the part of Ukraine or have a grave doubts over this issue. Under the circumstances, “Poroshenko should better return to his chocolate business.”

German and Amerian media think the summit on the Ukrainian crises was not productive.
In one of several tentative indications of warming relations between Kiev and Moscow, Sergei Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister, also referred to the newly elected Ukrainian leader as “President Poroshenko”.
The Times:
Tentative signs of hope for Ukraine. “Hopes for a peaceful resolution to the Ukraine crisis rose last night after Russia said that the new administration in Kiev was taking “steps in the right direction” with the creation of humanitarian corridors for refugees and a proposal for a ceasefire and “true dialogue”. The Times correspondent Ben Hoyle writes in his article.
It is too early to declare an end to the crisis in Ukraine.
Los Angeles Times:
According to the authors’ thought, the crucial test of Russia’s sincerity may be whether it will accept – or at least acquiesce in – a decision by Porosenko (should it become necessary) to use force against separatists who have occupied official buildings. Ideally, such a confrontation would be avoided, but one way or another, the rebels must eventually stand down and accept Poroshenko’s offer of amnesty, Los Angeles Times points out.
German Foreign Minister Steinmeier made a sobering conclusion after the meeting in St.Petersburg: “If I said yesterday that a faint light was visible at the end of the tunnel, now I can’t tell that come closer to any solution.”
Der Speigel:
Every year foreign ministers of Russia, Germany and Poland meet in a trilateral format to discuss the actual international problems. Spiegel writes that in St.Petersburg Steinmeier wants to hear from his Russian counterpart Lavrov the signal that Putin will fulfil his obligations. At the meeting in Hotel “Ambassador” Steinmeier and his Polish counterpart condemned Russia’s actions in Ukraine expressed their hope that “Russia will use its influence to calm down separatists.” Lavrov, however, behaved as if he was taken part in a routine meeting. In his statement he said nothing about Russia’s willingness to make concessions. Moreover, he urged Ukrainian army to halt military operations. Lavrov also told about a planned high-speed rail line from Moscow to Berlin, relaxing visa restrictions for Russians and other joint projects.
Lavrov laughed at his colleagues.
Frankfurter Allgemeine:
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said if Ukraine would sign EU Association Agreement, there would be a “normal trade regime” between Kyiv and Moscow. The author Madgid Sattar says it sounds like a threat. Polish Foreign Minister Radoslav Sikorski said he was heartened to hear from Mr. Lavrov that Russia’s annexation of the Ukrainian region of Crimea “will not be repeated” elsewhere. But Mr. Lavrov responded to Mr. Sikorski’s comment with a deep, loud laugh. “It sounded very rude,” Sattar writes. “Career diplomat knew what he was doing. Apparently, it should mean: “We have never mean it, nor yet indend to.” Steinmeir tried to avoid his gaze. He didn’t like this show at all.”

Polls and interviews underscore another factor putting pressure on Berlin to pursue a softer line: a populace that has grown so distrustful of the U.S. that it is skeptical of following Washington’s lead in a geopolitical conflict.
The Wall Street Jounal:
In Germany, anti-American sentiment fuels push to tread softly on Ukraine. A poll published by research firm Infratest Dimap last week indicates German trust in the U.S. has plummeted to lows not seen since the thick of the Iraq war. Another poll, published in May, showed those Germans surveyed were more interested in deepening their country’s ties with China than they were in doing so with the U.S. A third, published in April, showed that nearly half wanted Germany to take a “middle position” in the Ukraine conflict rather than standing firmly on the side of the West. “Germans fear being pulled into a war,” Detlef Junker, founding director of the local university’s Heidelberg Center for American Studies, says. In the view of many Germans, he adds, “Putin is simply the mirror image of the United States.” “But even those who have been traditionally pro-American have had their trust shaken by last year’s revelations about the National Security Agency’s surveillance activities in Europe.” Troianovski writes. “The reports of the NSA’s access to communications of ordinary citizens, along with those of the agency monitoring Ms. Merkel’s cellphone, struck a chord in a country whose Nazi past and experiences with East German surveillance have made it acutely sensitive to privacy issues.”

The situation in Germany: Merkel is ready for a dialogue with Russia, German trust in the U.S. has plummeted to lows, Russian espionage in Germany rising sharply.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is sure that the planned reforms in Ukraine could be after ceasing fire in eastern Ukraine.
Deutsche Welle:
“Now we must do all to live up to a new expectations. Only after ceasing fire, new Ukrainian President could concentrate on reforms, Chancellor clarifies. She also confirms the readiness for an open dialogue with Moscow. European policy with neighbouring countries as Ukraine, Moldova or Georgia is not an anti-Russian policy. “Buiding good relations with EU means also to build good relations with Russia,” Merkel points out.

According to the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Russian espionage activity in Germany has risen sharply because of the conflict with Ukraine. They are interested in the probable consequences for Russia.
Deutsche Welle:
According to the head of the mission Hans-Georg Maassen, his organisations has found the attempts of Russian intelligence to find out the information about the potential political, economic and military consequences of the Ukrainian crisis. According to Maassen, evaluation of Russia`s policy concerning Ukraine by Germany, EU and NATO is of a special interest, as well as possible counteraction measures and Germany`s and Europe`s Energy Policy.

Finland debates whether to join NATO.
writes about Russia’s attempt to maintain its influence in Russia’s borderlands even as Washington becomes more involved there. “Russian officials will use economic tools and military threats — as well as incentives ranging from loans to energy price discounts — to counterbalance Washington’s efforts toward constructing a regional alliance against Moscow.” the edition writes. Stratfort writes that the announcement that Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov would visit Finland comes as Finland debates whether to join NATO. Finnish President Sauli Niinisto has said that Helsinki would make a decision on NATO membership only after a comprehensive review and a national referendum. “Finland’s neutrality dates back to the early years of the Cold War. However, the ongoing crisis in Ukraine has accentuated a key characteristic of Finnish foreign policy: the need to find a balance between the East and the West,” the edition writes. Joining NATO would break this balance. Moreover, Finland’s accession to NATO would strengthen the alliance’s presence on Russian borders and expand the emerging U.S.-backed alliance in the region. Russia, like the Soviet Union before it, regards Finland as an important buffer state.

“No” to the South Stream gaz pipeline led to an energy cold war between Brussels and Kremlin.
La Repubblica:
Energy issues are likely to be featuring for a long time in the future of relationship between EU and Kremlin, Luka Pagni of La Repubblica writes. “The EU manoeuvres to impede the construction of South Stream fit within policy of deterring Gazprom and creating conditions favorable to the alternative development projects, beginning with Brussels-sponsored Nabucco and Tap, the project led by “Statoil” Norwegian colossus. Both of these gaz pipelines are intended to supply gaz from the region of Caucasus to Western Europe” – writes Luka Pagni. In the interim, the signals concerning the start of a cold war in energetic sphere grow in number. Yesterday the antimonopoly authority of Lithuania imposed on Gazprom an unfair competition fine of 35,7 mln. euros. Also, coming to a close is Brussels-initiated anti-monopoly investigation on Gazprom activities in Eastern Europe countries which have the 50-100% dependency on Siberian methane.