News / Europe

Roundup: Opinions on Ukraine from American and Foreign Media

Armed men (L), believed to be Russian servicemen, stand guard outside Ukraine's naval headquarters after it was taken over by pro-Russian forces, as Russian naval officers (R) are seen in the background, in Sevastopol, March 19, 2014.
Armed men (L), believed to be Russian servicemen, stand guard outside Ukraine's naval headquarters after it was taken over by pro-Russian forces, as Russian naval officers (R) are seen in the background, in Sevastopol, March 19, 2014.
The crisis in Ukraine has captured global attention and is generating a wide spectrum of opinion on its causes and solutions. Newspapers, blogs and other media are publishing a variety of commentaries and editorials on what’s to be done and who’s to blame.

Each day, VOA will curate a selection of these editorial opinions, highlight selections, and offer them for our readers’ consideration.


The opinions expressed below are, of course, those of the authors, not the Voice of America.

"The Price of Failed Leadership" Commentary by Willard "Mitt" Romney, former Massachusetts Governnor and Republican Presidential nominee 2012, published in the Wall Street Journal.

"Able leaders anticipate events, prepare for them, and act in time to shape them. My career in business and politics has exposed me to scores of people in leadership positions, only a few of whom actually have these qualities.

"Some simply cannot envision the future and are thus unpleasantly surprised when it arrives. Some simply hope for the best. Others succumb to analysis paralysis, weighing trends and forecasts and choices beyond the time of opportunity.
 
"President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton traveled the world in pursuit of their promise to reset relations and to build friendships across the globe.

"Their failure has been painfully evident: It is hard to name even a single country that has more respect and admiration for America today than when President Obama took office, and now Russia is in Ukraine.

'Part of their failure, I submit, is due to their failure to act when action was possible, and needed.
 
"A chastened president and Secretary of State Kerry, a year into his job, can yet succeed, and for the country's sake, must succeed. Timing is of the essence."


"Putin's Global Ambitions Could Destabilize Europe" Op-ed by Molly McKey and Gregory Miatis, former advisors on security and other matters to then Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, published in the Washington Post.

"In each of these cases — as in Russia — local political challenges were followed by a rise in anti-European rhetoric that became muddled with ideas of Orthodox values.

"Now Putin has made himself a champion of this narrative of discontent and that of a glorified Orthodox past.

 

"The message is that the “moral community” of orthodoxy is strong and that it doesn’t come with the hard membership criteria many Orthodox nations have struggled to meet.

"The closed, comfortable worldview — It’s okay to be what you are — was founded on geographic isolationism but is now driven by a rejection of the Europeanist ideology that is its greatest competitor.

"A meeting of the Orthodox Church’s Ecumenical Council in 2016, the first such meeting in 1,200 years, could be a key moment in these developments.

 

"Less than two years ago, Russians bravely gathered to call for a Russia without Putin. Putin has succeeded in changing the narrative to a resurgent, single-minded Russia vs. a West irrevocably in decline.
 

"Letting Crimea go' was never a new status quo: It was a concession to Putin’s hegemony. Putin’s labeling of the West as a purveyor of confused morals means that every half-measure taken to slow his aggression will build support for Russia in his target constituencies.

"Putin believes that ideologies inextricably linked to morality are in head-to-head competition, and he has proven adept at engineering scenarios to force a choice."


"Europe Should Impose Stiffer Penalties" Commentary by David Böcking, German journalist and political columnist, published in Der Spiegel.

"In addition to the travel bans and frozen accounts already imposed by the EU -- punitive actions that are essentially symbolic in nature -- Europe should also levy more significant economic sanctions against Russia.

"It is a question of credibility. Not doing so is tantamount to Germany and the EU saying: 'You know what Mr. Putin? The Crimea isn't actually that important to us after alll.

"Led by German President Joachim Gauck, Berlin only recently demanded that the country take on more responsibility in the world. Chancellor Angela Merkel made clear early on that military intervention in the Crimea crisis isn't an option. That makes sense.

"But what other alternatives could Europe pursue?

 

"The economic lever is all that's left. Russia is highly dependent on imports from the EU, particularly from Germany.

"But even more painful than a reduction of European exports to Russia would be a moratorium on EU natural gas and oil imports from Russia, or at least a credible threat from Brussels that it was prepared to do so.

"Russia and Putin's military machine, after all, are reliant on income generated by energy exports.

 

"It would not be an easy step to take.

"But the difference could be compensated for via oil and natural gas deliveries from other sources. It is, of course, undeniable that such a step would drive up energy prices in Germany and the rest of the European Union.

"Economic growth, already weak, would suffer. But if we Germans are serious about taking on more foreign policy responsibility, then we also have to be prepared to pay the requisite price."



"Las Profundas Razones Geopoliticas de Rusia" - "The Deep Political Reasons of Russia" Commentary by John Mearsheimer, political science professor, University of Chicago writing in Clarin the daily Spanish language newspaper in Buenos Aires.

"Few American policymakers are capable of putting themselves in Mr. Putin’s shoes. This is why they were so surprised when he moved additional troops into Crimea, threatened to invade eastern Ukraine, and made it clear Moscow would use its considerable economic leverage to undermine any regime in Kiev that was hostile to Russia.
 
"When Mr. Putin explained why he was playing hardball, Mr. Obama responded that the Russian leader 'seems to have a different set of lawyers making a different set of interpretations.

"But the Russian leader is obviously not talking with lawyers; he sees this conflict in geopolitical, not legal terms.
 

"Mr. Putin’s view is understandable.

"Because there is no world government to protect states from one another, major powers are acutely sensitive to threats — especially near their borders — and they sometimes act ruthlessly to address potential dangers. International law and human rights concerns take a back seat when vital security issues are at stake.
 

"Mr. Obama would be advised to stop talking to lawyers and start thinking like a strategist. If he did, he would realize that punishing the Russians while trying to pull Ukraine into the West’s camp will only make matters worse.

You May Like

Polls Open in Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: meanbill from: USA
March 19, 2014 1:14 PM
THE WISE MAN said it; ... I bet most Ukrainians wish, they could go back to November 20, 2013 the day before the protest against the Ukraine President began?
IF ONLY? ... If only they could go back and do it differently? ..... REALLY?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid