Breaking news Poroshenko: Ukraine, Russia fail to reach agreement on gas dispute

‘Difficult, full of disagreements’: No breakthrough in Milan talks on Ukraine crisis

(L to R) France's President Francois Hollande, Russia's President Vladimir Putin, Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko sit during a meeting on the sidelines of a Europe-Asia summit (ASEM) in Milan October 17, 2014. (Reuters/Daniel Dal Zennaro)

(L to R) France’s President Francois Hollande, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko sit during a meeting on the sidelines of a Europe-Asia summit (ASEM) in Milan October 17, 2014. (Reuters/Daniel Dal Zennaro)

RT news

Published: October 17, 2014

The talks on the Ukrainian crisis, where the presidents of Russia and Ukraine have met with their European counterparts, have resulted in “no breakthrough,” according to Chancellor Merkel, but were still labeled “positive” by most participants.

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine met on Friday morning in Milan on the sidelines of the summit of Asian and European leaders in Italy. They were joined by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, British Prime Minister David Cameron and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

I cannot see a breakthrough here at all so far,” Merkel said after the meeting, according to Reuters.

We will continue to talk,” she added. “There was progress on some details, but the main issue is continued violations of the territorial integrity of Ukraine.”  – Ms Merkel’s favorite song lyrics.

A political solution to the conflict in Ukraine has not yet been found, President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy commented on the talks and urged both Russia and Ukraine to follow through on the peace agreement reached in Minsk, Belarus at the beginning of September.

What we agreed was the protocol of Minsk on the ceasefire, and the peace plan is of crucial importance,” Rompuy said. “We have to implement this. This would guarantee again a future for Ukraine. So implementation, implementation, implementation — those are the key words.”

 

 

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has so far been laconic in his assessment of the talks’ outcome.

It was good, it was positive,” the smiling president told reporters after the event, Reuters reported.

It was Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, who eventually elaborated on the negotiations, describing them as “difficult” ones.

The negotiations are really difficult, full of disagreements, full of misunderstandings,” Peskov said. “Nevertheless they are still taking place. There’s an exchange of opinions.

The participants have discussed in detail the implementation of the Minsk agreements,” Peskov said.

Unfortunately, some of the breakfast participants demonstrated their complete reluctance to understand the real situation in the southeast of Ukraine.”

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko complained to Austria’s chancellor Werner Faymann later in the day, that the morning talks did not leave him hopeful about achieving a breakthrough in the crisis.

Unfortunately, I am not very optimistic,” Reuters cited Poroshenko as saying.

(L to R) Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko, EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron talk during a meeting on the sidelines of a Europe-Asia summit (ASEM) in Milan October 17, 2014. REUTERS/Daniel Dal Zennaro/Pool (ITALY - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR4AJ1R

(L to R) Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko, EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron talk during a meeting on the sidelines of a Europe-Asia summit (ASEM) in Milan October 17, 2014. REUTERS/Daniel Dal Zennaro/Pool (ITALY – Tags: POLITICS) – RTR4AJ1R

Other European leaders, who participated in the talks, seemed to be more encouraged by their outcome. “Positive” has been the most frequently used definition.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who hosted the meeting said he was “really positive” after it, although he also acknowledged “a lot of differences” remained.

It was a very positive meeting,” said British Prime Minister David Cameron, according to AFP. “Vladimir Putin said very clearly that he doesn’t want a frozen conflict and he doesn’t want a divided Ukraine.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko had one more meeting later in the day trying to resolve the crisis. This time they were only accompanied by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko had one more meeting later in the day in an effort to resolve the crisis.

Putin was once again concise, commenting on the outcome.

The results of the talks are good,” he told journalists when he left the negotiations room, TASS reported.

Petro Poroshenko announced that the meeting had resulted in a preliminary agreement on Russian gas supplies to Ukraine.

The coalition show, from Afghanistan to ‘Syraq’ – By Pepe Escobar

An Islamic State militant (L) stands next to residents as they hold pieces of wreckage from a Syrian war plane after it crashed in Raqqa, in northeast Syria September 16, 2014. (Reuters/Stringer)

An Islamic State militant (L) stands next to residents as they hold pieces of wreckage from a Syrian war plane after it crashed in Raqqa, in northeast Syria September 16, 2014. (Reuters/Stringer)

Published: September 23, 2014 15:26

By Pepe Escobar

Pepe Escobar is the roving correspondent for Asia Times/Hong Kong, an analyst for RT and TomDispatch, and a frequent contributor to websites and radio shows ranging from the US to East Asia.

US Secretary of State Kerry brokered a deal in Afghanistan, installing a ‘coalition’ government, but couldn’t come up with a credible coalition to bomb IS in Syria. So the Pentagon will do it alone to the applause of its Gulf ‘petrodollar allies.’

This is a short tale of two coalitions.

Let’s start with Afghanistan. The charade in Kabul goes by the name of “power-sharing agreement.”

You got an election problem? Call John Kerry. That’s right; this “agreement” was brokered by none other than the US Secretary of State, who shoved the embarrassing issue of a tainted democratic election under an Afghan carpet.

It came to the point that a UN representative, Jan Kubish, virtually ordered the Afghan electoral commission not to release vote numbers.

And this is while the UN itself had been monitoring an audit and a recount of approximately 8 million votes.

The predictable “senior US officials” spun that the vote result was “transparent.” But still, no numbers.

So now we have – essentially appointed by Washington – former Finance Minister and World Bank official Ashraf Ghani as President, and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah as “Chief Executive”, a new post.

And this after Abdullah insistently claimed the vote results were no less than a monster fraud. US “Think Tank-land,” unfazed, has called it a “temporary fix.”

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (Reuters/Gary Cameron)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (Reuters/Gary Cameron)

Now for the all-important breakdown: NATO top honcho Gen. Philip Breedlove said Saturday in Lithuania that both “power-sharers” swore on their lives they will “quickly” sign a security agreement with Washington.

This agreement was brokered, once again, by Kerry and outgoing President Hamid Karzai in late 2013 – and approved by Afghanistan’s Loya Jirga. Karzai though had refused to sign.

Short translation: at least 10,000 American troops – mostly Special Forces – will remain deployed in Afghanistan in Enduring Freedom Forever mode. This is a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) by any other name.

So the occupation continues. Not only with US troops, but also with NATO starting a “training mission” in January 2015 called Resolute Support.

Watch out for major, certified blowback. It’s a no-brainer the Taliban will keep showing Resolute Support to kick NATO and the US’s collective behind.

But that’s great. That’s exactly what the never-ending GWOT (Global War on Terror) is all about.

When in doubt, bomb everybody

Now for the coalition to fight Caliph Ibrahim, the self-appointed beheading prophet of ISIS/ISIL/IS in “Syraq”.

US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power has been on a roll ahead of the UN summit this week in New York.

She frantically spun there are over 40 countries in the coalition of the reluctantly willing assembled to fight the Caliph.

But she won’t name them – or detail what they will be doing.

What she does know is that this new GWOT chapter will last “several years.”

Power also ruled out any collaboration with “rogue” Iran. But she was forced to admit that Russia has a role in fighting the Caliph.

Now that’s groundbreaking. Until virtually yesterday, for the Obama administration Russia was the “evil empire” remixed.

Moscow did warn that, “bombing Syria without the cooperation of Damascus can have destructive practical consequences on the humanitarian situation in Syria.”

Once again, the clearest Power got was to specify that, “we will not do the airstrikes alone if the President decides to do the airstrikes.”

People view the debris of their homes after a Syrian war plane crashed in Raqqa, in northeast Syria September 16, 2014. (Reuters/Stringer)

People view the debris of their homes after a Syrian war plane crashed in Raqqa, in northeast Syria September 16, 2014. (Reuters/Stringer)

And once again, John Kerry stole the show. For him, it’s not 40, but “some 50” countries who are barely containing themselves to go Caliph-hunting.

Kerry, to his credit, and unlike Power, at least is now saying that Iran may “have a role” after all.

For his part, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi made it clear that any strategy that undermines the Syrian government “will be a recipe for defeat.”

And Russia’s ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin demolished US President Barack Obama’s strategy to train and weaponize Washington’s mythical “moderate” Syrian rebels.

Even China’s ambassador to the UN Liu Jieyi carefully weighed in: “The international community should respect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the countries in question.”

Kabul was a piece of cake. Kerry just had to offer a decent bribe. But that won’t fly with the Caliph business.

Washington refuses to cooperate with Damascus and coordinate with Tehran – especially after Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei vetoed it, and President Rouhani blasted Obama’s strategy as “ridiculous.”

Meanwhile Turkey, a NATO ally, is screaming, “The Syrian regime is the patron of extremism,” in the words of Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

Kerry at least does not need to bribe Haider al-Abadi, the new Iraqi Prime Minister. After all Washington already bagged its Mesopotamian regime change, getting rid of Nouri al-Maliki.

Al-Abadi decided not to bomb Sunni regions in Iraq. Yet most of the Caliph’s resources and goons are actually in Syria.

Call the French fry guy

The Pentagon, not to be unfazed, carefully prepared a “mini-Shock and Awe” in Syria and started in style this Monday, launching a barrage of Tomahawk missiles on Raqqa.

“General” Hollande in France has been eager to join. With his popularity numbers glamorously flirting with zero, deploying Rafales against the bad guys is the only game in town for him.

Now compare it with Germany, as Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier insisted that air support or ground troops are “out of the question for us.”

It’s hard to see Kerry bribing Steinmeier. So what’s left is a coalition of two: Washington and Paris.

And it’s only in Iraq, because “General” Hollande already said bombing Syria is out.

The breakdown: bombing Syria will be via a coalition of the Pentagon with the Pentagon.

And this while Arab “diplomats” – as in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) petrodollar gang – keep insisting the Pentagon should in fact bomb not only the Caliph’s goons but also Bashar al-Assad’s forces.

Which is what the Pentagon will “secretly” have in mind anyway.

Everyone remembers Obama’s red line last year when he threatened to bomb Damascus for “gassing its own people” just for Moscow to have him back off at the eleventh hour.

Now Obama could fulfill his dream via a “leading from behind” bombing.

Will the petrodollar gang also attack? Of course not. They will be applauding from the sidelines.

And for the doubters, there will always be Obama’s national security adviser, Susan Rice, spinning “this will be a unified coalition…It will be cohesive. And it will be under one single command authority.”

The Pentagon commanding the Pentagon. What could possibly go wrong?

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Hollande: Ceasefire Should Be Reached In Ukraine For France to Deliver Mistral to Russia

French President Francois Hollande says that his conditions were a ceasefire and a political settlement in Ukraine to continue Mistral delivery to Russia.

French President Francois Hollande says that his conditions were a ceasefire and a political settlement in Ukraine to continue Mistral delivery to Russia.

Topic: Sanctions Against Russia

 

MOSCOW, September 4 (RIA Novosti) – French President Francois Hollande set terms for Mistral delivery to Russia, saying that his conditions were a ceasefire and a political settlement in Ukraine, Reuters reported Thursday.

«What are the conditions? A ceasefire and a political settlement… Today these conditions are not in place,” Hollande said as quoted by Reuters.

On the sidelines of a NATO summit currently held in Wales, Hollande told reporters that the contract for two Mistral-class helicopters carriers was neither cancelled, nor suspended, but mentioned that the above conditions must be met in order for the ships to be delivered to Russia.

Recently, France has come under strong pressure from the United States and its European partners to suspend the deal.

Russia and France signed a $1.6 billion deal for two Mistral-class ships in June 2011. The first carrier, the Vladivostok, was expected in Russia by the end of 2014. The second ship, the Sevastopol, was supposed to arrive in 2015.

However, the completion of the deal has been at risk since Western countries imposed sanctions against Russia over its alleged role in the escalation of the crisis in Ukraine.

Moscow has repeatedly stressed that it is not involved in the Ukrainian crisis, referred to the language of sanctions “counterproductive,” and said that such measures “threaten international peace and stability.”