Foreign media digest 22 August 2014


Merkel and Obama: Moscow is guilty in the further conflict’s escalation in Ukraine.
Deutsche Welle:
German’s chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Barak Obama in a telephone conversation on Friday, August 22, discussed the current situation in Ukraine. They said it is hard to understand the position of Russian government on the situation with Russian convoy that had entered Ukraine without approval. German’s chancellor and the US President appealed to Russian authorities to withdraw Russian troops from the border and stopped entering military weapons and soldiers in Ukraine. According to the White House, Obama and Merkel “stressed on the importance to announce the bilateral truce with closing the border and maintaining effective border control” in the east of Ukraine.

Germany won’t do everything for Kiev. As governmental authorities point out, the chancellor should show the support of Ukraine’s pro-European course but in such a way as not to provoke Moscow. Angela Merkel will remind Poroshenko during their talk about reforms that should be make. Berlin is worried, as Schäfer adds, “two main political figures” could be dismissed. “We are ready to help Ukraine, adds Schäfer, but we expect Ukraine to carry out her promise, which she’s made to the world community.
Deutsche Welle:
Berlin even doesn’t think about military help, the official representative of the Ministry of foreign affairs told DW correspondent. “Poroshenko should understand along with the understanding of his actions, no military solution is possible in the eastern Ukraine. He couldn’t win with the help of weapons. Putin won’t let it happen,” Reuters news agency quotes him as saying. Chancellor’s super-task is to reach an agreement to bilaterally cease the fire and give a chance for negotiations, but in such a way separatists can’t use this chance to regroup their forces and renew their arsenal. One of the German’s propositions is to supply OSCE members with remote-piloted vehicles which are to control kilometers of Ukrainian-Russian border, the part which is not under Kyiv authorities’ control. “We think,” the representative of the Ministry of foreign affairs Martin Schafer said, in these locations the border is violated, when people from Russian enter Ukraine with weapons and ammunitions. As for “Marshall plan” or “Merkel plan” for Ukraine, the official chancellor’s representative Steffen Seibert said “the direct help” will be discussed during talks in Kiev, but he has omitted to tell details.


Kiev now has an opportunity to leverage its recent successes to secure a favorable settlement; American officials should encourage Ukraine’s president, Petro Poroshenko, to do just that when he meets Mr. Putin in Minsk next week.
New York Times
Harsh economic sanctions against Russia are unlikely to deter an invasion without an unambiguous warning that the United States will ensure Moscow’s defeat. If Russia does intervene, it will do so expecting even harsher sanctions and may see them as an act of war. The newspaper urges Washington to promise if Russia. that America will do whatever it takes to prevent a Russian invasion of Ukraine from succeeding, and remain flexible by accepting a serious and wide-ranging dialogue about Ukraine. Kiev now has an opportunity to leverage its recent successes to secure a favorable settlement; American officials should encourage Ukraine’s president, Petro Poroshenko, to do just that when he meets Mr. Putin in Minsk next week.
Washington and Moscow still have many points of shared mutual interest that should not be easily thrown aside in the heat of the moment.
National Interest
Indeed, it’s often forgotten that post–Communist Russia has been engaged with America battling the forces of global terrorism along with efforts to prevent the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) to rogue states.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe monitoring stations were established in July at the border crossings in Donetsk and Gukovo, at the behest of Mr. Putin, to allay fears about the porous border. The New York Times outs under question Paul Picard’s, the head of mission, conclusion who says the mission regularly sees young men in camouflage clothing crossing the border, but so far none of the monitors have seen weapons or armor.
The New York Times:
“The rebel war effort may be flagging, but the Russian border in the region still controlled by the separatists remains a hive of military activity, The New York Times Andrew Roth writes. “Almost nightly, convoys of tanks and other military vehicles can be seen on local roads, lumbering west toward Ukraine after dark, turning off dirt roads within miles of the border, apparently following routes previously favored by smugglers sneaking cheap gasoline into Ukraine,” the article writes. In many hospitals, like the Central City Hospital here, rebel fighters outnumber civilians from Ukraine. “According to Lilia Nikolaevna, a nurse at the hospital, 10 to 20 wounded rebels are brought across the checkpoint to the hospital each day,” the correspondent broadcasts.

NATO’s first question to discuss at the summit will be new relations with Russia.
Foreign Policy:
“The alliance also needs to work through areas where we can find zones of cooperation with Russia, be it Arctic exploration, Afghanistan cooperation, or counternarcotics, counterterrorism, and counterpiracy,” and admiral thinks.

On Thursday Russian government adopted a $39 million budget increase for pro-Kremlin news channel RT to fund its expansion into French. RT is building up a bureau to run a German-language website.
The Wall Street Journal:
“Pollsters say that pro-Kremlin media may indeed find fertile ground in Germany, especially with the mainstream media increasingly critical of Russia,” Troianovski writes. In the former Communist East, generations of Germans grew up in Moscow’s orbit, surrounded by reminders of Russia’s role defeating “the Nazis in World War II” as the author says.. In the former West, awareness of close economic ties with Russia dovetails with memories of the Ostpolitik—policies West Germany implemented in the 1970s to ease tensions with the Eastern Bloc. Manfred Güllner, one of Germany’s top pollsters, sees skepticism among many Germans about their media’s portrayal of Russia. When he last examined the question last year, 42% said they found the German media’s reporting on Russia to be “exaggerated and distorted.”