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Foreign Policy: Can Radek Sikorski Save Europe?

Author: Michael Weiss
April 30, 2014

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"Sikorski is seen as a possible successor to Catherine Ashton, the EU's foreign-policy chief, when her five-year term ends this year. But has he been pleased with how Brussels has responded to the Ukraine crisis as compared with Washington, which has passed more stringent sanctions against Russia and has taken a generally more combative diplomatic line? It would be an unfair comparison, he said, to expect the European Union to act like the United States—or Russia, for that matter."

WARSAW, Poland — Radoslaw Sikorski has been at the center of the Ukrainian revolution since before it began. As one of two European foreign ministers to assiduously pursue an EU association agreement with former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych—whose rejection of it prompted the Euromaidan protests that led to Yanukovych's flight from Kiev and ouster from power—Sikorski is well aware of the stakes in keeping Ukraine politically and economically stable, particularly before its May 25 presidential election.

This translates into keeping Russian tanks out of Ukraine and Moscow-choreographed militias from rendering the country's east too dysfunctional to govern or poll. "I was pleased by the news out of Kiev this morning that the barricades there are being dismantled," the Polish foreign minister told Foreign Policy on April 23 at the Polish Foreign Ministry in central Warsaw. "This means that the Ukrainian authorities have managed to build a consensus in the capital for normalizing government functions and the life of the city. And, yes, we hope that Russia will do the same with respect to the people over which she has influence."

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