UKRAINE: UNCLEAR “CEASE-FIRE” ON THE BRINK OF NATO WALES SUMMIT

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron welcome Barack Obama, President of the United States, to the NATO Summit in Wales (Source: NATO)
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron welcome Barack Obama, President of the United States, to the NATO Summit in Wales (Source: NATO)

By Harry C. Blaney III

As this is written there appear to be contradictory statements and reports from the field on whether there is a viable cease-fire in Ukraine after President Vladimir Putin called for one while his office provided a rough framework of seven points that were needed to make it work. All of this came after Putin spoke with Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko earlier in the week. Afterward the Ukrainian government put out an optimistic press statement that implied a true agreement.  Soon after Putin said their views on ending the violence were “very close.”  But on the ground, fighting seems to be ongoing and recently more negative statements were put out by both sides. An agreement could be reached on Friday during planned talks in Minsk between Ukraine and the pro-Russian separatists.  

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THE WALES NATO SUMMIT: CAN NATO, EUROPE, AND NORTH AMERICA GET ITS ACT TOGETHER?

RAF Typhoon aircraft in front of the Celtic Manor, venue of the NATO Summit in Wales. Source: Nato
RAF Typhoon aircraft in front of the Celtic Manor, venue of the NATO Summit in Wales. Source: NATO

By Harry C. Blaney III

There is room for pessimism just before the key NATO summit that will start on September 4th. So far the Europeans have not shown much appetite for assertive action, increasing their military budgets, and even addressing the stupidity of their austerity economic policies that have pushed their economies into disaster zones and left their people disillusioned, alienated, and fearful of their future. They are now left wondering if the European Project (The EU institutions) or NATO can be of any help in facing their internal or external realities. Those policies have made Europe weaker on all fronts and less able to provide any focused leadership, only empty rhetoric.

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