Glenn Reynolds made the following observation: “Well, New Europe has done pretty well on this front, with active and vigorous support [of the Ukrainian protestors] from Poland, Lithuania, and the Czechs. Old Europe, not so much.”
This is glib. Poland is indeed taking the lead in negotiating a solution — no surprise, since they’re right next door — but is there any basis for saying the protestors don’t enjoy much support from “Old Europe”?
See statements by Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, and perhaps the strongest remarks of all coming from European Commission chief Jose Barroso, who demanded a “serious, objective and balanced review of the electoral process and the electoral results.” Seems Yushcenko enjoys strong support in EU capitals in both the east and west.
I’m also not sure what active and vigorous support he’s talking about the from Czech side. Yes, there have been laudable statements of support from the retired Havel. (Ditto for Walesa.) The Czech foreign ministry summoned the Ukrainian ambassador and told him the Czechs don’t trust the official poll results, which sounds about the same as what’s happening across the continent. Meanwhile, the Czech Communists — the nation’s second most popular party — made an odious comparison with the U.S. elections and lamented the Americans’ “forcible approach to the problem.” I challenge somebody to name a mainstream Western European party expressing that level of support for Yanukovych.