War in Ukraine. Putin does not have to win today. He only needs to generate a frozen conflict in eastern Ukraine that he can exploit when the world has moved on. And that has been a standard operating procedure for years.
The New York Times:
“The main goal from the beginning has been to create the conditions so that Western structures — above all NATO — would not widen their range to include Ukraine,” said Sergei A. Karaganov, dean of the School of International Economics and Foreign Affairs and an occasional Kremlin consultant. “That has been achieved.”
Rome uses its status in the EU to delay debates over so-called “phase three” sanctions.
Vladimir Dimitriev, a Russian banker close to Vladimir Putin, warned in an interview in Il Sole 24 Ore, a newspaper owned by Italy’s business lobby Confindustria, that sanctions against Russia could cost Italy at least €10bn – and that before any retaliatory action. But defenders say Mr Sanino, the Italian ambassador, has had to walk a fine line. “It’s true that some countries want to move at 150km per hour on sanctions – mainly the Baltic countries – but others want to go at 50km, mainly France and Germany.”
Poland and Baltic states block the appointment of pro-Russian Federica Mogherini to the post of High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
Corriere della Sera:
Poland and Baltic states do not like the first visit of Federica Mogherini to Moscow as the representative of the EU. According to Financial Times information, a group of eastern European countries agreed to stand against Italian foreign minister Federica Mogherini’s nomination as High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of EU. The campaign is being led by Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania and Poland, which is close to the U.S. president. The Baltics are worried after Italian minister Mogherini and country’s prime minister Matteo Renzi support Putin’s South Stream project while obtaining top EU positions. Moreover, a new elected EU’s representative for foreign affairs should present all 28 countries, including Poland and Baltic states. That’s why a compromise candidate Kristalina Georgieva, the Bulgarian commissioner for humanitarian aid, could win in the end, the edition informs.
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Knut Fleckenstein, new deputy head of the Social Democratic fraction in the EU, will be responsible for enlargement policy of the EU calls for Kyiv to “start negotiations”.
“We need to influence on our Ukrainian friends to start negotiations with all sides of the conflict and discuss country’s future, including the question of federalization or what autonomic rights they could give do certain regions.” Fleckenstein assures he is a “Russian’s fan”. “It is a huge country with marvelous people, but my admiration has some limits when it comes to Russian government,” the social-democrat continues. “I think it could have done more to de-escalate the situation in eastern Ukraine.” According to Fleckenstein, sanctions are another important moment. “Before using these tools we need to do everything to find a diplomatic method to solve the situation.” As he points out, economic sanctions “will do much of harm not only Russia, but our countries as well.” Along with it Fleckenstein underlines, “It is not up to Russia to decide whether Ukraine signs Association’s agreement. Our task is to think together with Russia how we could live peacefully on one continent. We haven’t shared our thoughts with Russia, and that is where our problem lies.”
Igor Sechin Ігорь Сєчин could gain a directorship of Pirelli, famed for both its tires and its risqué calendars.
Mr Sechin – placed on the US sanctions list in April as a result of his close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin – was appointed to the board after the Russian energy giant bought a substantial indirect stake in the Italian company.