Press Digest: Have Moscow and Kiev made secret agreements over Donbass?

President Vladimir Putin (right) and President of Moldova Nicolae Timofti at the limited attendance meeting of the CIS Heads of State Council in Minsk. Source: RIA Novosti/Alexey Nikolsky

President Vladimir Putin (right) and President of Moldova Nicolae Timofti at the limited attendance meeting of the CIS Heads of State Council in Minsk. Source: RIA Novosti/Alexey Nikolsky

RBTH presents a selection of views from leading Russian media on international events, featuring a preview of upcoming bilateral talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko, as well as analysis of the recent CIS summit in Minsk and the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

Nezavisimaya Gazeta 

The Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper writes that on October 16-17 the presidents of Russia and Ukraine will meet in Milan during the ASEM (Asia-Europe-Meeting) Summit. According to the publication, the Milan talks will be a prelude to the upcoming G20 summit in Brisbane in mid-November. "It is in Putin's interests to demonstrate the will for constructive dialogue and compromise," Nezavisimaya cites Director of the Ukrainian Policy Institute Constantine Bondarenko as saying. However, Bondarenko also said expectations should not be too high regarding the talks in Milan.

Nezavisimaya Gazeta adds that during his last press conference Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko underlined that the talks with the Russian leader would not be easy. The Ukrainian leader also remarked that this week will be decisive for future relations between the two countries. According to the article, some experts do not exclude the possibility of Ukrainian-Russian agreements having been made behind closed doors. In Kiev some believe that the goal of the agreements is to temporarily freeze the conflict by limiting the territory of the self-proclaimed Lugansk and Donetsk people's republics, concludes the newspaper. 

Novaya Gazeta

The Novaya Gazeta newspaper describes the last CIS summit in Minsk on Oct. 10 as "a comedy of positions." The publication reported that Ukraine was represented at the summit by its ambassador to Belarus, Mikhail Ezhel, who is wanted at home on charges of having undermined Ukraine's defense capabilities. The newspaper adds that, according to Ukrainian law, Ezhel has not been dismissed from his post and enjoys diplomatic immunity.

Novaya Gazeta also writes about the contradictions revealed between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Moldovan counterpart Nicolae Timofti. The Moldovan president complained that since his country signed an association agreement with the EU (in July 2014), Russia has practically closed its market to the country, which means Moldova will essentially be squeezed out of the CIS free trade zone.

Vladimir Putin, on the other hand, writes Novaya Gazeta, said that Russia had already warned Moldova about the possible consequences (of signing an agreement with the EU) on several occasions. "Problems arise when our partners do not deem it necessary to opportunely, openly and professionally discuss the risks that joining other trade-economic associations pose for the economy of Russia and other CIS countries," the newspaper cites the Russian president as saying. 


The Ogonyok magazine has published an article by Russian oriental scholar Dmitry Kosyrev, who summarizes "the lessons of the broken umbrella revolution" in Hong Kong.

According to Kosyrev, the protests in Hong Kong demonstrated "the Asian standard" in methods of fighting color revolutions. The protesters are always defeated by attrition - they are given a chance to continue their protests and eventually become very unpopular in the city, with civil society becoming conditioned against them. "The government does not even try to take the protesters' demands seriously, knowing very well that their real aim is to paralyze the government," adds Kosyrev. He believes that the method of electing the head of the local administration is the least of Hong Kong’s concerns. The position can probably be served by a local businessman who is acceptable for Beijing, says Ogonyok.

Kosyrev also writes that the solution to the crisis was complicated by the fact that the Chinese government did not react to foreign calls "not to touch the courageous fighters of democracy." On the contrary, Beijing has assumed a firm stance in relation to Hong Kong and demanded that the U.S. does not intervene in China's internal affairs.

All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

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