As Nick notes in an earlier post Barroso and Solana have both been voicing their concerns about what is going on in Ukraine. Barroso has also issued a scarcely veiled threat about possible consequences. (Come to think of it, a strong stand on Ukraine could be one way of recovering some authority after the bruising he’s been taking at the hands of the MEPs). So I ask myself what has the always (even to the point of cynicism) pragmatic Putin got to trade?
Well he could try suggesting that the Russian central bank put a hold on its plans to convert some more of its reserves into euros. Preposterous suggestion, probably. Doable in the modern world of realpolitic, certainly. The irony here is that there were undoubtedly some people around at the time of setting up the single currency who thought that this ‘achievement’ of central bank reserve status was going to be a thoroughly good idea.