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Prospects of reconciliation in Ukraine

February 10th, 2015

Commentators on both Left and Right fear that unless Europe convinces the US not to send arms to Ukraine, the crisis may soon escalate into a full-blown war or an increasingly bloody civil war.

Europe wants peace, Gyula Hegyi comments in Népszava. The left-wing columnist suspects that “Germany wants peace at any price” in order to rule out even the most distant possibility of “another German-Russian war”. Concerning the Hungarian government, Hegyi acknowledges that Fidesz has resisted “jumping on the cold war hysteria bandwagon” and advocates peaceful solutions. As for the prospects of reconciliation in Ukraine, Hegyi predicts that Angela Merkel will try to convince US President Barack Obama that sending weapons to Ukraine will escalate the crisis and will advise him to focus on the challenge of Islamist fundamentalism.

In Magyar Hírlap, Gyula T. Máté fears that a U-turn in the Ukraine crisis is unlikely. If Angela Merkel cannot convince the US to abstain from arming Ukraine, the outbreak of a full-blown “civil war, bloodier than the Yugoslav war cannot be ruled out”, the conservative commentator predicts. He adds that although prolongation of the crisis is detrimental not just to Ukraine but to the EU and Russia as well, reconciliation will not be a simple task, since a more compromising attitude would be seen as retreat and defeat on both the Ukrainian and Russian sides. In the long run, however, another financial and political meltdown in Ukraine cannot be averted unless there is a compromise between all the actors involved, Máté believes. The best one can realistically hope for in the near future is a lasting cease-fire as proposed by German Chancellor Merkel, he concludes.

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