Germany’s Angela Merkel delivered a rebuke to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday, telling him that a planned Moscow-backed referendum on whether Crimea should join Russia was illegal and violated Ukraine’s constitution.
Putin defended breakaway moves by pro-Russian leaders in Crimea, where Russian forces tightened their grip on the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula by seizing another border post and a military airfield. Continue reading
KIEV/BERLIN (Own report) – As the Crimean crisis escalates, the German Navy is dispatching one of its spy ships to the Mediterranean. The “Alster,” which had already been carrying out espionage on the Syrian war zone, is reported to have sailed from its homeport. Whether it will pursue a route through the Mediterranean to the Black Sea remains the Bundeswehr’s secret. With the Crimean conflict, the power struggle over the Ukraine is involving an area of utmost geostrategic importance to Moscow. The Russian Black Sea Fleet is stationed on the Crimean Peninsula, which is considered “Russia’s diving board into the Mediterranean,” where Russia has increased activities since 2013, seeking to counterbalance the USA. It is already being speculated, that the pro-western putschist government could annul the accord on stationing the Black Sea Fleet, thereby depriving Russia of this strategic position. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Moscow has had to watch how NATO has expanded its position in the Black Sea – with Bundeswehr participation and at the expense of Russia. Crimea’s geostrategic importance explains why Germany – unlike in the case, for example, of Yugoslavia – is trying to prevent the peninsula’s secession and a rapprochement with Russia by all means. Continue reading
WASHINGTON/BERLIN (Own report) – An expert at Berlin’s Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) is warning against an expansion of German-European military missions. “The analysis of interventions over the past twenty years” has led to “sobering insights into the limitations” of foreign military operations, according to a current position paper published by the SWP. This even applies to those military operations having the official objective of preventing massacres. In Libya, for example, “the risk of mass violence” is, by all means, “considered to be higher today, than before the intervention” in 2011. The SWP’s expert writes that in the USA “politicians and scholars” are “to a growing extent, agreeing that military interventions are an ineffective and extremely expensive instrument.” In fact, US experts are drawing a devastating conclusion about Washington’s intervention policy. One political scientist, taking the example of Syria, found that a military mission to that country, when seen in light of the experiences of Afghanistan, Iraq or Libya, would “make a bad situation much worse.” Regardless of such warnings, Berlin continues to adamantly pursue its expansion of German-European military missions – for the time being, particularly in Africa. Continue reading
As Washington and the Europeans – and especially the UK – continue to decry Russian military aggression, the US and Russians have quietly entered into intense negotiations on a compromise for resolving their dispute over Ukraine, debkafile’s Washington and Moscow sources report.
Moscow insists on keeping in place the military forces which took control of Crimea over the weekend, but is ready to discuss terms for restraining the Russian army from advancing into the Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine. Continue reading
The support given to Neo Nazi militants by the West isn’t a myth. It’s only now becoming mainstream knowledge. Just as other terrorist groups were previously (or still are) supported, such as al Qaeda or the Muslim Brotherhood, it’s important to know that any of these will be used as a means to an end. Just as ‘allies’ are thought to be allies in a traditional sense, they too, are only strategic interests and not really allies in today’s world. Any two countries can be seperated or have a rift formed between them no matter the bond.
The British Broadcasting Corporation – BBC – said the radical association The Right Sector was the organizer of the most vehement protest rallies in Ukraine. On Saturday, March 1st, it posted a video report from the center of Kiev, where the streets are being patrolled by the militants in the military uniform with the SS symbols, on its website.
According to the BBC correspondent, thousands of students and workers took to the streets in the Ukrainian capital Kiev with a demand for reforms. However militants of the ultra-right organization, The Right Sector, who wear clothes with Nazi symbols without any fear today and like to pose with the arms in their hands near the government buildings, were spotted among the ordinary people. Continue reading
BERLIN/KIEV/BERN (Own report) – In the aftermath of the Western-oriented putsch in Kiev, German politicians are preparing German public opinion for the disastrous deterioration of the Ukraine economic situation. Even though it was most recently suggested that the country could only expect a thriving development by linking up to the EU, it is now – truthfully – being announced that Ukraine is practically bankrupt. The CDU European parliamentarian, Elmar Brok, predicts “difficult times” ahead: “It has never rained gold coins, except in fairy tales.” In fact back in the fall, experts had already indicated that, because of its out-dated industry, the Ukraine would have to expect dramatic economic slumps if it signs the EU Association Agreements – unemployment and poverty would dramatically rise. In a position paper, the Berlin-based German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) is now proposing the introduction of a special status in EU ties for the Ukraine as well as other countries, such as Turkey. This sort of EU “second ring” would also permit the economic integration of such countries as Switzerland, which politically resists joining the EU. The SWP contends that these plans could also be used for Catalonia, should it secede from Spain and Scotland, from Britain. Continue reading
(Reuters) – Germany views Iran as a potential threat not just to Israel, but also to European countries, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday at a joint news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The German chancellor visited Jerusalem with her cabinet to mark almost 50 years of bilateral ties with Israel, which was founded in part as a haven for survivors of the Holocaust.
“We see the threat not just as a threat for the state of Israel but as a general threat for Europe as well,” she said of a potential Iranian bomb, adding that Germany would pursue international talks with Tehran on its nuclear activities. Continue reading
Berlin and Washington upped the ante, had the current Kiev regime overthrown and now Moscow has responded. In addition to what DEBKAfile had reported, the Russians are now preparing for potential conflict in the nearby sea. To what extent this will play out is not yet known.
According to Russian news site flot.com, Russian military ships carrying soldiers have arrived on Ukraine’s Crimean coast in what some are claiming could be the early signs of a Russian coup in the hotly disputed autonomous region of the Crimea.
Russia’s large landing ship Nikolai Filchenkov has arrived near the Russia Black Sea Fleet’s base at Sevastopol, which Russia has leased from Ukraine since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. Continue reading
(Reuters) – Deutsche Bank has laid out plans to reduce its U.S. balance sheet as the U.S. Federal Reserve adopts new rules to shield the country’s taxpayers from costly bailouts, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.
The lender is expected to reduce its $400 billion balance sheet in the United States to around $300 billion in part by reassigning operations such as its Mexican arm and its Frankfurt and Tokyo-based repo businesses that are currently part of its U.S. business elsewhere, the FT reported. Continue reading
German public opinion of Israel is slumping ahead of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit there. There is growing public and political disillusionment over Israel’s treatment of its Palestinian neighbors.
Merkel and her 15 cabinet ministers will participate in the largest-ever bilateral consultations on Monday and will kick off official preparations for next year’s celebrations commemorating 50 years since diplomatic relations between the two countries were established.
However, the visit has been overshadowed by reports of the worst crisis in diplomatic ties since Merkel took office almost 10 years ago. A recent BBC poll showed that only 14 percent of Germans today had a positive view of Israel.
“I think German public opinion is actually worse than what’s shown in the polls because Germans don’t publicly state their opinion, they play it down,” said Israel’s former ambassador to Germany and the European Union, Avi Primor. Continue reading
Remember that the EU is led by Germany, therefore America is encouraging Germany to take center stage — and it has.
In allowing the EU to mediate Ukraine’s peace accord, the US achieved its objectives and lightened its own burden. Whether it can stay in the shadows depends on the likelihood of a Ukrainian financial crisis.
The US had two priorities in Kyiv, says Charles A. Kupchan, who under the first Clinton administration directed the National Security Council’s (NSC) European affairs.
“Number one, to stop the killing and the loss of life. And number two, to bring to an end a political stalemate and find a way forward for Ukraine,” he told DW.
“From the perspective of Washington, it’s important that the Atlantic community move to a new division of responsibility in which Europe shoulders a greater burden,” Kupchan said. “And in the first instance, those burdens should be in Europe.” Continue reading
If you want the real deal on the Ukraine, here it is. Berlin is going all in. There are no such thing as sporatic uprisings where college kids empty the university classrooms to go out, demonstrate with wooden picket signs, or throw bottles and stones at police officers in riot gear. These are 99.9% of the time well thought out and methodically planned in advance, such as the Occupy Wall Street (see also here) thugs.
KIEV/BERLIN (Own report) – Yesterday, the day after the German Chancellor held deliberations with two leaders of the Ukrainian opposition, protests in Kiev escalated into bloody confrontations. Demonstrators, unconditionally sponsored by Germany and other western countries for months, began, over the past few days, to arm themselves with firearms and ammunition. Two police officers were shot to death during yesterday’s uprising. This escalation into a bloody confrontation followed on the heels of government compliance with a fundamental demand of the demonstrators, just as it seemed that a de-escalation was about to begin – to the tactical disadvantage of the “German’s man” in Kiev, Vitali Klitschko, who has been calling for the president to resign. Klitschko, who flew to Berlin Monday, to discuss the next steps, threatened an even more bloody escalation and declared, that he does not “rule out the use of force in the evacuation of the Maidan.” One of the organizations he is relying on is explicitly named after Nazi collaborators, who had carried out mass-murder of Soviet Jews. Escalation strategies, such as those currently implemented in Kiev, are not alien to German foreign policy. Continue reading