Ukraine war: who can mediate?
Israel's Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is trying his hand as a mediator in the Ukraine war. First he trvelled to Moscow for a meeting with Putin and then he flew to Berlin. But China is also under discussion for the role. Europe's press examines the options and the vested interests states may be pursuing when they propose their service as mediators.
Bennett not the right choice as mediator
Israel is too weak to play the role of mediator and is not free of vested interests, explains the Süddeutsche Zeitung:
“Israel is a bad fit overall for the role of mediator - and not just because it has resisted mediation often enough in its own conflict with the Palestinians. If you want to end a conflict from the outside, you either have to be strong and powerful enough to use carrots and sticks to get the opponents to give in. Or you must be completely neutral and have no vested interests. Neither is the case with Israel. ... It needs Putin's goodwill to be able to launch air strikes against Iranian activities in neighbouring Syria.”
China's chance to polish up its image
China would benefit greatly if it were to succeed in calming the tensions between Russia and the West, Le Temps comments:
“This is the perfect opportunity for the Middle Kingdom to take revenge on its strategic adversary, the US, and demonstrate its soft power at a time when its image is tarnished because of its handling of human rights and its demonstrations of power in the South China Sea. In presenting itself as a peacemaker and thus putting the Covid-19 crisis behind it, while of course closely observing how the US and Nato handle the Ukraine crisis with Taiwan in mind, Beijing can take centre stage. With one advantage: it is not itself a party to the conflict.”
Get Merkel back quick!
Europe's last hope for peace is Angela Merkel, writes geopolitics expert Lucio Caracciolo in La Stampa:
“If the ex-chancellor were to return from her well-deserved rest and fly to Moscow and Kyiv to negotiate the terms of an immediate ceasefire as a prelude to a permanent agreement on the structure of Ukraine, she would go down in history as Europe's peacemaker in its hour of greatest danger. Before the Russians cut off Ukrainian access to the sea, as they are trying to do with their march on Odessa. And before other countries are accidentally or deliberately dragged into the conflict.”