From time to time it is necessary to reflect and at the same time to try new thinking, especially one “in good spirit”. In the best case, this brings about new strength and new courage in people. And that’s how it would be if this spirit came over the West, Europe and right in the middle of it all, Germany. Now. Because it’s getting urgent.
It just doesn’t look like it at the moment. Instead, the common position on Ukraine is obviously being gradually changed in the West. Emmanuel Macron, President of France, warns against humiliation of Russia after his recent long phone call with Kremlin ruler Vladimir Putin. US President Joe Biden hints that Ukraine will have to give up land for peace. And Germany under Chancellor Olaf Scholz is either not delivering urgently needed heavy weapons at all, or they will only be available in a few weeks.
The observed change is primarily related to Biden’s name post in the “New York Times” on May 31. Referring to the military situation, he writes that every negotiation reflects “the facts on the ground”. “We acted quickly to send Ukraine a significant amount of arms and ammunition so that it can fight on the battlefield and be in the best possible position at the negotiating table.”
At the negotiating table: The best possible seems to be changing, the military situation is tightening in several respects. The Russian military is attacking with all its might, while the Ukrainian is fighting back with all its might. But bombs are falling on Kyiv again, and in the Donbass, Putin’s troops – led by “Wagner” mercenaries and Chechen commandos – are advancing relentlessly. The scenario is now a war that will continue for years, which also attacks the world’s energy and food resources.
The West’s possible response would be to make a clear, even clearer commitment to Ukraine. That would mean: to deliver weapons as much as possible, given the situation, at top speed. And to evade the “Crimean effect”, this creeping habituation and at the same time softening of a necessary hard position.
An effect that can also be seen from this: since the annexation of Crimea in 2014, Europe has not only continued to receive gas and oil from Russia, but conversely, Europe has since supplied Russia with military equipment worth 346 million euros. This is reported by Investigate Europe. France is at the top, but Germany also exported equipment worth 121.8 million. That corresponds to 35 percent of all EU arms exports to Russia. The shipment consisted mainly of icebreaker ships, but also included guns and specially armored vehicles. The German exports are marked as “dual use”, which means: civil and military use.
This has caused resentment in the European Parliament, but not yet in the Bundestag. But everyone involved must once again speak openly in a good spirit about the situation in Ukraine, the relationship with Russia and what both require. The strength and the courage to do this should be mustered, urgently.