Saturday, January 18, 2014

'We are on our own.' Are you?

There is a lot of fuzz going on in Euromaidan and among Ukrainians about a supposed lack of international solidarity with Euromaidan. "No sanctions!" "Just nice declarations." "We need action, no more talks." "You see, we're on our own again." Let me put it bluntly: this is totallly out of line with the current realilty. It's such a misreading of the commitment of the interntional community to the cause of the Ukrainian democrats of Euromaidan, that, my friends, you have to ask yourself, 'why can't we see what is so obvious?'

Just ask youself: 'when was the last time that leading American and European politicians are consistently supporting the Ukrainian democratic cause, almost daily for eight weeks?' How often in history did it happen that the democratic community of the world spoke with one voice, as today on Ukraine? From John Kerry to Carl Bildt. From Westerwelle to Ashton. From Timmermans to Barosso. That does't happen very often in international diplomatic arena. 'It's only words', you say? So why do you lack this trust in words? Isn't this lack of trust in words part of your own tragic history? As Marx put it so nicely: "das Waffen der Kritik, kann die Kritik der Waffen nicht ersetzen!" Is this lack of trust in words not a lack of political imagination? A lack of trust in thinking and speaking together? Does this lack of trust in words not reflect a lack of trust in itself, in yourself, in your fellow citizens?

Yesterday I spoke in Brussels, together with my friends, with a member of the Cabinet of the European Coucil, a direct advisor of the President of Europe, Mr. Herman Van Rompuy. On one thing she, and the European Council, totally agrees with you: it will not make much sense to talk with Mr. Yanukovich. At Vilnius, especially members of the European Union from former eastern Europe countries tried to convince Mr. Yanukovich of the benefits of the relationship with Europe. 'Look Victor, what it has brought us. We are much better off then ten years ago!' Just this week that fact was confirmed by the World Bank: the income of Poles per capita is four times higher than in Ukraine. But Victor wouldn't listen to reason. So in that sense you are right. Words won't change the mind of Victor. But words support Euromaidan. As long as Victor is president, it's no time for High Politics. That's why the EU is looking for Low Politics. How can we support Euromaidan civil society? What will be effective? What is in accordance with international law? With who should we talk in Euromaidan - exactly: with who? Tell me!

So, Euromaidan, you're not on your own, and you're harming your own good and noble cause as long as you don't see that. As long as you make adversaries out of your friends. As long as you keep using that language of mistrust, war and revolution, you're not able to see that the world is with you. If you like it or not - we are not letting you of the hook.

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