Foreign media digest 31 of July 2014

American journalist Guy Chazan about nowadays Donetsk: the circus-like atmosphere has gone. The first wave of rebels – small-time activists and romantics who dreamt for years of union with Mother Russia – has been pushed aside by professionals from Moscow: Igor Strelkov and Vladimir Antyufeyev, the former head of internal security in Transnistria.
Financial Times:
“Donetsk has totally changed since the last time I was here two months ago. Then, it was hard to believe this city of 1m souls was at the centre of one of the worst east-west crises since the cold war. People dismissed the rebels who had seized Donetsk’s regional government building in April as a bunch of clowns.
Not any more. The insurgents now provoke fear, not ridicule. Some of them have exploited the total absence of any police force to steal cars and loot shops,” the journalist writes.

«A peaceful plan» to broker a peaceful solution from Merkel and Putin: Ukraine won’t apply to join NATO, and President Putin would not interfere with the Ukraine’s new trade relations with the European Union.
Germany and Russia have been working on a secret plan to broker a peaceful solution to end international tensions over the Ukraine, this is Independent’s lexicon. Sources close to the secret negotiations claim that the first part of the stabilization plan requires Russia to withdraw its financial and military support for the various pro-separatist groups operating in eastern Ukraine. As part of any such agreement, the region would be “allowed some devolved powers.” Ukraine would be offered a new long-term agreement with Russia’s Gazprom, the giant gas supplier, for future gas supplies and pricing. As part of the deal, Russia would compensate Ukraine with “a billion-dollar financial package” (the newspaper’s rhetoric) for the loss of the rent it used to pay for stationing its fleets in the Crimea and at the port of Sevastopol on the Black Sea. Negotiations were put on the back-burner following the shooting down of the MH17 plane in eastern Ukraine. British media write it is “Merkel’s deal”.

Influence western media are preparing social thoughts that sanctions make conflict’s escalation more real.
The Guardian.
It is far from guaranteed the U.S and the European Union sanctions will bring about a change in Moscow’s policy on Ukraine. President Putin has a hard decision before him: whether to continue military support or even send Russian troops into Ukraine. We really do not know whether sanctions will make that more or less likely.
“The West must prepare for a wounded Putin to become even more aggressive”
– The Washington Post recommends in its title. Putin is more likely to escalate than back down. Ukraine and the West must be prepared for a more forceful and overt Russian military intervention. The newspaper advices the West to support Ukrainian military, and give more economic support for the new government.
It is absolutely unknown whether sanctions persuade Moscow or not.
The U.S. and EU decision, which has tighten sanctions against Russia, is essential though risky, but also consistent and correct. As the West has already ruled out military intervention, “there is only the consistent defense of international law by means of sanctions,” Ferrari thinks. “It is absolutely unknown whether sanctions persuade Moscow or not.” “EU and U.S. are willing to pay a high price for the defense of Ukraine’ self-determination,” Ferrari sums up.

U.S. diplomats are urging major Asian powers (China, South Korea, Singapore and Japan) to back new Western economic sanctions imposed on against Russia this week.
The Wall Street Journal:
“But support for tougher sanctions against Russia isn’t guaranteed.”, – the newspaper comments.

American experts say Washington and Brussels should explain Kremlin new sanctions are around the corner. The Wall Street Journal: U.S. Treasury officials said they’re plotting new measures against the Kremlin. “We have made it very clear that we can and will continue to increase pressure if Russia does not change course,” said a senior U.S. official.”