The new Minsk ceasefire: Avoiding Putin’s trap

Written by on February 12, 2015 in Perspectives - Comments Off on The new Minsk ceasefire: Avoiding Putin’s trap

Angela Merkel’s Monday visit to Washington made the gap between Europe and the United States even more obvious than had the recent transatlantic spat.

Forceful proponents – and strong arguments – favoured supplying arms to Ukrainian troops to enable them to better resist Russia-supported separatist forces. Strong arguments – and forceful opponents – were dead set against this course of action. US Congress members, along with many others, belong to the former group, while many European governments – including the German and the French – belong to the latter. President Barack Obama seems to stand somewhere in between.

But whether or not to supply arms is a question that concerns the Europeans more than anyone else. The price of a wrong decision will be paid not in the form of a mere setback in a strategy game played out on a Eurasian geopolitical board, but first and foremost, in Ukrainian blood.

To read the full article, please visit the website of the European Council on Foreign Relations.




About the Author

Volker Stanzel joined ECFR as a Senior Adviser in the Fall of 2014.German-born Stanzel, with a PhD in Japanese, Chinese and Political Studies, was a German diplomat from 1979 until October 2013, having worked as Asia Director (2001-2), as Director General for Political Affairs, followed by three years as the German Ambassador to China (2004-7), two years as Political Director in the Foreign Office (2007-9), and finally as the German Ambassador to Japan. He also worked as Foreign Policy Advisor to the Social Democratic Party in the German Bundestag (1995-8), and was a Visiting Fellow of the German Marshall Fund of the United States in Washington (1998/9). Stanzel joined ECFR after teaching IR as a Visiting Professor at California's Claremont McKenna College in Spring 2014 and at the University of California Santa Cruz in Fall 2014. Stanzel is also a Council Member of ECFR, a member of the German-Japanese Forum, a Member of the Board of the Academic Confucius Institute at Goettingen University, and a Member of the Board of the German-Japanese Industrial Cooperation Committee in Dusseldorf.