US discusses weapons deliveries to Kiev
The US has no plans to deliver weapons to Kiev 'in the near future', an adviser to US President Obama stated on Monday in response to reports to that effect published in The New York Times. The US and Europe must arm Kiev, some commentators write. Others warn that Russia would see weapons from the West as a pretext for stepping up its intervention in eastern Ukraine.
Without weapons deliveries war will escalate
The arguments of those who continue to speak out against delivering weapons to Ukraine are incomprehensible in the eyes of the conservative daily Rzeczpospolita: "In this way the war will not only not be ended, but will even escalate. Closing our eyes to reality doesn't help. The diplomats have been visibly stumped for months. And it doesn't look like the separatists supported by Russia will respect the demarcation lines set down in the Minsk Protocol of September 2014. ... This conflict will continue because the Kremlin still hasn't achieved its goal of subjugating Ukraine. ... And incidentally no embargo was imposed on Ukraine. So there are no legal hurdles preventing us from selling it weapons."
Europe fails to recognise risks in Ukraine
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday ruled out the possibility of weapons deliveries to Ukraine. The wrong choice, liberal daily Mladá fronta Dnes laments: "Luckily information has leaked out according to which the Americans are rethinking their approach. Secretary of State John Kerry travelled to Kiev on Thursday, so we may learn quite soon whether there's any substance to these reports. The argument in favour of abandoning Ukraine to its fate is that no one wants to get involved in a proxy war between Russia and the West. Because, critics argue, that would mean a return to the days of the Cold War. And God only knows what would come of that. We have bigger concerns right now than provoking an open conflict with Putin the Conqueror. And yet Angela Merkel's attitude is short-sighted and bad news from Europe. We don't recognise the danger and we can't deal with it appropriately."
Don't give Russia a pretext for agression
Weapons deliveries to Ukraine would only be counter-productive to finding a solution to the conflict, the liberal daily Kaleva fears: "Weapons deliveries from the US would merely give Russia a good excuse to become even more active in the war. ... The conflict that began in April and has developed into a war in eastern Ukraine has already claimed over 5,000 lives, while around 900,000 people have been forced to flee. The price of this war is already too high, and the international community must do more to put an end to the fighting. More weapons are now the last thing eastern Ukraine needs. And the longer the war lasts, the more difficult it will be to find a solution."
Weapons more effective than sanctions?
Providing Ukraine with military aid offers the chance to reduce the losses on Kiev's side, the conservative daily Die Presse writes, but questions whether this can end the war: "Kiev's run-down army is fighting and suffering heavy losses against a hybrid machinery whose software consists of armed locals and whose hardware is cutting edge and comes from Russia. Estimates range from 1,000 men at the leadership and planning level (Nato) to 10,000 Russian soldiers (Kiev's estimate). The army does indeed above all lack 'intelligent' equipment: the plan to equip it with military technology - radars that can locate artillery and missile launchers and drones - should take priority over lethal weapons. Admittedly the decisive question is: can weapons make the Kremlin do what the sanctions have failed to do so far? Namely change Vladimir Putin's behaviour, who in view of the increased risks and financial costs is supposed to be forced to rethink his course?"