Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What Europeans Really Think?

Paul Taylor over at Reuters wonders whether Europeans have begun to sour on Georgia and Ukraine. Yes, he writes, the EU sympathizes with their democratic aspirations--but "the leaders of Ukraine and Georgia have fallen from grace among European policymakers" and "European Union officials have been exasperated by the behavior of the governments in Kiev and Tbilisi."

In private, he writes, Georgian president Saakashvili is blamed for provoking Russia in the Caucasus war and Ukrainian president Yushchenko is faulted for his political feuding with his rivals.

Two things: 1) Is what Taylor writes about a prevailing sentiment? and 2) if so, is Europe going to be honest with the incoming Obama Administration? Quoting officials who don't want to be identified because of the "sensitivity of the issue" leads me to suspect that Obama may experience what Bush did--hearing one thing at a NATO meeting when something else is being said at an EU one.

Answers from Europe:

1. Yes

2. No
Great--so nothing changes after all.
What changes is that Europe gets serious about Nord Stream, and tells the Swedes to get out of the way.
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