Carl Bildt has been foreign minister of Sweden since 2006 and was prime minister from 1991-1994. He
WorldPost: You are among Vladimir Putin’s toughest foes in Europe. Why are you so much more outspoken than most other European statesmen on Russia’s annexation of Crimea and meddling in eastern Ukraine?
Carl Bildt: It is for a very simple but extremely clear reason: Europe’s borders have been drawn in blood, and to change them will draw blood again.
One thing that was absolutely central in all agreements with Russia and Europe at the end of the Cold War was that borders would not be changed, no less changed by force. By crossing that line, Putin’s actions threaten the entire basis of the post-Cold War order in Europe.
WorldPost: The U.S. and Europe have imposed ever-stiffer sanctions on Russia over its invasive meddling in Ukraine. NATO has announced a rapidly deployable force for the region. And now there is a cease-fire. Is Western pressure working?
Bildt: There is a cease-fire, yes. But a cease fire is a cease-fire, not peace. What is needed is some sort of political solution. That will depend on the aims of Vladimir Putin on the one hand and, and on the other, the determination of the European Union.
I tend to believe that Mr. Putin has more far-reaching aims not yet achieved. But he will adjust his behavior according to what we do, or don’t do, going forward.