Meanwhile, in the European Council.

Clinking of glass.
Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council: Good morning colleagues, welcome to our beautiful new European External Action Service Headquarters, to this crisis meeting on the Ukraine. As you can see, we have everything we need, including WiFi and a really big screen…
Belgium: What’s the code for the WiFI?
Herman: J-a-c-q-u-e-s-d-e-l-o-r-s. Now, watch this.

The President pulls out a remote control, and activates the giant screen. It lights up with very
impressive maps and moving icons. Collective oohs and awws from around the room.

Herman: Good, isn’t it? We got a great price too. And this Japanese guy installed it for us. Now, you can see here the disposition of every Russian tank division facing Europe, live by satellite feed.

Sweden: Where are our tanks?
Netherlands: We have tanks?
Herman: Most of them are on blocks in a garage outside Leipzig. Something about their carbon emissions.
France: Why aren’t our tanks on the map?
Herman: The Americans won’t show us. They say it’s need to know only. Anyway, now, we all agree that we need to do something about the Ukraine.
Ireland: Sorry, Herman, is there any chance there’s some money in this for Ireland?
Herman: No.
Ireland: Right, well in that case I have to get to a funeral in Loughlinstown. Let us know how you get on. Oh, if you need to know Ireland’s position on any of this defence stuff (slides iPhone across the table) just press that button there. We’ve an app now. See yez lads!

Herman presses the button on the iPhone.

Pierce Brosnan’s voice says, with very clear
diction: War is bad. The United Nations is lovely. Kittens are lovely. Have you ever considered visiting Ireland? Or perhaps investing in Ireland?

Herman: Right, now, we need to consider economic sanctions.

United Kingdom: Now, let’s not be too hasty. Alexander Ivanovich, the young man who brings me my instruct…my coffee every morning says that we have to be very careful. If we impose sanctions it could affect house prices in Central London. Londoners might be able to afford some of them.

Belgium (as he changes his shirt,
showing of his smooth tanned,
lithe body): Surely there’s more to the British economy than Central London?

United Kingdom: Doctor Who?

Luxembourg: Should we consider…

Herman: I’m sorry, who are you?

Luxembourg: I’m the Prime Minister of Luxembourg.

Herman: Where’s Jean-Claude?

Luxembourg: Over there, trying to look in the window.

Herman: That’s Alex Salmond.

Luxembourg: No, beside him.

Herman: Oh, I see. Hi Jean Claude!

The Council waves at Jean Claude Juncker.
He waves back. Alex Salmond waves too, slightly over enthusiastically.

Herman: Right, so we’ve no consensus on economic sanctions. What about diplomatic sanctions? Freeze Visas?

Finland: Given that we have to live beside them, and you lot are who we have to rely on if it all kicks off, I’d prefer not to poke them with a stick.

Poland: We have to do something. It’s the Crimea today. It’ll be Talinn tomorrow.

Estonia screams and runs from the room.

Herman: We could kick them out of the G8?

France: Maybe cancel their Netflix subscription. The NSA say that Putin hasn’t got to the last episode of House of Cards yet.

Germany: How do you know?

France: We…have our ways. The Americans are very nice to us now since we started chasing crazies around Africa.

Herman: Is the Netflix account in Putin’s name?

France: Eh, no.

Germany: Whose name is on the credit card then?


France: David Cameron.

Collective sigh.

United Kingdom: They made me!

Herman: What about sending the Kremlin a very sternly worded letter? How do we get a letter to them anyway? Does anyone know any Russians?

Germany: Does Gerhard Schroeder count?

United Kingdom: When you say sternly…

Ireland: War! Booooooooooo! Did you know Ryanair flies from every major….

And so on.

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