This Polish foreign minister may be be the European leader to convince British euroskeptics (for more Europe) and German intransigence (for more leadership) at the same time. A profile in FP.com shows the key role that he is playing in the Ukraine/Russia crisis–but his role in persuading Europe inter-alia is perhaps the most impressive part.
Yet it isn’t only Russian hard power that has Poland’s top diplomat concerned. In 2012, he delivered a speech near his alma mater of Oxford in which he essentially begged Britain to abandon its Euroskeptic attitudes and not even think about withdrawing from the European Union. “Do not underestimate our determination not to return to the politics of the 20th century,” he told his audience on that occasion. “You were not occupied. Most of us on the continent were. We will do almost anything to prevent that from happening again.” He also said that Poland did not want to be considered a “buffer” between the democratic West and the authoritarian East, but regarded as a full-fledged political and economic partner with Germany and France.
So if Sikorski is finding friends inside the Eurozone, does Putin have allies in Europe on the other side? The article explains that Putin has native allies among some of the extreme groups, including the UK Independence Party, Scotland’s National Party, Hungary’s Jobbik, France’s National Front and Austria’s Freedom Party?