"Success is anything but certain," warned Germany's Merkel during the uncomfortably un-united joint press conference as both the leaders appeared to be able to agree on only one thing - that a military solution will not happen. This was followed by what appeared to be President Obama conceding to Merkel that the provision of arms to Ukraine was kinda sorta 'off-the-table' - though still under "ongoing analysis." Hopes remain for a diplomatic solution and President Obama even concluded, "we are not looking for Russia to fail. ... Our preference is for a strong, vibrant, confident Russia." Other items that caused some tension included Iran, Israel, NSA "trust" and US asking for "benefit of the doubt," and Greek anti-austerity plans...
MERKEL SAYS ’I DON’T SEE A MILITARY SOLUTION’ ON UKRAINE pic.twitter.com/8uVeZq2ege— zerohedge (@zerohedge) February 9, 2015
- *OBAMA SAYS RUSSIA-UKRAINE AND ISLAMIC STATE DOMINATED TALKS
- *OBAMA: RUSSIA VIOLATED JUST ABOUT EVERY AGREEMENT IN MINSK PACT
- *OBAMA: RUSSIAN ACTIONS HAVE ONLY STRENGTHENED WESTERN RESOLVE
- *OBAMA SAYS HE CONTINUES TO ENCOURAGE DIPLOMATIC SOLUTION
- *OBAMA SAYS HE, MERKEL AGREED ON RUSSIAN SANCTIONS STRATEGY
- *OBAMA: RUSSIAN ISOLATION WILL ONLY WORSEN W/O CHANGE OF COURSE
- *OBAMA: LITTLE PROSPECT FOR MILITARY SOLUTION TO UKRAINE-RUSSIA
- *OBAMA SAYS RUSSIA WILL FACE MORE SANCTIONS WITHOUT ACTION
- *OBAMA SAYS HE'S ASKED TEAM TO LOOK AT `ALL OPTIONS' ON RUSSIA
- *OBAMA: LETHAL WEAPONS TO UKRAINE IS ONE OPTION; NO DECISION YET
- *OBAMA SAYS HE STILL HOPES DIPLOMATIC ACTION WILL PERSUADE PUTIN
- *OBAMA SAYS GOAL IS ONLY FOR UKRAINE TO BE ABLE TO DEFEND ITSELF
- *OBAMA SAYS `ONGOING ANALYSIS' IN DECISION ON WEAPONS TO UKRAINE
- *OBAMA: `NO DOUBT' SNOWDEN ISSUE DAMAGED GERMANS' VIEW OF U.S.
- *OBAMA SAYS GERMANS SHOULD TRY TO GIVE U.S. BENEFIT OF DOUBT
- *MERKEL SAYS SHE, OBAMA SHARE SAME PRINCIPLES ON UKRAINE-RUSSIA
- *MERKEL SAYS ESSENTIAL TO DEFEND TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY PRINCIPLE
- *MERKEL SAYS 'I DON'T SEE A MILITARY SOLUTION' ON UKRAINE
- *MERKEL SAYS GOAL REMAINS DIPLOMATIC SOLUTION ON UKRAINE-RUSSIA
- *MERKEL SAYS SHE, HOLLANDE SEEKING CEASE-FIRE IN UKRAINE
- *MERKEL SAYS 'SUCCESS IS ANYTHING BUT CERTAIN' IN UKRAINE TALKS
- *MERKEL SAYS IT'S BEEN RIGHT TO RAISE ECONOMIC COSTS ON RUSSIA
- *MERKEL SAYS U.S.-EUROPE TIES TRUMP ARMS-TO-UKRAINE ISSUE
- *MERKEL SAYS STILL DISAGREEMENT ON SOME POINTS ON NSA ISSUE
* * *
And then there's this...
Obama: "We are not looking for Russia to fail. ... Our preference is for a strong, vibrant, confident Russia." pic.twitter.com/lhhyZkQSd7— The Hill (@thehill) February 9, 2015
The bottom line - whether for appearances or not - President Obama came across a lot less hawkish than we suspect Poroshenko and the Ukrainian military was hoping for him to be.