Foreign media digest 2th September 2014


The former Polish President Lech Walesa warns about the consequences of NATO confrontation with Russia over Ukraine because it could lead to a nuclear war.
Deutsche Welle:
Latvia is against Western military involvement in Ukraine.
Deutsche Welle:
Latvia President Andris Berzins and Prime Minister of the country Laimdota Straujuma are against Western military intervention in Ukrainian conflict, dpa news agency informs. On Tuesday, September 2 Berzins told Latvian TV he said there could be only diplomatic solution of this conflict.
NATO sees Ukraine as “a losing side” in this conflict.
Der Spiegel:
At the emergency meeting of NATO generals which was held at the end of this week, Alliance’s members “dramatically reviewed” their estimation of the balance of forces in Ukraine’s armed conflict zone, Der Spiegel informs.
Adam Michnik: Kiev should be helped even with weapons.
La Repubblica:
“Putin’s propositions are dangerous and unacceptable: it is a new Brezhnev doctrine of limited sovereignty, Adam Michnik said. Well as Ukraine has no right to dictate to Moscow on the structure of the Russian Federation, Russia has no right to tell other countries how to organize their administrative structure. It is another violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty by Putin. The proposal suggests the idea of creating a kind of the second Transnistria to acquire the ability to destabilize and control Ukrainian state.


Senators Menendez, Feinstein and McCain claim U.S. sanctions cause no effect on Russia.
The Wall Street Journal:
“The Obama administration’s use of sanctions as its primary tool to stop Russia from interfering in Ukraine isn’t proving effective so far, senior lawmakers said Sunday,” William Mauldin writes in his blog for The Wall Street Journal. “Russians are very brave and very long suffering, and they will tough out any economic difficulty,” said Ms. Feinstein, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.” She added that economic sanctions don’t “shake the people that much.” Feinstein thinks the U.S. and its allies must engage in direct talks with Putin. McCain said the U.S. should provide Ukraine’s military with weapons and battlefield intelligence. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D., NJ) said broadening sanctions to include entire sections of the Russian economy, rather than specific companies in a given industry, is the best way to have an impact.
Call Putin’s bluff – he will not cut off Europe’s gas.
The Financial Times:
Matthew Bryza, a former US ambassador to Azerbaijan and director of the International Centre for Defence Studies in Tallinn in his column for The Financial Times. Bryza reminds on May 21, Mr Putin suddenly reversed a decade of resistance and caved in to Chinese demands for a lower gas price, accepting $350 per thousand cubic metres. “That is 42 per cent less than the price Lithuania pays – so low that it risks depressing natural gas prices throughout the Far East, including for future Russian sales to Japan,” the article says. “Putin was willing to accept such poor economics because his main goal was political: to intimidate Europe,” the former ambassador is analyzing the situation. But behind the grandstanding, the Russian president knows that Europe is the only viable market for Russian natural gas, and that it will continue to be so for decades.”
It is more clear that Putin will pay any price to bring the eastern Ukraine under Russian influence. Sanctions might not change anything.
Die Welt:
Putin surprised Europeans by his aggressiveness and his intransigence, and he has put them down in the corner. The EU is helpless, desperate, trapped. The search for a compromise within the Union becomes more difficult week by week. On the other hand, everyone knows that we must do something – even to save our face. Military force is not an option, calls will not help, because only sanctions remain.

The biggest debate is over what kind of troop presence Nato should have in eastern Europe. Ukraine is not a member of the alliance and Nato has no obligation to defend it.
Financial Times
Vladimir Putin’s adventurism does not presage a new Cold War. It is more dangerous than that, for we are back in the 1930s.
General Richard Shirreff, who was, until recently, the Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Nato Europe writes about it: “Long term we have to live with Russia. However, the invasion and annexation of Crimea and events in Ukraine have shattered any thought of the partnership; the reality now is that Russia is a strategic adversary”, he states.
Those fact that Ukraine isn’t a Nato member provides the alliance with the strongest of reasons for avoiding an unnecessary confrontation.
Washington Post:
The U.S. has no credibility. The muted American response to Russia’s invasions of Ukraine could have consequences far beyond Eastern Europe.
Washington Times: