Coffee House

Ukraine: Cameron and Merkel continue to focus on ‘de-escalation’

10 March 2014

David Cameron and Angela Merkel held a working dinner last night in Hanover ahead of their visit to a digital trade fair today. Naturally, they discussed Ukraine, and Number 10’s readout of the call this morning says ‘they both agreed that the priority is to de-escalate the situation and to get Russia to engage in a contact group as swiftly as possible’. Cameron also spoke to Vladimir Putin yesterday, with the Russian President telling the Prime Minister that ‘Russia did want to find a diplomatic solution to the crisis’ – although presumably in Putin’s mind that doesn’t involve quite the same level of compromise as those words might initially suggest.

Number 10 says Merkel and Cameron last night agreed that ‘any attempt by Russia to legitimise the result [of the referendum] would result in further consequences’. Putin is discussing the proposals on the contact group with his foreign minister Sergei Lavrov today.

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The question is what will ‘de-escalate’ the situation? William Hague admitted yesterday that the sanctions drawn up by EU leaders last week, billed by David Cameron as tougher than expected, wouldn’t force Russian troops from Crimea. That’s earned him a scathing headline in the Sun this morning – ‘Charge of the lightweight brigade’.

Listen to Anne Applebaum debate Matthew Parris on what can and should be done about Russia’s actions in Crimea on our podcast:

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Show comments
  • Tom Tom

    UN Security Council briefing:
    ““Transfers to 14 countries reflected a highly diversified
    range of trafficking dynamics; and that trafficking from Libya
    was fueling conflict and insecurity – including terrorism – on
    several continents,”

    NATO Works Wonders ! Global Insecurity Heightened by Wars of Aggression

  • swatnan

    The Brits still whipping up anti Russian fever. They would be reminded that this is not the C19, a period of Gunboat Diplomacy. Even sanctions, an idea being pushed by a belligerent USA, are not the answer. Who would want a failed State in a state of civil war on their doorstep. Certainly not the Russians. And neither would we.

    • Tom Tom

      It is an island people cut off from real information whipped into a frenzy by System Media. It is bemusing how easily they are manipulated – they will be laughing next winter as BG et al set their winter prices on today’s spot

    • Makroon

      Obama want’s sanctions which will damage London and not affect the US. Merkel wants sanctions which limit Russian investments in London and allow her to manipulate the “provisional government of Ukraine” (sic)
      Cameron wants to give Merkel something in the hope of German backing for his EU reforms (she won’t), and, of course, Barry is his basketball buddy.
      So Cameron is ready to damage the city to please his international friends.

  • Kitty MLB

    Yawn.. am I the only mere mortal here utterly enervated by this whole
    situation, its going on and on and on a little know.
    Instead of strutting themselves on the world stage, and trying to solve other peoples
    problems as much as a chocolate teapot would, they should return to their own countries, there is such a thing as too many people making a situation worse.
    Besides come back prime minister, we miss you, really we do .

    • Kitty MLB

      Apologies now not know.

    • Hello

      “there is such a thing as too many people making a situation worse”

      Yes, there is, but this isn’t one of them. In a conflict between the Ukraine and Russia, Russia cannot stand down without losing face. In a conflict between the US and Russia, Russia cannot stand down without losing face. In a conflict between the entire world and Russia, Russia has to stand down.

      The issue is not that there are too many people involved, the issue is that there are too many people whose positions are not known, and that has made it a Russia/East vs the West problem.

  • colliemum

    While our politicians and our MSM hacks still blame Putin for everything, the former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder puts the blame where it belongs.

    In a talk with the German paper ‘Die Zeit’ he said that the EU made an elemental mistake. With no knowledge about the different attitudes towards Russia in the West- and the East-Ukraine, the EU, in their association treaty, forced the Ukraine into an ‘either-or’ situation: either agree to the EU and abandon all ties with Russia, or keep the Russian ties and no EU association.

    Instead, Gerhard Schroeder said, this association treaty should have been negotiated on the basis of ‘as well as’, i.e. EU as well as Russia.

    I recognise that our politicians, the EU and especially our MSM hacks prefer to keep on blaming Putin, while diligently sweeping the events leading up to this under the carpet.
    After all, the EU prevented war in Europe … until it promotes war.

    • DavidL

      Shock horror. Man on the Russian payroll says that Russia is right. Coming up next…..

      • colliemum

        He didn’t say ‘Russia is right’.
        Stop being so manichean.

      • Tom Tom

        Shell and the American running BP think they can tell Scots how to vote in their own country…..funny that

        • DavidL

          Point taken; but the Scots will get to vote; and one assumes the poll will be fair and the count honest.

          • Jambo25

            I’d take a very long hard look at the way the media and government have been and are behaving on the run up to the vote.

    • Jambo25

      That’ll be the Schroeder who is bought and paid for by Gazprom?

      • colliemum

        Is he right or not?
        Care to answer his argument?

        • Jambo25

          He’s wrong. He’s a lobbyist for Gazprom.

          • Tom Tom

            Jeremy Heywood is a lobbyist for Morgan Stanley. Merkel is paid by Suzanne Klatten and Deutsche Bank. Cameron is paid by Michael Hintze and assorted Hedgies

            • Jambo25

              Oh I know. They’re all at it. It isn’t just Cameron in the UK though. Much of the Tory Party is bought and paid for by Hedge Funds. I forget the exact %age of Tory Party funds coming from city institutions, especially Hedge Funds but it is large.

        • Jambo25

          I do not see why some kind of association agreement or treaty with the EU would necessarily have meant Ukraine turning its back on Russia had Russia behaved somewhat differently. After all, Lavrov appeared to accept the possibility of Ukraine joining the EU but not NATO in a statement I heard last week. Likewise it seems a little bit rich that the Germans in general and Schroeder, in particular, complain that Germany would have to carry a disproportionate share of any sanctions regime against Russia. After all, nobody forced Germany to become so dependent in trade and energy terms on Russia.
          Whether Germany likes it or not it now has a major dilemma on its eastern frontier. They may not want to be thrust into some confrontation with Russia but then they are EU members along with the Baltics, other East European states and particularly Poland which they already left in the lurch some years ago when it (Poland) got into a dispute with Russia. I wonder what the German reaction would (will) be if or when the Baltics and Poland go into a much closer strategic military alliance with the USA on their eastern frontier.

      • Tom Tom

        Read above – Schroeder is the reason Germany did not go down like France or Spain – Agenda 2010

    • BarkingAtTreehuggers

      To blame or not to blame – that is not the question.

      The question is rather: what does this kerfuffle expose?
      1- a disorganised EU (from a British perspective? — or a UKIP perspective)
      2- an expansionist EU (from a free will of the people perspective? — or from a ‘heavens no not another country wanting to join’ perspective)
      3- Blairite Britain is not only the lapdog of those who followed Dubya, Britain is now also Pu-in’s lapdog, given that immense financial ties and us importing 40% of our coal = electricty supply from that region.

      ‘Green carp’ will make the lights go out? Hahaha! So RUSSIA now back Caroline Lucas? This foolish Ukip world view leaves the remaining sane dumbfounded.

    • Tom Tom

      A very good posting. Schroeder did more in time in government than Merkel has managed, she lives off the reforms he introduced

  • HookesLaw

    Does the Sun want real troops to be sent to the Crimea? The sun should concentrate on what encouraged Putin, like the votes of socialists and other thickos in parliament.

    • telemachus

      Putin did not need to be encouraged
      He needs a Black Sea port unthreatened by a country that might let NATO in
      As such it matters not what we say or do
      This will all blow over with Russia having permanent hegemony over Khrushchev’s drunken giveaway

      • Frank

        Then he is clearly a sandwich short of a picnic as Russia already had unfettered legal access to the Black Sea port in question.

        • Tom Tom

          Not true.It has a revolutionary regime in Kiev which seems to have no legal constraints.

    • BarkingAtTreehuggers

      No, what the Sun wants is a different energy policy reducing the reliance on Russian imports.

      • Tom Tom

        Yes, Qatar is so much better supplying 15% British gas and such a lovely democracy in the Persian Gulf. We British love Arabs especially their princes who get our princes to dance the fandago with them

        • BarkingAtTreehuggers

          If only natural gas was more expensive to compensate for the Falkland’s remoteness.

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