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Main focus of Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Kiev fears state bankruptcy

Ukraine will need 25.5 billion euros over the next two years, the interim government estimates. (© picture-alliance/dpa)

The interim government in Kiev requested financial assistance on Monday and called for a conference to be attended by potential donors the EU, US and the IMF. Meanwhile Moscow has criticised the states of the West for recognising the interim government. Putin won't give up his influence in Ukraine, commentators predict, and warn that the Cold War divide is opening up again.


Wiener Zeitung - Austria

Ukraine needs above all money from EU

After the election of a new government in Kiev the EU wants to resume the negotiations for an association agreement. But first it must reciprocate the Ukrainians' trust, the state-owned liberal daily Wiener Zeitung admonishes: "This includes offering Ukraine an unconditional bridging loan of three billion euros to keep the insolvent country afloat until after the elections. And the association agreement that the EU presented to Ukraine, the rejection of which by Victor Yanukovych triggered the mass protests, must be revised - by Brussels. ... And then the EU must do its best - as it did with Greece - to persuade the IMF to help Ukraine. .... Otherwise Europe could end up being as unpopular in Ukraine as the Yanukovych regime is now. And be hunted out of the country in the same way." (25/02/2014)


Le Télégramme - France

Putin will defend his influence

Putin will regain control over the weakened Ukraine as soon as the revolutionary fervour peters out, the regional paper Le Télégramme fears: "Strangled by a disastrous economic situation; threatened by a division between the Russophone, Russophile and majority east on the one hand and the pro-European west on the other; faced with a daunting gas bill due to be paid to Moscow, Ukraine is in a bad way. The revolutionary dynamic is no doubt a trump, but it won't last. It would be underestimating Putin to hope that he will let his neighbour's wounds heal on their own. On the contrary, he'll try to tear them open again, to take control once more. How? One thing is for sure: it won't be gentle." (25/02/2014)


El Mundo - Spain

With civil war comes the threat of a Cold War

The danger of a civil war in Ukraine is greater than ever, and could reopen the old antagonisms of the Cold War, the conservative daily El Mundo warns: "The international community must use all diplomatic means to prevent a civil war in Ukraine. The outbreak of a war would put a dangerous burden on relations between Russia and the West. The risk of armed conflict between the pro-Russian East and the new transition government has not diminished with the flight of ex-president Viktor Yanukovych, but rather increased. Particularly after Russia criticised it as an 'aberration' that the EU and the US have accepted the 'armed mob' as a negotiating partner. ... The tensions between the powers are thrusting us back to the times of the Cold War." (25/02/2014)


Gazeta Wyborcza - Poland

Finnish model best for all parties

Zbigniew Brzeziński, adviser to former US president Jimmy Carter, proposes a "Finnish model" as a solution to the conflict in Ukraine. In an opinion piece for the liberal daily Gazeta Wyborcza he writes: "The US could and should convey clearly to Mr Putin that it is prepared to use its influence to make certain a truly independent and territorially undivided Ukraine will pursue policies towards Russia similar to those so effectively practised by Finland: mutually respectful neighbours with wide-ranging economic relations with Russia and the EU; no participation in any military alliance viewed by Moscow as directed at itself. ... In brief, the Finnish model is ideal for Ukraine, the EU and Russia in any larger east-west strategic accommodation." (25/02/2014)


Sme - Slovakia

New Kiev leadership foments separatism

The Ukrainian parliament on Sunday repealed the language law of 2012, which guarantees the Russian minority the right to use their language in public life. The liberal daily Sme fears that this step will have dire consequences: "Ukraine has huge problems. But one of the first measures of the new majority in parliament was to abolish the language law from the year 2012. ... Of course this will affect the use of Russian, and so the Ukrainian nationalists are thrilled. In view of the forceful Russification that took place during Soviet times, this is understandable to a certain extent. Nevertheless it's an extraordinarily foolish move. Instead of trying to convince the people in the east and the south of the country that Ukraine can be a home to everyone, the new leadership is only fuelling separatist sentiment. To say nothing of the fact that in so doing they misrepresent the values of the EU, which they supposedly want to join." (25/02/2014)


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