El País leaks details from US offer to Putin
The Spanish newspaper El País has published the responses of Nato and the US to Russia in the negotiations on the Ukraine crisis. Until now only general points of last Wednesday's offer were known. Commentators are particularly concerned about proposals for demilitarisation, which they say will do little to advance the talks.
Demilitarisation of Eastern Europe?
Strana finds the proposals quite explosive:
“The US is ready to take real steps to demilitarise Eastern Europe and not have nuclear weapons - including Tomahawk cruise missiles - stationed there, which has always been a big problem for Russia. Most important is that it can also make such commitments regarding Ukraine. At the same time, the Americans agree to limit the use of combat units - including ground troops - in Ukraine. These are extremely serious proposals that could be seen as 'betrayals' by Kyiv. After all, there would basically be no point in Ukraine joining Nato if the Alliance cannot station forces there.”
For Izvestia, the information reveals just how deep the rifts between Russia and the US still are:
“Diplomatically, the start of such a discussion is undoubtedly a success. But from the point of view of military security the US counter-proposals cannot please Moscow. ... The US response includes the non-deployment of permanent land-based missile systems or ground forces with combat missions [in Ukraine]. But that leaves complete freedom to send mobile complexes to our neighbouring country for 'training purposes' for an indefinite period of time. Moreover, the US is demanding equivalent actions from Russia, by which it means the demilitarisation of Crimea.”
Zero willingness to compromise in the Kremlin
Putin's stubbornness is not without risks, writes Jutarnji list:
“Russia's president still claims not to have received an answer regarding three fears on the Russian side: Nato expansion, the withdrawal of the offensive capabilities near Russia's borders and a return to Nato's 1997 military infrastructure. Putin continues to make maximum demands, and this is increasingly becoming a problem. ... He is playing a zero-sum game that is dangerous for both sides when neither is superior, because it leaves no room for compromise. Aware that everything depends on him, he is behaving in a belligerent manner but at the same time calling for dialogue.”