Saturday, February 22, 2014

Ukraine: The View from Baltic Avenue

On January 3, 2014, we posted a link on this blog to Tim Judah’s article in The New York Review of Books (still very much worth reading) along with a warning that events in Ukraine could have ominous repercussions in Lithuania.  Now, as we have seen over the past 48 hours, things can change abruptly, though that is no reason to assume that the highly combustible situation in Kiev is destined to have a happy ending.

But even this confirmed futilitarian is inclined to enjoy it while it lasts.  Certainly, here on Baltic Avenue we are savoring Viktor Yanukovych’s come-uppance while rejoicing in Yulia Tymoshenko’s extraordinary performance at the Maidan last night, though we compulsively worry about what the Kremlin might do following the closing ceremonies at Sochi.  

One thing is clear.  And that is that a diplomatic star has been born. 

I refer to Radoslaw Sikorski (see photo above), foreign minister of the Republic of Poland, who played a leading role in the negotiations that paved the way for dramatic political change in Ukraine—though he is quick to insist that no coup d’etat has occurred there.  Here is a link to Mr. Sikorski’s official résumé.

It is, of course, a cliché to say that we live in a small world, where there may be only six degrees of separation between Kevin Bacon and everything else.  But readers of the Washington Post will be interested to know that Mr. Sikorski is married to Post columnist Anne Applebaum, who apparently telecommutes from Warsaw.  It is, indeed, a small world (after all).


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