Prof. ST Hsieh
Director, US-China Energy Industry Forum
May 25, 2022
Growing up in the first or real cold war era, we learnt that we should not take any reports from PRAVDA seriously. It is propaganda. Since the Ukraine war started on Feb. 24, 2022, local IT platform suddenly filled with reports from “EUROPEAN PRAVDA,” “Ukrayinska Pravda,” “The New Voice of Ukraine” so we simply skip them after reading the headlines. But today’s comment by Zelensky: Is there self-confidence in the West? No caught our attention. Zelensky could be on the point to criticize the west for many issues. But stating that the EU does not have self-confidence is completely out of line. Zelensky has made many unilateral requests for the West to join him to fight Putin. If his request is not answered, then he would condemn the west. As if he is the one calls all the shots so much so he should be credited to each Ukraine’s “victory” over Russia. But the causalities, refuges, and destroyed landscape in Ukraine are all the fault of the weak West. To Zelensky, the west should put boots on the ground under his command and march toward Moscow, then the Ukraine war is over.
Zelensky’s naivety could lead to WWIII and the end of humanity. The US, EU and the world should give cease-fire a chance. The world is suffering, and people are exhausted already.
EU cracks widen over Ukraine as Italy, Hungary urge truce
Wed, May 25, 2022, 3:23 AM By Francesco Guarascio
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Italy and Hungary have urged the EU to call explicitly for a ceasefire in Ukraine and peace talks with Russia, putting themselves at odds with other member states determined to take a hard line with Moscow ahead of a summit next week.
A draft concluding statement for the May 30-31 summit, seen by Reuters and dated May 19, describes the European Union as “unwavering in its commitment to help Ukraine exercise its inherent right of self-defence against the Russian aggression.” It does not mention peace talks.
At a meeting of EU envoys on Friday, Italy’s ambassador proposed changes to the text saying it should refer to peace talks and set out an immediate ceasefire as one of the EU’s first goals, according to people who attended the meeting.
That proposal was backed by Hungary and Cyprus, which are among the states most critical of a new package of EU sanctions against Russia that has been blocked for weeks because of internal divisions.
Hungary opposes a planned oil embargo, while Cyprus has concerns about a proposed ban on property sales to Russian citizens.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, in a speech at the Davos forum on Tuesday, took a hawkish stand on Russia and made no mention of peace talks.
“Ukraine must win this war, and (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s aggression must be a strategic failure,” she said.
The latest draft of the summit conclusions says the EU “remains committed to bolstering the ability of Ukraine to defend its territorial integrity and sovereignty.”
Baltic countries and Poland are among the strongest supporters of a hard line, and Latvia has urged even more explicit wording for increased military support, diplomats said.
A revised draft is due later on Wednesday after a meeting of EU envoys, one diplomat said.
Italy last week proposed a peace plan that would involve the United Nations, the EU and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe as facilitators to initially arrange localised ceasefires.
Zelenskyy: There is no strong and united West
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy criticised Western countries for lacking a common position on supporting Ukraine’s EU membership, NATO enlargement and imposing sanctions on Russia.
Zelenskyy spoke about this during the Davos Ukrainian Breakfast on Wednesday, European Pravda reports.
According to him, when it comes to unity to oppose Russia’s aggression, it must not only be in words, but in everything.
“It is a question to the European Union. Tell me, please: is there unity on the European continent regarding Ukraine, regarding the future of Ukraine? Is there this unity? I haven’t seen it yet. But is it fair? I don’t think so,” said the president, referring to discussions on granting Ukraine EU candidate status and fast-tracked membership.
“Look again at Finland, at Sweden. They decided to join NATO. Russia is pushing Ukraine into NATO, and then the war in Ukraine pushed Finland and Sweden into NATO… Is there now unity on the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO? No, no. So, is there a strong and united West? No,” Zelenskyy said.
Finland and Sweden have applied for membership in the Alliance, but the process of accepting them has been blocked due to the position of Turkey.
Zelenskyy also criticized the EU’s inability to agree on an oil embargo against Russia because of Hungary’s resistance.
He also mentioned that at the beginning of the war, the West could not agree on closing the skies over Ukraine.
“We fought to close the sky, but somehow the question died down. Someone forgot. We have not forgotten. We are attacked from the sky every day. We have not forgotten anything here. Is there self-confidence in the West? No,” the president said.