Why are we evacuating diplomats from Ukraine? responsiblestatecraft.org

Anatol Lieven, senior research fellow on Russia and Europe at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft

How they must be laughing in the Kremlin. Western policy towards Ukraine is evolving from the ridiculous to the positively surreal. Thus the latest demonstration of the West’s unbreakable commitment to Ukraine and to future Ukrainian NATO membership is — to evacuate Western diplomats from Kiev, before a single shot has been fired, and while Russia continues to deny that it has any intention of invading. At this rate, Russia will have no need whatsoever to do so. President Putin can enjoy a quiet cup of coffee while Western governments run around squawking hysterically, and NATO’s credibility collapses along with the Ukrainian economy. […]

Apart from the effect on what is left of the West’s reputation for courage and discipline, the consequences of this route for Ukraine and supposed Western interests there will be severe; for the effect is to undermine still further the already faltering Ukrainian economy and currency. Hence the tragicomic sight of the Ukrainian government, which has spent years talking up the Russian military threat to Ukraine, now desperately trying to talk it down again. On the other hand, this attempt by Kiev to reduce tension does reflect the feelings of the Ukrainian population, most of which seems vastly calmer than Western capitals.

However humiliating and contemptible, the evacuation of the diplomats (and the advice to all other Western citizens to leave Ukraine) could have one good result, assuming that Western political elites, media, and citizens are still capable of occasionally looking at themselves honestly in the mirror. For what it demonstrates beyond all possible remaining doubt is that the Western offer one day to admit Ukraine to NATO is totally empty. Läs artikel