Daily Archives: August 31, 2015

Merkel, Hollande Said to Re-Engage With Putin on Ukraine

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Russian President Vladimir Putin plan to talk by phone this weekend to discuss the conflict in Ukraine, a German government official said Friday.

The European leader’s first three-way conversation with Putin since June 22 would chime with signals by Merkel and Hollande that they are stepping up efforts to engage on Ukraine after Europe dealt with Greece’s financial crisis in July. The next four-way meeting, which would also include Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, may be held in Paris, Hollande said Tuesday, without setting a date.

USA | Russia emerges as key player in new round of Syria diplomacy

U.S. diplomat latest to visit Moscow for talks

Moscow is increasingly emerging as a center of diplomacy on Syria’s four-year-old civil war, with the Obama administration sending a key emissary to the Russian capital discuss the conflict on Friday, following recent visits by high-level Saudi, Jordanian and Iranian officials — as well as key members of the Syrian political opposition.

Ukraine | Left Wing Economic Views Are Alive And Well In Ukraine

Over the past year and a half, the International Republican Institute (IRI) has done positively invaluable work tracking public opinion in Ukraine. I’m not aware of any organization that has commissioned a wider and more in-depth series of polls, polls that have helped quantify some dramatic shifts in Ukrainian attitudes towards, Europe, Russia, NATO, and other topics. You don’t have to agree with the IRI’s institutional views to understand how incredibly important it is to get real data about Ukrainian opinion.

The West should swallow its pride and work with Russia to save the Middle East

By Alexander Yakovenko, Russian ambassador

The successful conclusion of talks with Iran on its nuclear program was a rare bright spot on the otherwise gloomy horizon of the Middle Eastern affairs. That is a fundamental breakthrough, including in terms of political psychology, upon which, in theory, a sustainable regional architecture could be built.

Ukraine | The west is wrong to write off Ukraine’s debts

It’s easy to feel sorry for a country crippled by war and corruption – but dismissing past debts is not the way to help, say Alexander Lebedev andVladislav Inozemtsev

The road to hell is paved with good intentions, they say, and so it may be with the west’s approach to Ukraine.