Foreign media digest 27 August 2014


Putin as usual stays for confrontation.
The Times:
Russia should be blamed for conflict escalation in Ukraine, the article states. According to an optimistic version, Putin still wants to resolve the conflict. But maybe he will “continue regaining Russia’s lost spheres of influences until he is stopped by more powerful force,” the newspaper thinks.
Both countries should reach “any agreement to stop the bloodshed”
El Mundo:
There is a grand bargain to be had between Russia, Europe and Ukraine.
The Guardian
There is a grand bargain to be had between Russia, Europe and Ukraine, the newspaper thinks. It has been outlined again and again. It would include a commitment by Ukraine to real devolution in the east although one stopping well short of the dependency on Moscow that Russia might prefer. Moscow would forswear economic blackmail in its dealings with Kiev and with the EU. Ukraine would agree that Nato membership was not an objective in the foreseeable future, and that EU membership was also a long way off – not immense concessions, since both are objectively the case. Some kind of formula would be found for Crimea, the newspaper writes.
Poroshenko and the West must persuade Putin Russia cannot impose its will on Ukraine through economic and military pressure, and to allow Putin a face-saving way of backing down.
The New York Times:
“At the same time, the United States and Europe should be aware that Mr. Putin sees that this is a critical struggle, and has the backing of his nation. The West must make clear that it is equally committed to the support of Ukraine, and that it is prepared to continue ratcheting up sanctions against Russian businesses and financial institutions, and to support Kiev through financial aid and energy supplies,” the newspaper writes.
If Putin had changed his strategy and stopped supplying separatists with weapons, they would have lost this war. But this would be Putin’s defeat and he couldn’t afford this.
Die Welt
Putin continued acting as he is an independent observer of the conflict by saying after the meeting with Poroshenko that the uprising is Ukraine’s internal problem.
The New York Times:
Poroshenko is interested in war.
Die Zeit:
Ukrainian society won’t understand the preliminary proposition for separatists about peaceful solution, stringer Maks Kireev writes. From the perspective of Kyiv, a ceasefire is not an option and it could mean a defeat, Kireev thinks. If Poroshenko proposed the peaceful plan to the self-proclaimed governments, a lot of patriots and those who are fighting in eastern Ukraine would be against Poroshenko. Thus, radical parties could receive the majority of voices at the upcoming parliamentary elections. “From Russia’s point of view, Ukraine won’t be ready for the peace until its army’s quantity is bigger than separatists’ one. Only one kind of war turn could help Russia. Of course, the latest success of separatists shouldn’t be taken into account. Almost everything points to the fact that the war in Ukraine will be continued,” the author makes a conclusion.

The former minister of defense Willam J. Perry and the former US secretary: Helping Ukraine is a U.S. imperative.
The Wall Street Journal:

“We have reports from multiple sources showing quite a lively Russian involvement in destabilising eastern Ukraine,” Rasmussen said. According to his words, a traditional conventional warfare mixed up with information and primarily disinformation operations. “It will take more than Nato to counter such hybrid warfare effectively,” he made a conclusion.
The Guardian:
“Ukraine’s president, Petro Poroshenko, is to attend the Cardiff summit and will be the sole non-Nato head of state to negotiate with alliance leaders. Four “trust funds” are to be established to finance Ukraine’s military logistics, command and control structures, and cyber defences, and to pay the armed forces’ pensions,” the newspaper informs.

EU looks to Italy’s foreign minister as foreign policy chief.
Financial Times:
Europe’s leaders are poised to select Italy’s foreign minister as EU foreign policy chief at a summit on Saturday, despite concerns in some capitals that she is too inexperienced and will not be tough enough on Russia,” Financial Times writes. Journalists underline Opposition has not disappeared, particularly in Lithuania, whose prime minister has publicly objected to Ms Mogherini’s candidacy. “You still have a group of countries who will be quite unsatisfied, but they don’t have a blocking minority,” said an EU diplomat involved in the discussions. Another diplomat said Ms Mogherini’s fate was likely to rest on whether Dalia Grybauskaite, the Lithuanian president, strongly opposed her appointment..

Saakashvili thinks the Kremlin has its own follow-up scheme on standby – blame everything on the unconstructive stance of the Ukrainians and attack them with the full extent of Russian force. Once again, this was what happened in Georgia after we rejected the unacceptable conditions put forward by Moscow.
Foreign Policy:
Putin’s actions in Georgia in 2008 and in Ukraine today are so similar that I can’t help but think about the movie Groundhog Day, the former president of Georgia recollects his thoughts in his article for Foreign Policy. There are still contradictory and confusing signals coming from the big Western capitals that give space for Putin’s maneuvers, the author thinks. The only way forward – even if it is complicated and costly – is to stand firm at Ukraine’s side and help pursue a decisive victory. “For that, the Europeans need to stop trying to tie Poroshenko’s hands and undermining Ukrainian morale. They also need to be ready to impose additional sanctions against the Russians and provide more economic assistance to Kiev, Saakashvili advises.