“Don’t believe Putin’s lies,” Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko told Bild, Germany’s most popular paper according to Reuters, “Putin wants the old Russian empire [Soviet Union] back. Crimea, Donbass, the whole country. As Russian Tsar, as he sees himself, his empire cannot function without Ukraine. He sees us as his colony,” he added, refusing to hold back any sentiment.
Poroshenko’s comments are believed to be part of an effort by the Ukrainian government to bring about more sanctions to Putin and his Oligarch power base, to limit his functional power regarding his neoconservative ideology. Without a functioning war chest and his allies having less capital, Putin’s ability to have an aggressive foreign policy would decrease — so Poroshenko hopes.
Possible NATO Relief
“Three NATO members – Bulgaria, Romania, and Turkey – are littoral states with their own national capabilities deployed in the Black Sea region,” NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu commented regarding NATO alliance ships patrolling the Black Sea.
According to Japan Times, NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg immediately demanded Russia release the ships and sailors in their custody stating “…actions have consequences.”
The situation has heightened tensions in the region, since Putin backed rebels rose against the Kiev government in Donbass, causing a conflict which has killed tens of thousands.
Germany is one of our closest allies, and we hope that states within NATO are now ready to relocate naval ships to the Sea of Azov in order to assist Ukraine and provide security. We cannot accept this aggressive policy of Russia. First it was Crimea, then eastern Ukraine, now he wants the Sea of Azov. Germany, too, has to ask itself: What will Putin do next if we do not stop him?
However, Japan Times continues with the political issues surrounding Germany and Russia relationships:
Germany regards the pipeline, which is being built by Russian state-owned energy company Gazprom, as a private investment. German officials said Wednesday that their position on the pipeline remained unchanged and that talk of tighter sanctions against Moscow, demanded by the United States and many European politicians, was ‘premature.’
According to BBC, German Prime Minister Angela Merkel blamed the current Ukraine/Russia situation ‘entirely’ on Russia. She has also said she would bring up the issue with President Putin at the G20 meeting this weekend.
A Breakdown Of What Happened
The BBC recapped what happened between Ukraine and Russia over the weekend:
The incident happened on Sunday, when two Ukrainian gunboats and a tug were sailing from Odessa to the port of Mariupol, in the Sea of Azov – which is shared between Russia and Ukraine. The vessels were stopped from entering the Kerch Strait and confronted by FSB border guards. After a lengthy standoff, during which the Ukrainian tug was rammed, the ships began turning back towards Odessa, the Ukrainian government says. The Russians opened fire, wounding at least three sailors, and seized the Ukrainian flotilla.