Ukraine crisis takes center stage during Munich Security Conference

World Today

Senior officials from the United States, Russia, Ukraine, and Germany have gathered at the Munich Security Conference to try and hammer out a new agreement to end the renewed fighting in Ukraine’s east. CCTV’s Jack Barton reported this story from Munich.

Ukraine crisis takes center stage during Munich Security Conference

Ukraine crisis takes center stage during Munich Security Conference

Senior officials from the United States, Russia, Ukraine and Germany have gathered at the Munich Security Conference to try and hammer out a new agreement to end the renewed fighting in Ukraine’s east. CCTV’s Jack Barton reported this story from Munich.

Questions dominating day one of the conference included how to halt the renewed bloodshed in eastern Ukraine and mend relations with Russia.

Germany’s defense minister said providing weapons to Ukraine was not a solution.

“A focus only on the delivery of weapons can add fuel to fire and move us away from a desirable solution,” German Minister of Defense Ursula Von der Leyen said.

The leaders of Germany and France have spent the past few days shuttling between Kiev and Moscow attempting to broker a peace deal, a process backed by NATO.

“NATO does not seek confrontation with Russia. On the contrary, since the end of the Cold War, we have worked tirelessly for a constructive relationship with Russia. Our goal has been to involve Russia, not to isolate her,” Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General said.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived to join U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and engage in what appears to be a growing push for a breakthrough on Ukraine on the sidelines of the conference.

On Saturday Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko is expected to hold talks here with German Chancellor Angela Merkel as well as Russia’s foreign minister and the head of NATO. The hope is at the very least some progress can be made on a new ceasefire agreement in Eastern Ukraine.

But the lack of a coherent response to that crisis and challenges elsewhere, like the rise of the Islamic State group, has also fueled much debate in Munich.

“Is this a matter of people failing to follow the rules of the global order, the fundamental principles on which we have tried to build a global security and peace architecture? Or is it a function of a failure of leadership? Are the main players no longer leading, and in particular the United States?” James Davis, director of the Institute for Political Science at the University of St. Gallen said.

Some of the new threats are being considered as a response to weak political leadership, a growing phenomena the conference’s own risk report describes as a ‘vicious circle of international disorder’.


Former US Ambassador to NATO Kurt Volker discusses the Munich Security Conference

CCTV interviewed Kurt Volker, current executive director of the McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University, about the Munich Security Conference.