What is your position on Ukraine, Europe?

While developments in the Ukraine crisis are posing problems to countries across the EU, they are particularly menacing in Eastern Europe, where states are considering whether to adopt a clearer stance. This is reflected in the commentary columns.

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Striblea (RO) /

Romania should show its commitment to Nato

Romania's membership in the Euro-Atlantic world can't be taken for granted, journalist Cătălin Striblea writes in his blog:

“Russia is demanding that Eastern Europe return to the state it was in 1997, when Nato enlargement began. ... I don't think Russia's demands will be met now. ... But this could also be a long-term objective. Russia will always push to regain influence here - which would be a disaster. Romania's membership in the Euro-Atlantic world and its values cannot be taken for granted. It must be constantly maintained and defended. Given our proximity to Russia, all future generations will have to do the same.”

Új Szó (SK) /

Slovakia must decide what it wants

Last weekend saw demonstrations in Bratislava against a soon-to-be-signed military agreement with the US. That's just absurd, Új Szó comments:

“It seems that part of the population still can't accept the changes that took place in 1989. ... One might have assumed that tens of thousands of outraged people would march in front of the Russian embassy in Bratislava to demonstrate against Russia's colonisation plans. And a demonstration did take place, but in front of the US embassy. ... The demonstrators accused the US of having the courage to try to provide a protective shield for Nato's eastern wing against Russian aggression. ... It's about time we decided what we really want.”

Dagens Nyheter (SE) /

Russia is not a democracy

Numerous Swedish opinion makers have called for greater understanding for Russia's position on the grounds that it is surrounded by enemies. Dagens Nyheter disagrees:

“Unlike the United States, Russia is not a democracy. Ukraine's system is far from perfect, but unlike Cuba and Venezuela, it is democratic. If the people in Russia, Cuba and Venezuela could decide for themselves, they would most likely talk to the United States, engage in trade and open their borders. ... And they have every right to determine their own security policy.”

Jutarnji list (HR) /

Washington already bringing its people to safety

The US and Europe have a completely different assessment of the likelihood of war, observes Jutarnji list:

“The rhetoric and behaviour of the individual states shows that there are differences between Washington's stance and that of the most powerful EU member states as regards the events in the East.Germany, for example, sees Russia's muscle flexing as a negotiating strategy, while the US sees the Kremlin's moves as real indicators that Russia is likely to take military action. The differences are also reflected in the fact that the US, followed by the UK, has decided to withdraw the families of diplomats from Kyiv on the grounds that it can no longer guarantee their evacuation in the event of a Russian invasion.”