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April 10, 2013

Volodymyr Panchenko: "Ukraine: At the crossroads between the Yeliseyev Deli and the Elysian Agreement"

At first glance, the diplomatic reception organized at the Mystetskiy Arsenal or Art Arsenal in Kyiv January 22, 2013, by the Embassies of Germany and France seemed unexceptional. Speeches by ambassadors, a great performance by a local a cappella group known as ManSound, German beer and French wine, oppositions MPs in one room with MPs from the ruling party rubbing rather than drubbing elbows, diplomatic smiles on their faces.

But there were some unusual details. During their welcoming speeches, the German Ambassador spoke in French, while the French Ambassador spoke in German. Not only that, but to an untrained Ukrainian ear, their accents were excellent. Next to me, a couple of politicians turned to each other and said: Now if Putin were so speak in Ukrainian at a Ukrainian-Russian reception, while Yanukovych responded in Russianthat would be a real sensation!

Read more (ukr.)