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Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Europe Fractures: France Pivots To Putin, Cyprus Offers Moscow Military Base, Germany-US Splinter On Ukraine

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Following yesterday's summary of the utter farce that the Minsk Summit/Ukraine "peace" deal talks have become, the various parties involved appear to be fracturing even faster today. The headlines are coming thick and fast but most prescient appears to be: Despite John Kerry's denial of any split between Germany and US over arms deliveries to Ukraine, German Foreign Minister Steinmeier slammed Washington's strategy for being "not just risky but counterproductive." But perhaps most significantly is France's continued apparent pivot towards Russia... Following Francois Hollande's calls for greater autonomy for Eastern Ukraine, former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has come out in apparent support of Russia (and specifically against the US), "we are part of a common civilization with Russia,” adding, "the interests of the Americans with the Russians are not the interests of Europe and Russia." Even NATO appears to have given up hope of peace as Stoltenberg's statements show little optimism and the decision by Cyprus to allow Russia to use its soil for military facilities suggests all is not at all well in the European 'union'.
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier doubled down on Germany's rejection of weapons deliveries to Ukraine in a speech here Sunday...
  • *GABRIEL SAYS GERMAN SPD WOULD NEVER BACK ARMS TO UKRAINE
  • *EUROPE SEES U.S. ARMS DELIVERIES TO UKRAINE AS BAD IDEA: LAVROV
"I see this, to say it openly, as not just for risky but for counter-productive," Mr. Steinmeier said at the Munich Security Conference. Mr. Steinmeier also hit back at open criticism of Germany's position on weapons deliveries from U.S. Senators and others here on Saturday. The White House is mulling delivering weapons to Ukraine to support the country's fight against pro-Russia separatists in the country's east.

"Perhaps we are so insistent because we know the region a bit," Mr. Steinmeier said.

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