Foreign media digest 17 September 2014


Without radical internal reforms, Kiev risks to lose international support. Despite the warm public embrace Mr. Poroshenko can expect in Washington, behind closed doors there will be questions about whether the February revolution is slouching toward the same failure as the 2004 Orange revolution, with public demands for change smothered by the personal ambitions of its staggeringly wealthy, isolated political class.

The New York Times:

The U.S. won’t fight with Russia because of Ukraine. Some officials in the State Department, and in the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, have advocated U.S. lethal aid to Ukraine, but have so far found little support in a White House

The Wall Street Journal:

Critics against the U.S. authorities’ positions, including Damon Wilson, executive vice president of the Atlantic Council, who worked on the National Security Council in the Bush administration, say that Washington’s reluctance to assist Ukraine with weapons and advanced reconnaissance gear has failed to achieve its stated goal of a military de-escalation. Instead, they say, it may have emboldened Moscow to behave more aggressively in its former Soviet domain. They impose another argument: American weapons “Supporters of lethal aid argue that U.S.-supplied weaponry would make the war more costly for Moscow, which might get Kiev better terms at the negotiating table.”

ASSOCIATION AGREEMENT WITH THE EU. Moscow has plenty of tools to bring Kiev to heel, including the newly frozen conflict in the east and the ability to choke Ukraine’s fragile economy. The EU, meanwhile, has demonstrated it will only provide limited support to Ukraine against its giant neighbor. The Wall Street Journal:


Putin received in the Eastern Ukraine “exactly what he wants.” Hasty decisions of new authority make it looks like the one it has replaced.

New Republic:

Famous French journalist, an expert on international politics, writes that the division of Ukraine has begun. The Verkhovna Rada gave big autonomy to eastern regions of Ukraine, which are now under control of separatists. Internazionale:


Investors do not want to invest money in Russia and withdraw their capitals, because of the fear of a new cold war. Many rich Russians do the same.

Die Welt:

Aleksei L.Kudrin: Олексій Кудрін: the Russian economy will go into a deep recession with a contraction of at least 5 percent lasting one or two years.

The New York Times:

As Kudrin said, sanctions have trimmed about 1 percent from Russia’s $2 trillion gross domestic product this year, with the effects now being felt beyond the tight coterie of businessmen deemed close to President Putin who first felt the sting. If European leaders decide the cease-fire has failed, they have vowed to leave in place financial and oil industry sanctions imposed last week, rather than repeal them. That, Mr. Kudrin said, would stall the Russian economy with zero growth in 2015, or push it into a mild recession. If the European Union and United States escalate sanctions on the banking sector by prohibiting Russian banks from accessing SWIFT, the international secure money transfer system, the Russian economy will go into deep recession, Kudrin said. The Russian leadership, he said, understands the costs but may be willing to pay them. Earlier, he described the economic blow as the price for Russia having a foreign policy independent of the United States.