Minsk: Merkel's Last Chance Before U.S. Arms Flow to Ukraine (Die Welt, Germany)
one day look back on these days of February in the same way we recall July 1914
or September 1938: as a time when the world stood before the abyss and hardly
anyone wanted to acknowledge it. … With Russians, who are in a parallel
universe, it is almost impossible to talk. … Now it seems all too obvious: simply
renewing offers of dialog will fail. … In plain language this means that if
Merkel’s crisis diplomacy fails Ukraine will receive weapons. What costs all of
us will then have to pay nobody knows. Not even John McCain."
At the [Munich]
Security Conference it was clear: Kremlin politicians live in a parallel
universe and cannot be reached with diplomacy. Weapons shipments from the
United States are therefore more likely.
We may one day look back on these days of February in the
same way we recall July 1914 or September 1938: as a time when the world stood
before the abyss and hardly anyone wanted to acknowledge it. Anyone strolling
through the pedestrian zone of downtown Munich on this sunny afternoon
encountered only a carefree consumption-loving populace.
There is precious little to indicate that in the rooms of a
luxury hotel a few hundred yards away the end of a 25-year-long period of
relative détente in East-West relations is finally being recorded.
Munich Security Conference organizer [and
former German ambassador to the U.S.]Wolfgang Ischinger
expressed this very diplomatically. He referred to “two different narratives” with
which Russia and the West describe the origins of the Ukraine conflict. It is a conclusion could not be avoided by
anyone who listened to the fairtytale speech of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (video, above) in which he accuses the Americans of pursuing an
aggressive policy toward Russia for a quarter of a century.
With Russians, who are in a parallel universe, it is almost
impossible to talk. Angela Merkel and [Foreign Minister] Frank-Walter Steinmeier - who was unusually
clear in his criticism of Lavrov’s speech, and now
coming to this conclusion, although the chancellor is just about the last
person who still wants to try further talks.
Posted by Worldmeets.US
Yet the chancellor suspected Vladimir Putin of living in his
own world some time ago. Wherever that may be, Lavrov
lives there now as well. It is a world in which the wounded pride of the great
powers is transformed into a desire for world conquest in which there is little
interest in settling conflicts peacefully. The clearer that becomes, the more feeble sounding is Merkel’s credo, which is that conflict
has no military solution (video, above, right).
Because now it seems all too obvious: simply renewing offers
of dialog will fail. U.S. defense expert John McCain [video, upper, right] pointed
out that while it might not be possible to resolve the crisis militarily, there is nevertheless a “military dimension.” When
Merkel travels to Minsk on Wednesday, it might be the last chance to delay an
expansion of the battle zone.
Minister von derLeyen gets
earful from former Secretary
of State Madeleine Albright before being cold-shouldered by John Kerry.
Conference: U.S. and Germany Clash Over Salmon Canapés
(Die Welt, Germany)
In America and the former east Bloc countries, a chorus is
growing that a Ukraine desperate for freedom should not be denied the right to
defend itself and that it is necessary to raise the “costs” for Russia. In plain
language this means that if Merkel’s crisis diplomacy fails Ukraine will
receive weapons. What costs all of us will then have to pay nobody knows. Not
even John McCain.