Why Europe Hedges Its Support for Ukraine - The Wall Street Journal, May 22, 2022
Napoleon’s foreign secretary Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord once said that “A diplomat who says ‘yes’ means ‘maybe,’ a diplomat who says ‘maybe’ means ‘no,’ and a diplomat who says ‘no’ is no diplomat.”
Talleyrand died in 1838, but the passage of time hasn’t diminished the truth of his words. From debates about an energy embargo against Russia or the prospects of European Union membership for Ukraine, European diplomats are dealing in the art of the diplomatic “maybe.” High-ranking EU representatives are regularly visiting Kyiv and promising President Volodymyr Zelensky immense military, economic and diplomatic aid. These promises will be hard to keep once they collide with the cold realities of European politics and the national interests of EU member states.
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