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Carl Bildt Runs Own Race
On a racetrack for one. One winner, everyone else a loser.
GUSTAV ADOLFS TORG (Rixstep) — Sweden's minister for foreign affairs Carl Bildt is the object of growing criticism for his reckless behaviour regarding Ukraine. 'He represents Sweden like a one man show', says a source within Bildt's own ministry. And veteran diplomat Maj Britt Theorin is not at all surprised.
'Bildt's been pushing his personal hostility towards Russia for thirty years', says Theorin.
Unconditional support for the US-backed Kiev government and harsh condemnation of Russia: that's been Carl Bildt's policy since February. He called former Ukrainian president Yanukovych a 'traitor' on Twitter, and chastised his own prime minister for suggesting one seek a more nuanced interpretation of the controversy.
According to a source in the ministry for foreign affairs, Carl Bildt's behaviour creates rifts with the cabinet.
'Carl Bildt has, shall we say, 'unique' qualities. He represents Sweden as if he's a one man show. This creates frustration and uncertainty, particularly in sensitive situations which can change rapidly, such as the one we currently have in Ukraine. It is not acceptable that Sweden's official policy should be set by one person alone who in addition announces that policy on Twitter.'
Out of Step With EU
Veteran diplomat Maj Britt Theorin is not surprised by the difficulties Bildt creates. Theorin, also a former minister of the European parliament, is a veteran of foreign policy, and says that Bildt has pushed his hostility towards Russia throughout his career.
'It's in his blood. He's been doing this since the assassination of Olof Palme.'
According to Theorin, Bildt's position became clear already during the 'submarine scares' of the 1980s when Bildt repeatedly accused the Russians of violating Swedish territorial waters. Bildt still holds to this today, despite the supposed violations having been debunked long ago by the Swedish military. Even Bildt's behaviour towards Ukraine lacks nuance, says Theorin.
'He has his own agenda, and he dives into Ukraine with no balance whatsoever to his behaviour. Does he want to help resolve the situation through dialogue, or worsen it through aggression? Carl Bildt is out of step with the EU.'
Quiet as a Mouse on Svoboda
When Carl Bildt was interviewed recently on the state television programme 'Agenda', he stated his unreserved support for the Ukraine putsch government, despite the presence of the fascist Svoboda in key posts. Svoboda were earlier condemned by the EU for being antisemitic, but Bildt studiously avoids that fact.
'This is very strange', says Theorin. 'We can say we support the putsch government, but we have to condemn Svoboda. We have to be able to say that.'
According to the source in Bildt's ministry, the general consensus is that Carl Bildt is ruining things for Sweden, and people are starting to wonder if the current government can keep him on a leash.
'When a Swedish foreign minister appears on 'Agenda' to chastise his prime minister, we have to question the pecking order and ask who determines the country's foreign policy. My impression is that Bildt is reckless. That can't be good for Sweden.'
Carl Bildt is thought to be the puppet master at the Swedish end responsible for the diplomatic standoff with Sweden, Assange, and Ecuador.
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