Monday, January 13, 2014

Ambassador McCarthy talks to The Politic about Foreign Service, Being a Diplomat, Lithuania, and the Maastricht Criteria

In December of last year, Ambassador McCarthy gave an interview to Yale’s magazine The Politic, for their series “Diplomatic Discourse,” a collection of more than 100 interviews with United States Ambassadors. More than 50 Yale students conducted interviews over the telephone, via Skype and email, and in person at embassies on several continents. This series presents two topics in detail: careers in the Foreign Service and contemporary issues facing American embassies. You can read Ambassador McCarthy’s interview and explore the series at

A project of this scale and depth is unprecedented. The series strives to be the authority on the perspectives and experiences of the official American representatives to foreign governments. The reporting team asked all of the Ambassadors about their experiences — if any — in the Foreign Service, the person or event that has most influenced them, and their critique of American diplomacy today.  

Here's an excerpt from the interview -- you can read the rest here

For Ukraine — and today is an important day, because there are a number of important international personalities there as they further decide how to meet the opposition’s requests — it is an ongoing process. What we’ve said, and what Secretary Kerry said himself just a few days ago, is that in terms of not assigning an association agreement, it was a personal decision made by President Yanukovych. The people of Ukraine did not agree with that decision. What we’re seeing is the unfolding of that process.
Lithuania, just like other EU Member States — and I participated in some of the discussions — is clear that they’ve left the door open, and they continue to say this. They feel that the Ukrainian people should be able to express themselves, and that they should be listened to. They have to decide whom they affiliate with, without pressure. As far as the EU is concerned, they were going to keep the door open, which they have. So they never shut the door by any means.