What EU leaders and Angela Merkel really said at the European Union Summit (Euromaidan Press comments)

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2014/09/01 • Analysis & Opinion, Featured, News, Politics

Article by: Vitalii Usenko and Dmytro Usenko

“Thousands of foreign troops and hundreds of foreign tanks are now in Ukraine’s territory,” Poroshenko said during the European Union Summit on August 30, 2014 . “There is a very high risk for loss of peace and stability, not only for Ukraine, but for the whole… of Europe.”

Poroshenko also said that he believed the situation in eastern Ukraine was nearing a “point of no return” and that failure to halt the violence quickly could lead to a “full-scale war.”

What response did Poroshenko receive from Angela Merkel?

Very interestingly and unusually, no English or German press organizations published an extended version of Angela Merkel’s speech at the briefing during the European Union leaders’ meeting on August 30. They were either ashamed, or trying to avoid accusations from Merkel that she was misunderstood by the media. Euromaidan Press is correcting this omission.

merkel-germany-2Angela Merkel said:

“I personally believe that German arms supplies to Ukraine are unacceptable. The situation has very much escalated over the last two days, and if this continues we will decide on further sanctions within the week.”

“We do not want to do this for the very reason that we do not believe it is possible to solve the conflict by military means. Consequently, we should not create the impression that the supply of arms to strengthen the Ukrainian army will help to resolve the crisis. I cannot speak for everyone else here; other countries may have different answers to this question, but my position will remain unchanged until the NATO summit [September 4-5]. ”

Responding to a question on the impact of EU economic sanctions against Russia implemented so far, she expressed the opinion that they are effective.

“We cannot expect the same reaction from Russia. Russia is not so open. In our communities, people say what they think and what difficulties they face. Anyway, I am absolutely convinced that we must clearly show what values we defend.”

According to Merkel, the European Council did not make a decision on new sanctions against Russia on August 30 for purely technical reasons, not because of significant differences between the countries of the [European] Union.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the new sanctions would target the same sectors as previous punitive measures, which also included an export ban for some high technology and oil exploration equipment. This part of the speech was cited in other media sources, but the important contextual words that followed were passively ignored:

Full quote:  “No decision has been made today, not because of significant differences, but rather due to technical reasons” – she said, responding to a reporter’s question. “We do not have at this stage a ready list of specific companies and specific individuals. Those persons in Donetsk and Luhansk, who are responsible and closely linked with the separatists, should be under the new sanctions. They are not included in the lists at the moment, such as those that are closely connected with the events in the Crimea, ” said the Chancellor.

Herman Van Rompuy and BarrosoWhen asked about a deadline for EU action, the EU Summit Chairman and Council President Herman van Rompuy said: “It depends on further steps, on development of the situation on the ground. There is no precise criteria, but I can assure you that everybody is assured that we have to move quickly.”

“We are ready to take very strong and clear measures, but we are keeping our doors open to a political solution,” outgoing European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said. “If Russia continues to escalate the crisis, it will come with a high cost,” said EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. “It’s time for everyone to get down to the business of peace-making. It is not too late, but time is quickly running out.”  Barroso warned of a “point of no return,” but he stressed that Brussels wanted a political resolution to the crisis.

The EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said that there will be no military solution to the crisis. She said a sustainable political solution was the only way forward.

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said it is “totally unacceptable” that there are Russian soldiers in Ukraine “and we now have to set out a timetable for further sanctions…and that’s important.”

French President François Hollande said in the same format as Merkel, regarding military aid to Ukraine: “One can’t think it would be fruitful, useful. What we’re asking for today is a cease-fire—not to sustain the conflict, but to end it.” “There would have to be another meeting either of senior EU officials to sign off any new measures,” stated Hollande.

Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann was one of several leaders to question whether sanctions would have any impact on Mr. Putin.

Russia Today happily informed, “Slovakia’s PM Robert Fico, following the meeting, slammed the idea of new sanctions as ‘meaningless and counterproductive’ – as the impact of the previous round of tit-for-tat sanctions is still unknown – and reserved the right ‘to veto sanctions harming the national interests of Slovakia.’”

Only Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaite said the EU should send military equipment to Kyiv.

eu-flags-3-shortOur apologies, in the event that we have misunderstood the EU leaders and Chancellor Merkel, but what they really said means (if the EU approach does not change):

1) The EU does not want to strengthen Ukraine’s army (to avoid creating the impression that the supply of arms to strengthen the Ukrainian army will help resolve the crisis)

2) Additional sanctions are just words – they are not even ready, just under consideration – in spite of direct invasion by professional Russian troops

3) Additional sanctions will be symbolic. Judging by Merkel’s words: “Those persons in Donetsk and Luhansk, who are responsible and closely linked with the separatists, should be under the new sanctions.” What terrible sanctions! It would be such a terrible blow to Russia, perhaps Russia will be scared to death that persons in Donetsk and Luhansk will not be able to travel to the EU.

4) It was not clear when sanctions might actually be implemented

It is clearly evident that the EU is not going to hurry to impose any new sanctions against Russia, nor provide other than symbolic help to Ukraine.

Newly elected European Council President Donald Tusk and newly elected European High Representative for Foreign Affairs Minister Federica Mogherini talk together during a EU summit in BrusselsNew leaders appointed in this Summit: EU Council president Donald Tusk (the current Polish prime minister) and Federica Mogherini (Italy’s foreign minister) as the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs.  Tusk will take office on December 1, 2014, while Mogherini, if confirmed by the European Parliament, will start her new job on November 1, 2014.

As commented by Reuters, the appointment of Tusk as president of the European Council marked a major advance in influence for the eastern states who joined the bloc this century and who share non-member Ukraine’s concerns about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ambitions.

Mogherini, on the other hand, stressed the need to work for a lasting diplomatic deal with Russia. “As we think and we work on the level of sanctions, we also have to keep the diplomatic way open … hoping that the combination, a wise combination, can be effective,” she said. Ex-communist states had deadlocked an earlier summit two months ago by opposing Mogherini as too soft on Russia.

We will see shortly whether the EU and NATO attitudes toward measures against Russia change at the NATO summit in Wales on September 4-5, with new leaders appointed in this Summit.

By: Dr. Vitalii Usenko, MD, MBA, expert of the Center of Military-Political Studies in the sphere of psychology of communications and Dmytro Usenko, student at Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, edited by Lisa Spencer

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  • Dean Venture

    As one of her citizens, I find the dragging feet of the West quite frustrating. I can only imagine the frustration of the people in the Ukraine, who, much to their merit, have been very careful to avoid stoking this conflict. Their restraint in the face of constant antagonism is remarkable.

    Russia has invaded another country. The evidence of this grows daily, and NATO has known for months that Russian artillery fires on Ukrainian positions from inside Russia. They have downed a civilian aircraft (or at least provided the equipment to do so) killing almost 300 innocent victims whose only involvement in the conflict was that they happened to fly over it.

    It should not take a week to level additional sanctions. They shouldn’t be applied to a few people or companies. When you invade another country, you should face crippling sanctions, something that will give you immediate pause to reconsider your actions. Give the Russian people a reason to hate Putin, something he can’t hide with his glossy propaganda machine, and let them decide whether they want to find a better leader.

    And there should be no question on providing military aid to a nation who is saying they want to stand with us, rather than their prior “ally”, and as a consequence of that have lost thousands of their citizens, and a great deal of territory and infrastructure, to a war they neither wanted nor incited.

    The weak response of NATO and its allies is only going to encourage further Russian aggression. They got away with it in Georgia, as they did in Moldova. As soon as they think they’ve gotten away with it in the Ukraine, they’ll move on to the next target. This has to be stopped now. I’m sick of the pussyfooting around. Do something tangible. Putin is laughing at all of us as we let him get away with murder.

    • https://www.facebook.com/mikocot mm

      also Ukraine gave up nuclear weapon for a protection guarantee, now they got to the moment when it could be an argument and where are the ones that signed the pact?

      • Dean Venture

        Agreed; the US and UK have some amount of obligation to provide assistance that goes beyond wagging their finger at Russia.

  • Pro Ukrajina

    EU is dead for people. EU is only a group of incompetent politicians. Shame on merkel, on hollande, on cameron, on barroso, on mogherini… they dont care of ukraine at all. at all. they are totally selfish. they do not deserve to be on these posts and in these functions.

    russian air force destroyed two ukrainian vessels yesterday. it is a war, no “crisis”. russia is occupying ukraine, by force, and killing thousands of ukrainians. the same russia did in georgia.

    EU was silent. EU did not help georgia. EU did nothing. utterly nothing . EU contributed to the fact that georgia lost its parts. now EU is effectively contributing to the fact that another country – ukraine- is losing its territory .

    WHY? because EU ALLOWS THIS. EU allows russia to do everything and anything. and putin knows it very well. that is why he started war in georgia, and now in ukraine. EU is an accomplice of putin. yes, his ally.

  • arpete29

    commercial sanctions are far more better than a war!Did yiou forget WW II?

    • Murf

      Did you forget that a lack of resolve by european leaders actually lead to WWII.

      • arpete29

        EU leaders must not answer using weapons but a commercial embargo, we don’t want one WWW III!

        • Murf

          And Putin, like Hitler before him, KNOWS that!
          He is counting on that.
          The problem is not Ukraine, how this plays out is pretty much already been decided.
          The problem is the next time.
          What happens when Putin overplayed his hand underestimates what he can get away with and things spin out of control.
          When Hitler ordered his army into the Rhineland he gave orders for them to withdraw if the first French soldiers boot touched rhineland soil. They were just as afraid of an other war, justifiably so, But their lack of resolve ended up bringing on that which they feared most.
          Doing nothing is it’s own brand of stupid.

    • Dean Venture

      I do think that sanctions should be tried first, but they need to be meaningful. Travel bans on a few dozen people and no more technology transfer isn’t going to divert Russia from the course they have chosen.Isolate their financial system, and stop Russian exports. That would make an impression. War is an absolute catastrophe for everyone involved. Nobody really wins; one side loses a little less than the other. It should always be the last resort.

      In terms of world war two, this is starting to look like the phoney war, when Russia and Germany invaded Poland. The UK and France wrung their hands, scolded the aggressors, and nothing else, despite having treaty obligations to come to Poland’s aid.

  • Kruton

    Merkal is a NAZI C*nt!

  • Kruton

    In war Germans only murder and steal ,what do you expect for them to stand up for liberty!

  • Kruton

    Dirty backstabbin NAZI scum,I told you so!!

  • Kruton

    What do you expect from people who murdered babies! Dirty NAZI dogs!

  • Cody Crouse

    All though I do agree w/the comments to so extent, the Situation in Ukraine is no1 else’s business except for Ukraine & Russia. The European Union did the right thing by not intervening in the whole Ukrainian Crisis. The Only thing the EU along w/Canada did that was anywhere near interventionist was sanctions. That’s it. My country, the United States did put sanctions on Ukraine & the United States DID send military aid & several fighter jets to Ukraine. Why? Our Gov’t is bought off by the Military Industrial Complex while the EU isn’t. The Europeans have common sense on the issue of foreign policy & most other things for the most part, despite my disagreements w/the EU on Austerity, sending military aid to Iraq to arm the Kurds, & so on. The EU isn’t perfect, & it does have problems. But the EU is far better than the United States & Russia are. I wish we had politicians like Angela Merkel & Jose Manuel B. here in the United States. As a high school student who is going into 12th Grade in just 3 Days, I can’t wait until I graduate high school because I can finally get the fuck out of this bullshit excuse for a 1st World Democracy called the Corporate Hell of America & move to the European Union where they have far better worker protections, consumer protections, environmental protections, more dependence on renewable energies, less corruption, stricter campaign finance rules, more democracy, less religious people, more & better educated people, more open minded people, less poverty, better human rights protections, better press freedoms, better & fairer criminal justice laws & systems, more freedoms in some cases, better healthcare, better protections on free speech, less police brutality, & so on than we do here in the United States. The EU kicks every1 else’s ass on (almost) every category measuring quality of life, human rights, marketplace regulations & so on. Merkel & the rest of the European Leaders did the right thing on this issue for the most part, while our politicians want to intervene in UA & send aid & military equipment to UA to back the Euromaidan protests. The Euromaidan protests received no aid from other nations to protest the UA gov’ts & there wasn’t any military Coup d’tat in UA set up the USA, Canada; Ironically, they never mention them & the EU as the Russian media would have you believe. The Russian Media is just as bad as the USA Corporate Media because they distort truths, lie to their viewers, spread conspiracy theories, & enact a bullshit agenda. I don’t trust the Corporate Media nor the Russian media for this reason. I do understand the Western RT & Infowars/Prison Planet viewers’ frustration w/Corporate Media, but they’re just as bad & they’re just as deceptive as the USA Corporate Media. Not Only that, Russia has far worse press freedoms than the USA. I don’t like the USA & think that the USA sucks, despite what many brainwashed Americans believe, but the facts are the fucking facts.

  • Vitalii Usenko

    Nato and EU leaders as well as EU public opinion growing concerns after invasion of Russian troops started (with some delay) to realize Russian threat. Many critical materials on non-sufficient response of Nato and EU leaders to Russia threat appeared. Anglea Merkel seems have changed her opinion:Merkel Says Europe Won’t Allow Russia ‘Attack’ on Ukraine (Bloomberg, September 1, 2014).

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the European Union will press ahead with tougher sanctions against Russia as evidence mounts that President Vladimir Putin is behind “attacks” on Ukraine.

    “It’s become ever clearer that, from the beginning, this hasn’t been about a conflict within Ukraine, but a conflict between Russia and Ukraine,” Merkel told German lawmakers today [September 1, 2014] in the lower house of parliament in Berlin.

    The remarks underscore the German leader’s growing exasperation with the escalating conflict and her government’s more assertive role in seeking to resolve it as Russian soldiers continue an incursion into Ukrainian territory.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-09-01/merkel-says-europe-won-t-allow-russia-attack-on-ukraine.html

  • Vitalii Usenko

    Realizing increasing Russia threat Nato to create high-readiness force to counter Russian threat (The Guardian, September 1, 2014):

    Nato is to create a 4,000-strong “spearhead” high-readiness force that can be deployed rapidly in eastern Europe and the Baltic states to help protect member nations against potential Russian aggression, according to Nato officials.

    Leaders from the 28 Nato countries are expected to approve the plan at the alliance’s summit in Wales when the Ukraine crisis tops the agenda on Friday [August 29, 2014].

    The Nato secretary-general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said the force, drawn on rotational basis from Nato allies, could be in action at “very, very short notice”.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/01/nato-high-readiness-spearhead-force-counter-russian-threat

  • Vitalii Usenko

    More andmore experts believe that Vladimir Putin isn’t going to stop (if he will not be
    stopped by US, Nato, EU and Ukraine mutual efforts). Article in Buzzfeed “Vladimir
    Putin Isn’t Going To Stop”, September 1, 2014:
    http://www.buzzfeed.com/miriamelder/vladimir-putin-isnt-going-to-stop#3bcocge

  • Vitalii Usenko

    This news in The Atlantic went unnoticed in US, EU and Ukraine: A 24-Step Plan to Resolve the Ukraine Crisis. This attempt of “peace plan” is US version of “Molotov-Ribbentrop” pact. Thanks to The Atlantic and Freedom house that this plan has been exposed

    During meeting between Russian and American experts and former officials on the Finnish island of Boistö, a group of Americans and Russians developed so-called agenda for peace in Ukraine. What outrageous is that this meeting was without participation of Ukrainian experts and even without participation of EU experts.

    The Atlantic rejects the decision to exclude Ukrainians from this initiative. Such a decision reinforces the worst instincts that prevail in Russia—and possibly even among some Americans—that Ukraine is not a truly independent country and that Russia can, with U.S. endorsement, determine its fate. That nobody from Ukraine was invited to participate
    disqualifies this initiative from any serious consideration.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/08/a-24-step-plan-to-resolve-the-ukraine-crisis/379121/

  • Vitalii Usenko

    ‘A Ukraine Peace Plan That Excludes Ukrainians Is Unacceptable’- The Atlantic, September 1, 2014

    A response to the Boistö Group’s 24-step agenda for resolving the crisis Last week, The Atlantic published a 24-point plan for ending the conflict between Russia and Ukraine—the product of a meeting between Russian and American experts and former officials on the Finnish island of Boistö. Now, a group of American and European experts and former officials, coordinated by David Kramer of Freedom House, has written a response, rejecting the Boistö agenda and urging Russia to end its aggression
    against Ukraine.

    The letter—which comes as Ukrainian and Russian officials are holding talks in Belarus with Ukrainian separatists and international mediators, amid escalating hostilities in
    the region—argues that the exclusion of Ukrainians from the summit in Finland “disqualifies this initiative from any serious consideration.” The days when Russia and the U.S. could decide “the fate of other independent countries” are over, the authors write.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/09/response-boisto-peace-plan-ukraine-russia-us/379428/

  • Mazepa

    Western european nations have always served a ‘useful purpose’ as ignorant political whores. Once a dirty nuclear bomb is set off in moscow, it’ll be entertaining to see how they react to the almost instant execution of over 600,000 mockali.

  • Vitalii Usenko

    Samples of arms and equipment were demonstrated at XI International Trade Fair “Arms and Security — 2014” and International Exhibition for Aviation and Space Industry
    “AviaWorld” held in Kyyv, Ukraine on September 24-27, 2014
    http://www.iec-expo.com.ua/en/international-exhibition-for-aviation-industry-aviaworld.html

    US, Nato, EU refused to help Ukraine with hard armaments, precision weapon and military
    equipment. This could be factor which boosts development of the Ukrainian defense industry. Governmental orders shall be placed first of all to the Ukrainian defense enterprises. The successful further development of own defense industry will allow Ukraine be less dependent on whims and unreliable unpredictable military aid from US, Nato, EU.

    More detailed information on what arms, precision weapon and military equipment
    produced in Ukraine can be found in the section “Products and Services” of Ukroboronprom – http://www.ukroboronprom.com/en/decision

    What arms and military equipment could Ukrainian army have fought? Interesting video from ICTV, Facts of the week, September 28, 2014 (Video in Ukrainian)