Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The highly effective Cathy Ashton

Cathy Ashton (Baroness Ashton) is the High Panjandrum of EU foreign policy and, as such, spends a great deal of money on her staff and on jetting round the world talking to people and settling issues according to her and her minions.

Since the nearest issue to be settled is in Ukraine, off she went there.
The European Commission released a statement regarding the topic in Brussels on Sunday.

"He [Barroso] recalled the need to respect and to exert maximum restraint. He announced that the High Representative/Vice-President, Catherine Ashton, would travel to Kiеv this week to support a way out of the political crisis," the statement said.
Jolly good. Alas, things worked out slightly differently. Yesterday the Ukrainian police moved against the camping protesters in Kiyiv and clashes broke out, the police taking the central square just hours after the High Panjandrum arrived in the city.

As EUObserver puts it: Ukraine police attack protesters under Ashton's nose.

According to the BBC's latest report both the police and the protesters have pulled back from their previous positions and the Interior Minister Vitali Zakharchenko has promised no use of force and called on everyone to calm down. More people are pouring into the city to lend support and solidarity to those already there but  it seems unlikely that President Yanukovich will do a U-turn on his previous U-turn. And if he does? What will happen if other demonstrators come out demanding that he stick to his agreement with Russia? Will Cathy Ashton make another trip to produce a political solution?

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