X

Create an account to continue reading.

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles
For unlimited access to The Spectator, subscribe below

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles

Sign in to continue

Already have an account?

What's my subscriber number?

Subscribe now from £1 a week

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
 
View subscription offers

Already a subscriber?

or

Subscribe now for unlimited access

ALL FROM JUST £1 A WEEK

View subscription offers

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Login

Don't have an account? Sign up
X

Subscription expired

Your subscription has expired. Please go to My Account to renew it or view subscription offers.

X

Forgot Password

Please check your email

If the email address you entered is associated with a web account on our system, you will receive an email from us with instructions for resetting your password.

If you don't receive this email, please check your junk mail folder.

X

It's time to subscribe.

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access – from just £1 a week

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
X

Sign up

What's my subscriber number? Already have an account?

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Your subscriber number is the 8 digit number printed above your name on the address sheet sent with your magazine each week. If you receive it, you’ll also find your subscriber number at the top of our weekly highlights email.

Entering your subscriber number will enable full access to all magazine articles on the site.

If you cannot find your subscriber number then please contact us on customerhelp@subscriptions.spectator.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050. If you’ve only just subscribed, you may not yet have been issued with a subscriber number. In this case you can use the temporary web ID number, included in your email order confirmation.

You can create an account in the meantime and link your subscription at a later time. Simply visit the My Account page, enter your subscriber number in the relevant field and click 'submit changes'.

If you have any difficulties creating an account or logging in please take a look at our FAQs page.

Coffee House

Why condemn the US diplomat caught on tape denouncing the EU? She has a point

7 February 2014

12:17 PM

7 February 2014

12:17 PM

I have my criticisms of the Obama administration, but it does seem to have the right idea about the European Union’s diplomatic efficacy. His top diplomat for European and Eurasian affairs, Victoria Nuland, has been taking a lot of stick after she was caught on tape (or hacked, as we Brits would call it)  discussing the Ukraine problem with the US ambassador in Kiev, Geoffrey Pyatt. She was rude about the EU, but the condemnation of her language seems to have overlooked her central point.

The EU has been trying to muscle in on talks about Ukraine’s pro-democracy moves. It could have helped by offering membership to Ukraine, but it prevaricated – and now wants to insert this prevarication into the negotiations. No wonder other (non-Russian) diplomats are dismayed.

The Americans have a clearer line on Ukraine. A few weeks back, Nuland herself went to Independence Square in Kiev to denote her support for the pro-democracy demonstrators. In her conversation, she is caught telling her colleague that the UN is getting more involved – and that its secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, is about to appoint a representative to Ukraine. She then says:-

“That would be great I think to help glue this thing and have the UN glue it. And you know, fuck the EU.”

[Alt-Text]


And here’s the audio:-

An admirable sentiment – inelegantly expressed, perhaps, but her overall point is clear. The EU should not try to behave like a United States of Europe – Norman Lamont recently wrote a piece in the Spectator asking if the EU really needs 32 diplomats in Mozambique Or 44 in Barbados. It’s appalling mission creep, and it would be okay if the EU was effective. But it isn’t.

As Lamont put it:-

The puzzle is, what do these embassies do that is not being done by embassies of individual members? What can the EU embassy in Moscow do that the German, French, Italian ones cannot? Does the EU have some interest separate from that of its members? And if not, why is it spending so much of other people’s money?

A very good question – and one to which there is no answer. As Victoria Nuland seems to have worked out.

Update: the below from an editorial in Saturday’s Wall St Journal:

As for Ms. Nuland’s frustration with EU foot-dragging on Ukraine, who hasn’t had the same thought? Moscow’s independent radio station Ekho Moskvy reported from Kiev Friday on the large number of Ukrainians who shared her view and cheered her honesty. Many EU diplomats are also upset by the unwieldy 28-member bloc’s inability to rise to the occasion in its backyard. Ms. Nuland apologized for her sailor’s tongue, but it’s laughable to call it a scandal, or even a gaffe.

Give something clever this Christmas – a year’s subscription to The Spectator for just £75. And we’ll give you a free bottle of champagne. Click here.


Show comments
Close