Ukraine continues to top the European worry list.
Monday demonstrated how quickly the financial side of the equation can spiral out of control. The hryvnia currency slumped and the cost of insuring against Ukrainian default soared, forcing the central bank to intervene and urge its citizens not to spark a bank run.
Having turned its back on the EU, Kiev must find more than $17 billion next year to meet gas bills and debt repayments. Presumably Russia will have to help out if it is not to have a basket case on its doorstep.
Has Vladimir Putin factored that into his diplomacy? He is certainly concerned, describing the protestors who blockaded government buildings on Monday of pursuing pogrom – about as loaded a term as he could choose – engineered by “outsiders”, not revolution.
His apparent victory in persuading President Viktor Yanukovich to look to Moscow rather than Brussels could prove short-lived.
Ukraine’s prime minister talked of an attempted coup d’etat yet Yanukovich is heading for China on a planned visit. Does that denote less concern on his part and/or is this a desperate bid to drum up funds?