russiaA lot has happened since our last post on the situation in Ukraine. Following a botched and bloody attempt to suppress anti-government protests, the President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, was deposed and fled to Russia. Not long afterwards, pro-Russian forces wearing masks and uniforms lacking insignia seized several key buildings on the Crimean peninsula, including two airports and the regional parliament. On 1 March, Russia’s parliament voted unanimously in favour of granting President Vladimir Putin the authority to employ military force against Ukraine. By Monday, senior US officials were briefing that Russia had “complete operational control of the Crimean peninsula”.

Putin claims the new Ukrainian government is illegitimate and that Russia is only interested in stabilising the situation. Critics, though, argue that Russia is attempting to split Ukraine in half before the country is able to reorient itself further towards Europe.

The Russian Ruble took a nosedive in response to the news, and analysts warn that sanctions and threatened economic isolation could wreak havoc on the Russian economy. Yet the European response has not exactly been unified. Roughly one-quarter of all oil and gas used in Europe originates in Russia, and several EU Member States are nervous about the economic impact of freezing relations with the EU’s largest Eastern neighbour.

How should the European Union react to the situation in Ukraine? Should the EU join the US in deploying economic sanctions against Russia? Or is Europe too dependent on Russian gas? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policy-makers and experts for their reactions.

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – Filippo

97 comments Post a commentcomment

    • avatar

      Yes, the Neonazis in Kyiv will be happy to have them.

  1. avatar
    Szymon Nowicki

    Yes, the whole point of United Europe was to protect it’s member states from danger, and right now if Ukraine falls it’s going to have very serious geopolitical repercussions for European Union and Turkey. Those are the times when we have to choose the “lesser evil”, and which “lesser evil” to choose shows us our history books.

    • avatar

      First of all Ukraine is NOT a member of the EU. Second the current government of Ukraine is the result of a coup d’etat and not an elected government. Third and most important, in this government are participating declared NeoNazis. One of the first act of the new regime was to cancel the law that made Nazi propaganda illegal and to make illegel for the minorities to speak their native languages. This is not a regim that EU can cooperate with.

  2. avatar
    Spyros Kouvoussis

    They should overthrow the fascist government in Kiev and make sure democratic rights and minorities are protected.

  3. avatar
    Xavier Schoumaker

    LOL. I love how Russia-apologists say this is a “EU” conspiracy/coup.
    So much easier than understanding complexity.

  4. avatar
    Helder Oliveira

    Instead of paying 2 parliamentary bills, the EU needs to cut expenses and invest in self sufficient measures in renewable energy

  5. avatar
    Debby Teusink

    Looks a bit to much on the invasion of Sudetenland in 1938. We should get our act together and prepare for war.

  6. avatar
    Lazaros Kalaitzidis

    1) Force Ukraine to hold democratic elections soon and assure transparency
    2) Make sure that the minority rights are preserved and that the new government’s motions about banning ideologies and minority languages don’t pass.
    3) Support Russia in preserving her interests (naval base etc)

    If we do that there is no crisis anymore and Ukraine remains one country.

  7. avatar
    Tomas Šamke

    Spyros, fascist goverment in Kiev???? You mean fascist in Kremlin, Russia. Putin is dictator who wants to occupy neighbours. It’s just what russians do, in all history, they fucking Eastern Europe countries, occupators go HOME.

    • avatar

      You’re so wrong… if Putin wanted that , he would already got it done. But well, I guess you’re just a troll

  8. avatar
    ObservateurBxl Brabançon

    EU seems lost in the middle of nowhere. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, it was the momentum to re-integrate the orphan eastern europe since WWII. But EU didn’t succeed to beef up his new leadership at the level of expected responsabilities : A real executive power for external relations and defense. Of course, his internal system of power was locked in intergovernmental mode with the failure of the new “Constitutional framework”.NATO was also in search for survival mode but succeed to stay afloat. The US grip, strained during the Irak’s War and the Big CDO’s Crunch, gains advantage of the european unpreparadness to major external crisis as these arab or ukrainian upheavals. Europe moves ahead during crisis. With these big boosters, true Federal Europe is our only chance to exist on the world map.

  9. avatar
    Sara Connor

    claro, claro. meterse en mdio por la libertad de ucrania es tonteria. primero vamos a echar cuentas….. ya ni me molesto en ponerlo en ingles. vaya espiritu europeista, es q los ucranianos no saben dond se meten

  10. avatar
    Baris Ekici

    React? What reaction could eu impose? Dispute wii be finished until eu leaders decide!

  11. avatar

    EU’s Foreign Policy was not clear in the past. Let’s make a clear start. Economic sactions against Russia is something that will cost a lot to the EU. NO.

  12. avatar
    Karel Van Isacker

    The EU has thrown itself in a wasp nest, supporting a ratatouille of political parties, from extreme left to plain violent fascist movements. That Ukraine then conducted a putch (because that is what it was, there is no way this can be called democratic), followed by hostile legislation towards minorities. Similar to what happened in Estonia, Lithuania, and Letland towards the Russian minorities. The hostilities towards Russians are based on a hatred dating mainly back from the WWII aftermath when they were all occupied by Russia (a deal kindly struck by the allied powers USA and UK). That Russia would intervene was logic and a direct outcome of the poor EU foreign politics that are lead by a bunch of media obsessed personalities like #Verhofstadt and #HansvanBaalen (yes yes, the elections are approaching!!!), and an incompetent and naive #Barosso and High Representative, #CatherineAshton. The EU screwed up, and now will be put once again on the sideline, with the US making empty threats to apease the voters back home. The only one showing concrete things is Putin. And whether we like it or not, over 50% of the Crimea area is populated by ethnic Russians. Russia will not tolerate further attacks on the population it had to leave behind after the disintegration of the USSR. About time the EU’s foreign policy is revised. Truth is what happens on the field and which should be checked by EU representatives, not what the EU media make of it to support the EU’s point of view…

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Karel Van Isacker
      The ‘deal’ you insultingly spoke of was after the UK+colonies had lost c400k lives (twice that of cowardly France) and the UK is NOT even in mainland Europe.

      When you add the fact that the UK lost c1/3 of its wealth you can see why the UK just wanted PEACE at the first available opportunity.

      Yes the EU screwed up – it tried to annex by stealth a country more closely aligned with Russia – WHY?

      The EU cannot cope as-is with several of its recently [annexed] basket-case countries [sorry] I mean EU constituent countries.

  13. avatar
    Xavier Schoumaker

    Those you call “nazis” have been around in Ukraine for a while.
    So have democratic forces opposed to Yanukovych. That you label everything one way, can only highlight how biased you are in your own reading. Godwin it if you want. We’re talking about Ukraine, have you been paying attention the last few years??? Yanukovych was NOT DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED – please read reports on how elections are rigged in Ukraine instead of being so naive. Do not mix subjects.

    The nazi regime is gone since 1945. Stop justifying one behaviour by accusing another, that’s how you accept irresponsibility.

    Please tell me how the EU is looking the other way? It’s all over the media. Watching RT saying the “western media ignores” something they are actually covering is a manipulative joke. Putin’s RT puppets will not teach you objectivity. Unless you have other “sources of information”, in which case I’d love to read from them!

    This is about resources and Putin playing with little soldiers to pretend he is virile. There was no need for mercenaries to be sent by Russia, no one triggered that but Putin’s paranoia.

  14. avatar
    Algy Keuneman

    It is clear that that President Viktor Yanukovych was inept if it justified such a take over is questionable most EU governments are equally as un popular so does this show a future path ? Russia had a very good hand to play but for some reason has played it badly and is now struggling to exonerate it self from the mess. Their has been no mass popular uprising to support what has happened in Kiev or the Crimean peninsula showing neither side has captured the true mood of the country this was clearly shown when the people did not warm to Tymoshenko appearance in freedom square I suspect we will see more of this later as the promised elections get underway and the people in Kiev move out into the rest of Ukraine and start to get them involved. The EU is dependent an all its resources from questionable Governments around the world and has failed to address this constructively. Sanctions against Russia are contradictory as the promised aid to Ukraine is mealy to pay its debts to Russia so what will really be achieved by this

  15. avatar
    Costin Alexandru

    It should not join the US. The US are responsible for this for the precedents they have set in interference with the sovereignty of other States like lybia irak egypt Syria and Afghanistan it was a matter of time before other superpowers behaved the same, at the outskirts of international law principles defined by the UN Charter. EU has to stand down and let things unfold at the expense of the Ukrainian people. The US is solely responsible for current events through their abusive practices as of yet.

    • avatar

      delusional! To compare Russia a second rate power to the U.S. is absurd.

  16. avatar
    Rui Oliveira

    I think that in this situation, the European Union, should have the necessary diplomacy, to help solving the conflict in the best way. If Russia, continuolsy insist in takink part of Ukraine, and with that “create” a war, in that case, European Union should give heavy sanctions to prevent the aggravation of the conflict. Of course, that this kind of reaction from the European Union, could bring in a short way, some problems but Russia must have the inteligence to know that what they intend to do it`s must worse.

    • avatar

      China just said it is with Russia, so how will your ridiculous sanctions plan work?

  17. avatar
    Daniele Scaramelli

    It is funny reading comments blaming the US because the Russian invaded Ukraine. Be serious, or emigrate to Russia and enjoy life there. None of you will do it, you are safely in the EU and won’t survive one week under Putin.

  18. avatar
    Kęstutis Želnys

    There is no need to force Ukraine :) Russia’s invasion is the obstacle for democratic elections and they did it for purpose. Russians have to withdraw and let Ukraine organize elections. I remind you that in accordance with February 21 agreement the elections had to take place in May. How are they gonna have place when Russian army controls Crimea?

  19. avatar
    Lazaros Kalaitzidis

    Nobody says that Putin is a saint, nor that Russia is a nice place to be. But nor is actual Ukraine, I could reverse your argument and tell you, go to Ukraine and live under this new ukrainian government.

    As EU we must decide if we want to be fair on this, or if we want to serve our interests (when as i say “we” of course I mean at most 2-3 countries, it goes without saying that at the level of decision making all the rest countries and their politicians are simple Yesmen). But let the people know, that if what we want is to promote our interests in depriment of the russian interests there (in other words screw them once more -check how many broken promises towards Russia since 1992) then Russians may retaliate and this can lead to war. I wonder how many of you supporting the putch in Ukraine are willing to go fight against the Russians. My prediction? None will go and if we initiate a war we will then leave the Ukrainians alone exactly as we did in Georgia.

    TLDR: We really don’t have serious politicians at EU level. And we even lack EU appartenance and perspective. Every nation-state puts national interest first; in this way EU states relations are not partners relations but relations of power which means that the whole EU structure at the moment will lead to serve the interests of very few EU countries.

  20. avatar
    George Danieldsg

    Stop supporting new nazist self proclaimed government in KIEV .In collaboration with Russia free elections to solve the problem.Without new nazists.Russia has no invaded in Krimaia it is here by valid treaty.

  21. avatar
    Lazaros Kalaitzidis

    Most people don’t know (thanks media!) that russian troops were at Crimea since ever and have a military base there, they really think some invasion happened.

  22. avatar

    It’s sad what’s happening in the Ukraine and my heart goes out to its people. The USA will do what they want regardless of what others say. I’d prefer diplomacy every time. The Ukraine isn’t part of the EU but I believe the EU helped escalate the problem in the beginning and made matters worse not considering the ethnic mix that they have. This could turn out to be another divided country!

  23. avatar
    catherine benning

    From my point of view, this is not ‘new’ Russian assertiveness. This is a Russian affair, not ours, and it’s looking after its own back yard. Just as we ‘hopefully’ would if it was Scotland, after it decided it wanted independence. And why would we do that? To protect our interests just as Russia is doing today.

    It appears quite clear to most of us, the Ukraine legitimate elected government was overthrown in a coup. Similar to the one in Egypt. Ukraine was to go to the polls in a very short time and true democracy waits. The big issue here is, who was at the back of this unrest leading to a takeover? This following by the West in this matter is to usurp the Ukraine and it has been known of for a few years. It is not a new idea. Is it?

    Prior to this uprising it was obvious the old cold war tactics were at play against Putin and his administration. The ridiculous put down of Sochi, which, whilst I’m not a sporting fan, looked quite marvelous to me when I took a glimpse at the skating. That constant belittling and schnide remarks regarding the homosexual issue, along with accusations of cheating, it was so utterly naive and predictable. Does government really believe we remain in the mindset of the 1930′s/1940′s when people were so gullible?

    If the US/UK/EU want a war with Russia, rather than accept the gas and oil there belongs to the Russian people, I suggest they all get themselves and their families, to line up, don tin hats and uniforms and get to it. If you feel the people of this land are ready to fight and die whilst the top drawer, like Blair and his progeny, can sit back and replay the scenes of battle on their i-phones, think again. Putin is greatly respected in the UK, as is the traditional thinking of the people of that country and we are, in the main, fully cognisant of what is going on.

    Stay out of the Ukraine.

    And additionally:

    it appears from the newspapers the citizens have a somewhat different view of events taking place in Ukraine. We, unlike you and co, hope the next PM of our country is the one who’s party wins the most seats at the general election. And when that happens, the oppositions supporters do not riot in the streets and force him out of power.

    As PM I wonder how Mr Cameron must feel at the prospect of such a move from the people who would like UKIP to take over, should a group of their supporters decide to oust him by rioting in the streets? Will our police and army stand by and let them go ahead the way they did in Kiev? If he is comfortable with that, does it mean he has a hidden back door escape rout with a US helicopter on stand by to fly him and his family off shore, where Airforce One will be standing by to escort him on the rest of his journey?

    And as a little PS: Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Grenada, Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and if they had their way, Syria. Great record.

    If any other country in the world overthrew their legitimately elected President
    there would have been outrage. This is a an obvious example of a two faced stance from a democratic Parliament who has only a marginal right to govern as it does, without a mandate. How is that?

    This is too serious to be ready to accept war on such ludicrous grounds.

  24. avatar
    Panos Mentesidis

    no intervention! Neutrality…if putin wants to talk with Merkel thats fine… keep the Gas prices low and we will be fine. Why did Europe didnt intervine in Serbia or Iraq or any place that the americans or the russians fucked? stay Neutral M’kay? just because the americans returned their badge and gun that doesnt mean that the EU should become the new sheriff..we have enough problems….solve those first.

  25. avatar
    Alberto Esparcia

    More than gas, it’s reasonable not disgust to much a country with missils and nuclear weapons. It would be stupid to have avoid a catastrophic war with the USSR, and to involve in another with Russia, a very feble heir of soviets. Putin need to seem arrogant with Occident, only to win the suport of his citizens; but he is not stupid, remain in power is enough for him, he is not the head of “Socialist Block”. And in a few generations may be a ‘Meiji Revolution’ in Russia to be recognized as part of the modern world. It’s better not to give excuses for Putin to present himself the ‘father of motherland’ (Batyusa).

  26. avatar
    Marek Sedlak

    No intervention, no sanctions. It is too late and this is the price to pay for having lived in illusion of “strong EU”. Not to mention the double language speaking about invasions.
    If EU wants to have a word in crisis like this one, EU needs to be less dependent, green cars etc, wind powered power plants, just like some countries try to.
    I am against regulations, however there has to be a progress in this field. Car producers have to invest in this field, it’s a must. It is a way to build up the independence and build up the dependence of Russia, e-g- they need to sell, right?
    Yeah and, MAKE LOVE NOT WAR.

  27. avatar
    Stephane Czajkowski

    I do not want all those franmaconic ideas in Slavic countries: destruction of faith in God, adoption by homosexual persons, materialism, one soup culture without taste for all, denying of ancestors, no respect for elderly poeple … Level of economical development doesn’t necessarily means justice and good values. It is not Putin who is arrogant with the Occident but the contrary! The question is also stupid and hypocrite! Europe has a lack in energy and would be glad to see the big bear falling! Europe leaders are themselves manipulating the facts. I do not say that Ptin is an angel, but I am fed up with this European manipulation! Morover, that Occident is putting Slavic poeple against eachother and it is disgusting! Who does feed the banks of the extremists in Ukraine? Russia or the Occident? Come on.

  28. avatar
    Armando Bezhani

    What to discuss here guys..this happening to every country likes to have friendly relations with Russia and always the good helper Americans-french- Germans trying to help like they helped (fucked) greece…so this going to happen all think…

  29. avatar
    Vesselin Alexiev

    If anything the EU should push for new elections in Ukraine, and a Finland model for Ukraine’s future foreign policy. The EU cannot afford to alienate Russia anymore

    • avatar
      Kroum Balabanov

      We cannot allow Russia to be in open breech of all the norms of international relations it signed for. O&G – we can buy them from the US, Azerbayjan & the Arabs. As for the finlandization – I agree, i is a viable solution proposed by Prof. Brzeziński

  30. avatar
    Tomas Naglis

    Since Russia is a very important economic partner for the EU, European States should take a moderate actions towards Russian aggression targeting policy makers but not the regular citizens. It’s important because the support of Putin’s actions is very low among Russian people according to the polls. Such actions could involve denial of bank account access and entrance to the EU countries. Russian officials own real estate in many western countries and educate their children in European Universities.

  31. avatar
    Hari Lama Tamang

    EU can stay as mediator and resolve the crisis of ukrain ‘ I and we suggest to Russia and ukrain pls calm and come down on table to talk well . We international law nation can be judgement for them in this situation so no war no war peace peace peace is powerful thing to be happy and USA I mean obam don’t be hero now worldwide economic crisis it’s all goes to USA .

  32. avatar
    Spyros Kouvoussis

    @Tomas, Putin is a semi-dictator and his reasons for invading Crimaia are justification to cover the economic interest BUT this doesn’t mean that the fascist government of Ukraine is any better.

  33. avatar

    The current government in Kiev is illegitimate and the result of a coup d’etat likely sponsored by Washington and Brussels. The violence was started and provoked by ‘extreme nationalists’ (Bandera types) from the western regions who received funding from outside sources.

    The ‘West’, these violent thugs from Western Ukraine are the one who violated the agreement with the legitimate government about early elections scheduled for may. Putin is quite right, it is not Russia that violated agreements, it is the ‘West’. Western countries and corporations are undoubtedly already salivating at the prospect of looting Ukraines resources for ‘our’ benefit.

    And the biggest joke of all, apparently this Yanukovich guy was corrupt and enriched himself and therefore a bad guy. Now apparently ‘we’ seek to replace him with princess Yulia (Timoshenko) and are ignoring the little fact that she too is corrupt and enriched herself massively.

    This seems to be a case of the western world telling Russia ‘it is not fascism when we do it’. And as for what prosperity they aim to bring, just look to Greece. Ukrainians should realize that if they stick with their current usurper government, they will get the Greece medicine, big time.

  34. avatar
    Panos Mentesidis

    ok all people here say no to war…thats only logical..but if Russia decides to declare war and sent its massive army to ukraine what then? People say the EU should be a mediator or something! screw that! if the EU tries to help it will only make things worse…just please stay out of it. we have nothing to gain from pushing Russia and in the end normal people will pay the price…crimea is 70% russian anyway..even if things calm some point crimea will become part of would be best if they do it with a referendum. not with violence…

  35. avatar
    Jovan Ivosevic

    Hell no. Yanukovich was a democratically elected leader. The protestors broke the EU sponsored deal with the government before the EU mediators had a chance to board their planes and leave Kiev. They lost the election on 2010 and couldn’t wait till next year like a normal democracy so they rioted. Once they rioted, they gave them early elections in May under the German / Polish deal and they first agreed but later refused to honor that deal and stormed the presidential palace. If force is the only language they understand and respect, then let them come face to face with the barrel end of a Russian T-90 battle tank.

  36. avatar
    Julian Nicolas Georgiou

    This is a reminder to silly EU politicians, that play a double role in the Cyprus problem. If EU poloticians had the guts to tell Turkey to back off from Cyprus natural gas reserves, EU would had now been energy sufficient for the next 50years.

  37. avatar
    Tarquin Farquhar

    The EU has caused this disaster by trying to expand its influence too quickly.

    Methinks the EU should return its risible Nobel prize!

  38. avatar
    Martti Immonen

    Sure europe is,but that is not the point now. Russia breaks every deal they make or exists,if it just might suit the purpose. Eu must not give in under such pressure and focus on saving ukrainians.

  39. avatar
    Gatis Gailitis

    We should really look at how dependent we are on Russian fed. We should start building European resources. Renewable energy, electric cars electric everything . We should. Have to be the future.

  40. avatar
    Alexandros Ampatzimpasis

    I don’t understand the article’s question! What the EU did when the US interfeared in Yugoslavia to avoid war and save the lives of so many people? Besides as far as I know Crimea was tradisionaly Russian.

  41. avatar
    Bogdan Muzialowsky

    Throughout history ukrainian leaders always failed to defend people. In 17th century, Khmelnytsky led a fight for independence from Poland, but soon later the country lost its independence to Russia. Who knows if Khmelnytsky was fooled by the russians, or fooled the people himself? In the end of the WWI, despite efforts from Symon Pletiura and others, Ukrainian leaders refused to be independent to be slaved for decades, now as a part of USSR. In the meantime, Stepan Bandera has been revered as a “independence hero”, when he and the UPA wasn’t no more than bloodthirsty terrorists that would made Bin Laden an Al-Qaeda look like Santa Claus and his dwarfs… After the fall of comunism when there was a chance again, guys like Yanukovich run to Russian arms for his own wellfare. How can the ukraininan people trust the opposition leaders that took power now? How them can really trust that EU will really help? Wrong choices made on the past now led Ukraine to face consequences, and unfortunately the people, that was never heard, is the only one who suffer more. They deserve freedom, but it looks like there’s a long way to go, one more time.

  42. avatar
    Nikolaos Sotirelis

    All this mess was caused by the EU interference. Two times the legally elected government in Ukraine fell from coups that were supported from the West.
    I don’t consider one side better than the other. Both sides were corrupt. But this time you went things too far. You put in an unselected government, neonazis and far-right nationalists.
    And all this for a shameless power game.
    Well, “if you plant wind, you harvest storm”!

  43. avatar
    Unimatriks Ziro

    Yanukovych?s own party turned against him. The Parliament today is made up of the same members as it was a before the revolution (besides a handful that are now on the run). Interim President Turchynov and Prime Minister Yatsenyuk are both former cabinet ministers and capable, experienced politicians and when exactly did they turned into nazis, Nicholas Sotirelis!????

    • avatar

      Yes, members of the parliament are the same, but the Government is formed from other political parties than it was before. Before the overthrow, there was two parties in government – Party of Regions and Ukraine – Forward. Now, the government consists of centre-right parties plus far-right party Svoboda. There are still some neo-nazi members although there were many more in the past. Party is often described as fascist or anti-semitic. They’re views are often racist and xenophobic. That’s why current government does also consist of extremist natioanlists and even some neo-nazis.

  44. avatar
    eusebio manuel vestias pecurto

    mesa-redonda e de dialgos politicos e pacificos sobre o problema chamado Ucrânia para uma paz sustentável

  45. avatar

    You know what is really funny about this, or at least would be if it wasn’t so serious? The western world saying ‘this is the 21st century, you don’t just go about invading other peoples sovereign country on a trumped up pretext’. I think it was John Kerry who said something like that.

    I´d love to hear the opinion of msrs Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Blair, Berlusconi and Aznar on this!

    Russia has a contractual agreement to have up to 25k military personnel on Crimea, today there are fewer than that.

    IMF, EU, World Bank and all of them apparently are already standing ready to apply the ´Greece´ medicine in Kiev. Ukrainians beware!

  46. avatar
    Samuel Tandorf

    The EU needs armed forces to have a “back up plan” or at least some kind of means to put some pressure on other countries. Right now, we’re too dependent on anything!

  47. avatar
    Marian Sasaran

    No. Europe is not dependent of russian gas. That gas is not offered free. Russia is dependent of Europe to buy their gas.

  48. avatar
    Nikolaos Sotirelis

    Dear “Unimatriks Ziro” don’t buy everything they try to sell you. Here is the list with the nazis and fascists members of the new Ukrainian government…
    – Andrey Parubiy: Secretary-supervisor of National Security & Defence
    – Dmytro Yarosh: deputy Secretary-supervisor of National Security & Defence
    – Oleksandr Sych: deputy Prime Minister (government vice president)
    – Ihor Tenyukh: Minister of Defence
    – Serhey Kvit: Minister of Education (!!!!!!!)
    – Andrey Mokhnyk: Minister of Ecology and Natural Sources
    – Ihor Shvaika: Minister of Agriculture and Food
    – Dmytro Bulatov: Minister of Youth and Sports
    – Oleh Makhnitsky: General District Attorney of Ukrain (??????)
    – Tetiana Tchornovol: President of the National Commity against corruption

  49. avatar
    Gerard Francois

    Ukraine debt: 35 billion$. Amount stolen by. Yanukovitch clan: 37 billion$. The least Europe can do is freeze these assets in. Austrian and British banks.

    • avatar

      Maybe they can ask Yulia Tymoshenko to return the loot she stole in the 1990s.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      and Cypriot, Greek, Austrian and Luxembourg banks…

  50. avatar
    Nikolaos Sotirelis

    Dear Gerard Francois, if the amount of Yanukovych was as you said 37 bis then he would be in the Forbes list ;) . He certainly stole a lot, but not as many as Timoshenko, which by the way,was in the Forbes list, with an amount about 11 bis (imagine that the reacher guy in planet is Bill Gates with 72 bis fortune, not just account)!!!

  51. avatar
    Stephane Czajkowski

    Szymon Nowicki, come on. WW2 is gone. I know that Poland is affraid of Russia because of history, but isn’t it time to stop that paranoa? Sould I recall you that Polish and Russian and Ukrainian are Slavic? That we represent the hugest european population? That once in history western Europeans had problems with us and lost territories? Western Europe has always been affraid of us. We had problems together and they emphasized them to divide us, so that we became weaker and more controlable. The catholic christianisation of Poland was politically well calculated to oppose Slavic between themselves. They are eradicating christianism from Western Europe and used religion against us, and now they come with a franmaconic ideology for conquering those countries, our countries as the rest of the world. One world, one religion, one order, one culture – without God.

  52. avatar

    No, Europe is not too dependent on russian gas. Economic dependencies are helpful to avoid escalation. Both sides can’t afford to drop relations.
    Other thing: Does anybody understand Mr. Putin? He acts like some stubborn teenager (or a wounded bear, to keep the picture) where lifes are at stake. Phantom pain of lost russian lands and fear of EU/NATO expansion? Does he live in this world or in some fantasy land?
    By the way: It’s very annoying how he plays with the rather onesided western media. Secret service experience against journalists naivete :-(

  53. avatar
    catherine benning

    What is taking place in Europe is extraordinary and if I wasn’t seeing it on TV and reading about it in the newspapers, I would not believe it could possibly happen on this continent we have always admired and believed was above this kind of duplicity. This first video tells it like it is from one of the UK MP’s.

    And who is being supported? Why a thief who was tried and found guilty of gross .
    misappropriation of tax payers money.

    And this inept and naive woman, Catherine Ashton, has to go. How can this be considered acceptable behaviour and backed by the EU? I thought the Germans were smarter than this.

    Here we see the thief being embraced. The idiocy of this is staggering.

    • avatar
      catherine benning

      I put up two of the same video clips in the last post it should have been this one.

      Open and transparent government is very important to us all.

  54. avatar
    João De Lalanda Frazão

    Given the delicate situation that it rests, the best the UE has to do is to promote anti war politics. Indeed, Russia has already showed its bellicose attitude and prospects, asserted in a Russian nationalist rhetoric. On the other hand, the truth is that its foreign politics are promoting several crisis and focus of stress all over an EU candidate country land.
    I just find seriously funny how much everybody is afraid of Russia, even though we live in a supposed democratic world, where one country should not be invading another (yes, I know they had military bases there but that’s plenty different from Crimea’s military occupation). Plus, the funniest is how Russia is actually a genius at manipulating Slavic media (and all those around it’s region of influence), by saying that what they did was actually correct. Moreover, don’t even make me speak about the Arab public opinion regarding Ukraine, with a majority that identifies itself pro Russian, mostly because they only catch this issue trough a Cold War perspective of Russia VS USA. Indeed, this was their best achievement: trough identifying the Russian opposition with the USA and saying that they did worse, they surely legitimize their invasion.
    I think we should detach ourselves from the USA in this issue, in form of claiming “we don’t do that, so behave like us”. Secondly, work toward a more energetically self sufficient Europe who doesn’t need to be fed up with energy threat. Thirdly, slip further away from Russia since we’ve seen that Moscow runs away from the values claimed by the UE, such as democracy, human rights, bla bla bla. More and more, Putin reveals itself a dictator who looks to me much like European pre WWII fascist regimes, which embrace violence and war as positive stuff that emulate national pride.
    However, despite everyone being afraid of Russia, I guarantee you that if a WWIII exploded in Easter Europe and the UE was pulled in, we could actually, at first glance, be in disadvantage. However, once we would enter the war economy mode, beware of the UE. We are way more productive and creative than Russian, although we actually prefer the use of soft power (as Russia should prefer it too). Plus, I can also believe that in the end of the war, we would have a totally unified Europe in order to resist the war crisis.

    • avatar
      catherine benning

      On the contrary, I think the EU should listen to the Russian explanation closely rather than the doubtful spouting from those who have overthrown the Ukraine President. The story there is totally unclear and it appears at first blush as if Russia has done the Ukraine a big service by getting involved practically on the ground in order to stop further murder.

      Of course it also appears to have upset the West. Which is odd in the circumstances. Now we hear there are demonic threats toward Russian economy if they don’t put their tail between their legs and run away.

      What the EU must do and quickly is weigh up its true position both practically on the ground and subsequently in the months to come. Who do they have to appease in the real world and why. Who do they ‘trust’ the most. A difficult one after being spied on and drawn into military action for years that they never wanted part of. They must digest the situation objectively and ask themselves who really caused this collision and why it was done. And most of all, is it worth any of this.

      Don’t allow the EU to be a patsy to any of them. If you do you do, you will remain chained for a possible eternity.

    • avatar

      Who is this ‘we’, pal? I’m with Putin on this, the EU and USA financed a coup d’etat and the current Kiev government is illegitimate.

  55. avatar
    Nikolaos Sotirelis

    I enjoy the fact, that some naive guys consider as a given, that EU (but actually Germany), haven’t put its hand on this situation.
    As a matter of fact, EU was behind those events all this time.
    They simply wanted to reduce the Russian influence in the area, by increasing theirs and getting points in the energy game (after the retreat of Yanukovych from the cooperation agreement, under the commands of Moscow, of course).
    The fact remains, that EU didn’t count the cost of human blood, neither the fact of the neonazis promotion, on this paranoic power game.

  56. avatar
    catherine benning

    It appears to me President Putin is in touch with the people he rules over, unlike those in the UK and EU. If only we had a leader as perceptive as he. He is no angel for sure but I believe he’s sincere in is moves as leader of his people. Unlike the kindergarten variety we have leading us. Those who sell out to the highest bidder. Just listen to the leaking of the Ashton/Paet conversation. Unelectable incompetent appointees on the world stage without any right to be in such a position. Placed in the British House of Lords by the grinning joker Blair.

    What Putin should think of is annexing a part of Russia, allowing its own borders, passport, laws, etc., and offering it to the indigenous people of the UK and Europe who no longer feel they have a country of their own. Similar to the way the Zionists have Israel, or, a Monaco without the tax fiddles. So that those same Europeans could return to their traditional values and live their life without the terror they face daily by the invasion of conquering Duke Wayne’s insisting we follow their destructive lead or else.

    Russia is a huge country and severing a small part of it, the size of England, would not affect it at all. That way he would be offering freedom to a beleaguered people as refugees to be allowed to continue their cultural practices as they see fit. He would be doing the disenfranchised a favour. Of course the Putin administration would have to make sure those entering were not infiltrated by the Blackwater paid for army and its minions, otherwise it would not have a chance in hell of establishing a true culture and government of its own. I wouldn’t mind betting such a place would fill in no time at all.

    It could even call itself something like The United people of Vintage Britain or Period Europe. Give us all an opportunity to be free of the ‘Evil Empire’ we can see and hear relentlessly but never have a right to vote against. A safe haven is what we need.

  57. avatar
    Sasa Karapandzic

    Unfortunately for the western allays Russia is stronger then ever. Europe depend on gas from Russia, Norway can not produce 25% of Europe needs. Political and military agreements with China and India allow Putin to concentrate on one spot, Crimea and not only Crimea, also Donetsk and Luhansk regia too. Europe is too slow in reaction and USA is depending on oil from Kazakhstan witch they transfer via Russian pipeline to Syria as construction and building their pipeline was successfully sabotaged by Russia in last 15 years. Check the path of pipeline and then check the conflict in that area Armenia, Georgia, South and north Ossetia. Russia did not react on Libya few years ago, but it did react very strong on problems in Syria. Remember problems in Turkey at the same time. Why Turkey? It is in NATO. USA is too exhausted by engagement in Iraq, even pressure on Iran is put in second plan and left to UN to sporadically deal with it. On the South Asia Russian partner China is one and only dominant force. Economically strong Japan and South Korea depend on importing food (over 65% Japan and South Korea are food) from China and the rest of the world. For sure they did not any war and oil prices to rise. On south Russia have India as partner witch is in tight peace with Pakistan over Kashmir. Pakistan have a lot of inner problems that escalate during US “WAR ON TERROR”. The whole Pakistan government stands on glass legs, it can easily start riots in Islamabad and Karachi.

    On the other hand, Russia need selling gas and oil to Europe and USA but that is on long term conflict. On short period conflict, Europe economy will be devastate with no energy supply. Long economical crises and problems in Greece, Spain, Ireland and Italy soften Europe political influence. Everybody in the world see Europe parliament as giant slow snail with too many people. Beside gas and oil, Russia have also aces in the sleeve, lovely Greece. Long economical crises in Greece is over? Or, with handful of dollars can Russia find some nationalist in Greece to bring some spark to political situation and flame up old fire with Turkey over Cyprus. I bet that wise heads in Kremlin think about that, and say: ” There is already nationalist Erdogan party in Turkey why not in Greece and let Europe play on their courtyard?” and “Let loose China take Taiwan and India clean sweep Kashmir and see how Americans will react”. That will give them enough time to take care of Ukraine. USA can not stretch on several wars and help old partners. They are already engaged in Afghanistan and Iraq. Can they protect Taiwan as promised and Pakistan. NO THEY CAN NOT.
    Russia and China with India are nuclear powers in much better position then Europe and USA. So it does not meter if Europe depend on gas from Russia or not, it depend on how Europe parliament and other governments react on happening in Russia courtyard. Does it just look, bark or it try to bite and react?

    How galacticly stupid you have to be to think that Europe only depend on Russian gas? The whole political and economical situation in the world resemble on 1939. Sleeping slow Europe, USA engagement over the world on quest for oil, near end of economical world crisis, only difference now they divide Ukraine not Poland. And we all know how brave Europe counties react then. Only Britain and France react and all others were just looking (except few that continue fighting with partisans forces after capitulation). Majority just look and keep living. And after 5 years Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Greece, Yugoslavia, Poland, was devastated and majority just clean the dust, put new flag on top and keep living. From today Europe only Germany and Britain could try to react, for sure others will try to react through UN just so they can protect their asses from the possible Russia rage. And UN can not react because Russia will put veto!

    Where does it bring us?
    Well, if you from Germany or Britain keep low and just look. Let USA just bark, as they did not react on Russian war fleet over coast of Florida and in Havana port. It seams that Obama is well informed and know how to talk to Putin, and probably he will let it go. It is Russia courtyard and USA will not react that close to Russia.

    All in all nice try and exercise for secret services, but too hot for open conflicts.

    What will happened at the end?
    After unilateral declaration of Crimea independence (and probably some other parts of Ukraine) and unite with Russia, USA will strongly protest but will not react, Russia will enter newly formed states and protect “will of the people” as USA done it so many times in the past. Some parts of Europe will bark and try to seize Russia investments in Europe but that will never happened as WE ARE TOO AFRAID OF RUSSIA. World will for some time be bipolar as in cold war but need for trade will put it back and everybody will forget or try to forget how STRONG TODAY RUSSIA IS.

    Till the next crisis in Bosnia, Europe will keep struggling with just minor economical problems. And why Bosnia? Well one Yugoslavia is fragmented but small Yugoslavia was made and now calling Bosnia. Three ethnic nations forced to live in same country on the outskirts of Europe with none of the interests from the majority of Europe. When it blow? I hope not soon.

  58. avatar

    Europe isnt intersted in crimea, when will people figure out that europe is run by bankers at the ecb. News reports have it that 33 tons of gold were removed from the ukraine in the last few days and shipped to america, and guess whom was the lucky recipient, the american federal reserve bank…
    33 tons of gold sounds like enough to pay some debts and get the economy rolling. They didnt need financial help, they had more than enough gold.
    Now the american fed can sell it to the chinees at profit , but look on the bright side ukraine will get an I.O.U. and lots of austerity.
    Its europhile heaven with ukraine in the spiderweb, and with a bailout, which they didnt need.
    Whos next, Russia??

    • avatar
      catherine benning


      From present observation I would deduct Europe is run by the USA. There can be no other analyses. If you feel I’m wrong, where is your evidence?

      And more importantly, do the people of Europe remember having a vote on whether, instead being run by our European elected politicians, we were advised we were being handed over to US control? If, like me, you cannot recall any such request or advice, know we have been intercepted by an alien power through undemocratic means.

      The only way we can ever get free of this outright colonisation is by Direct Democracy.

  59. avatar
    Peter Cartwright

    I am very disappointed at the reaction of the EU to the situation in Crimea. I thought the EU was a supporter of democracy and the right of people to self determination. As I see it, if 97% of eligible voters with a turnout of 83% vote in favour of joining, or rejoining Russia, well that is democracy. I am also very disappointed that the EU are supporting a Government containing neo nazi’s and who appointed some of their very rich oligarch supporters as Governors in the Eastern States, where there would be obvious discontent. These oligarchs have personal fortunes of over $2bn each and the EU commit themselves to helping this Government! I think it is absolutely disgraceful, when I see my fellow European citizens having to endure austerity with lower pensions, wages and Social provision. I have always been a great supporter of the European project since it’s inception with the adoption of the Maastricht treaty and have argued for the project in many forums. No more will I do this as I think the EU has lost it’s bottle and way and is just a lap dog to the US when it comes to world events! Goodbye!

  60. avatar

    That’s just business as usual. Germany wanted access to Crimea but Crimea opposes. It’s that simple. Natural gas is a commodity that Germany has to pay for it. Dearly. Merkel’s nightmare is about to come true. Next big event will be markets reaction. With huge arrogance, hypocrisy and selifisness she thought that she can slip Germany’s welfare and jobs without any loss during the crisis and in the same time she was imposing austerity for others policy. Payday time.

  61. avatar

    Eastern Europe is dependent on Russia, especially Bulgaria and Romania. Russia stops gas to Europe and will become much worse. If Europe and USA not tone toward Russia will become a third world war.

  62. avatar

    The Crimean issue is distracting from the true issues hear. Ukraine is a failed state and needs £35bn to sort it self out, were is it going to get that from ? 80% of Ukraine’s export are to Russia is the EU/USA going to suddenly start importing this this volume of trade ? Even the new leadership stopped at signing up to the EU trade protocols when it saw the books and realised they have no competitive industries an awful lot of nonsense is being spoken at the moment some hard business commonness needs to be applied before we have 45 million refugees on our hands

  63. avatar

    even if Europe was not too dependent on Russian gas would never intervene in any situation and anywhere why? because Europe is not defined as U.S.E. and is not able to decide, but most of all is not able to defend any local state that is part of EU.( CIPRO GAS was an example). Politically Europe has already fail and 13 years went by since the Euro was born. Europe still in a deep dream sleeping only about monetary economy but that is done already !! let’s move on for God sake!!! or all of this makes no sense.

  64. avatar

    European fuel is already very expensive and difficult to be afford. If Europe is not depending on Russian gas, are Europe people ready to pay more expensive gas from the America and fight a war with Russia? As EU is born for collective security with European integration, I do not see why EU cannot build up a closer and friendly relationship with Russia for long-term peace and sustainable development.

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