Powell speaks

US Secretary of State Colin Powell has addressed the Ukrainian situation in a statement. He said the US does not accept the results of the election. Reuters has a summary (check the State Department website later for a full transcript):

Secretary of State Colin Powell said on Wednesday the United States did not accept the results of the disputed election in Ukraine as legitimate and called for immediate action.

Powell urged Ukraine’s leaders to “respond immediately” or there would be consequences in the relationship between the two countries.

His comments echo – even down to the strong warning of unspecified ‘consequences’ those made by Barroso and Solana for the EU earlier today and I think indicates that there is a lot of work going on behind the scenes so that the EU and US show a united front on this issue. As I’ve noted in the ‘Uh-oh’ post below, the signs are that there will be negotiations between the two sides (interestingly, the Kyiv Post reports that Lech Walesa is on his way to aid negotiations) and the prospect of violence is thankfully shrinking.

Update: The State Department has now made Powell’s full statement available. I’ve copied it below the fold.
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More Statecraft In Action?


Condoleezza Rice
Colin Powell, who in all likelihood will renounce to using the phrase “between a rock and a hard place” for the rest of his life, is leaving the US administration, and Condoleezza Rice, currently US National Security Advisor, has been nominated by President Bush as next Secretary of State. Many in Europe, Deutsche Welle, I don’t think it matters if Powell’s departure strengthens hardliners who are insensitive to European sensitivities. Both European and American leaders have by now realized the need to work together, and they have – somewhat – adjusted their sensoric system and significantly reduced their mutual expectations. Pessimists may lead unhappy lives, but at least they are less likely to be disappointed.
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