Open Europe Blog

So, about Ukraine…

Arriving in Luxembourg this morning to discuss events in Ukraine with his European counterparts, British Foreign Secretary William Hague called for a “clear and united” EU response to Russia’s ‘escalation’ of the crisis.

Hague added:

There is very little doubt — there can’t really be any real doubt — that this [the unrest in Eastern Ukraine] is something that has been planned and brought about by Russia. The forces involved are well armed; well trained; well equipped; well coordinated and behaving in exactly the same way as what turned out to be Rusian forces behaved in Crimea, before the full Russian military takeover of Crimea.

He added:

I don’t think denials of Russian involvement have a shred of credibility.

Meanwhile, Jean Asselborn, the Foreign Minister of Luxembourg, arriving at the same meeting did not seem to get the memo. He said the following:

I cannot actually imagine — just how the EU could not identify with the men dressed in black in the Maidan — I cannot imagine that the Russian side identifies with the men in black, with guns and weapons, that are occupying administrative buildings and government buildings in Eastern Ukraine.

He added:

I am still convinced after I heard President Putin, and the Russian Foreign Minister, that the Russians do not want to destabilise East Ukraine and do not want to occupy Eastern Ukraine.

Meanwhile Frans Timmermans, the Dutch Foreign Minister, opted for a more cryptic message, mixing his ducks with horses. Asked if he thought forces in Eastern Ukraine were acting under Russian directions, he replied:

If it looks like a horse, and it acts like a horse, then it is probably a horse — not a zebra.

As clear as mud.

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