What the Ukraine summit in Paris can achieve

A long-awaited summit, at which the further implementation of the Minsk agreements on eastern Ukraine is to be worked out, is scheduled to take place on 9 December. Kiev and Moscow have done a considerable amount of preparatory work in advance: an exchange of prisoners, troop withdrawals and the return of Ukraine's ships. A good basis for an agreement?

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Radio Kommersant FM (RU) /

There can be no peace without a gas deal

Radio Kommersant FM fears that the threat of a new gas war between Russia and Ukraine will overshadow the efforts to secure peace:

“Of course the talks will deal with Donbass and the peace process - but as cynical as it sounds, gas is more important. ... One summit alone is not enough to unravel a knot so full of contradictions. ... To prevent Ukraine and Europe from freezing up, a compromise must be found that is agreeable to all parties, but there is the risk that in the spring the gas war will start all over again. There is a chance that Nord Stream 2 will be finished by then, however. That's why Moscow is delaying things. Because with the gas trump in its hand, it will have an easier time talking about Donbass.”

slovoidilo.ua (UA) /

Kiev increasingly isolated

The wind has changed for Kiev, political scientist Oleksandr Leonov notes in slovoidilo.ua:

“Firstly, whereas in the past things were done according to the Normandy format, that is the principle of 'three against one' - meaning Ukraine, France and Germany against the Russian Federation - now it's France, Germany and the Russian Federation against Ukraine. Secondly, even though they were still being fired on, the Ukrainian troops have withdrawn from the front so that the Normandy meeting can take place. The OSCE, however, has not documented the fighters' retreat but the construction of new fortifications. But in fact Ukraine has withdrawn and begun taking [the fortifications] down. So the statement that the Ukrainian forces have returned to their initial positions is false.”

Efimerida ton Syntakton (GR) /

EU could finally emancipate itself from the US

Efimerida ton Syntakton has high expectations for the Paris summit - and the EU:

“A compromise on eastern Ukraine would be a sign of a policy of détente between Moscow and the EU. For the first time in six years. With a reduction of the tensions and suspicion vis-à-vis Russia that date back to the Cold War, the potential for the EU to emancipate itself from the US will increase in favour of a common European defence structure.”