Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Think Again about Pulling Diplomats out of Where They're Most Needed

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Think Again about Pulling Diplomats out of Where They're Most Needed

Article excerpt

Byline: Joy Lo Dico Notebook

AFTER 23 Russian diplomats were flown out of Britain earlier this week, on a plane from Stansted the final indignity, as one Twitter user noted the ceremonial withdrawal of the international brigades continues. Today the EU has announced that is will be recalling its envoy to Russia.

It is not unusual at a time of rising tension, as we are in now after the poisoning of the spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Julia, that you want to make a point of flouncing out or flouncing others out of your lesser airports. But it is the right way to go? There's not much point in having ambassadors in countries which are close friends, other than swell parties that are thrown and a deepening of already good relations. But with countries with which there are difficulties, it would seem crucial to have someone on the ground to advise you on what's going on and which way the winds are blowing.

One of the reasons that John F Kennedy avoided war over Cuba was that he had a very good ambassador in Moscow through which to relay positions. …

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