The Ukrainian government is complaining that the announced arms shipments from Germany have not yet arrived. On the other hand, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (Social Democratic Party) confirmed that his government is providing the Ukrainian army with heavy weapons. This contradiction sparked debates in the Bundestag and in the German and European public.
The head of the Federal Academy for Security Policy, Eckhard Bruce, strongly rejects the accusation that the delay in arms deliveries from Germany to Ukraine may be due to political calculations: “that the federal government can have some kind of calculation, not much not very fast, so that we can come to a conclusion Agree, and that’s, I say, almost a pernicious hint. That’s not my perception at all. You can criticize this and that, which the federal government didn’t do right away or did only after certain detours, but there are reasons for that.”
Prepare for the uninterrupted handover of weapons to NATO
The former NATO Secretary General Stephanie Pabst cannot see that NATO members are less willing to supply arms to Ukraine. “on the contrary”. Among other countries, Germany, France and the United States have now agreed to deliver weapons that will enable the Ukrainian army to “defend itself against this formidable artillery and missile fire from the Russians.”
NATO and the EU must discuss political objectives
Stephanie Pabst sees NATO member states and the European Union in a “very basic dispute” over their political system “with what I would call a criminal regime in Moscow”. Therefore, a discussion about the political objective of the current war in NATO countries and EU member states is now urgently needed: “We have not yet had a discussion about the final status. Even the phrase “Ukraine must win” is not described in any way. What does that mean? Actually concretely? I would very much support starting to think more specifically about the organizations involved, NATO and the European Union: what is our strategic end state.”
Ukraine’s prospects for joining NATO and the European Union
Tomas Urban, Eastern Europe correspondent and non-fiction author, points out that the Polish government is committed to sending a clear signal to Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova that they have the potential to join NATO and the European Union. Putin’s logic is: NATO threatens us, Greater Russia. But the other side of the coin is: NATO guarantees peace and stability, and the European Union is the greatest peace project in history. “In Germany too, discourse in the SPD and the Greens is opening up about this,” says Orban.
Ukraine needs political encouragement
The head of the Federal Academy for Security Policy, Eckhard Bruce, considers the prospect of joining the European Union a “realistic step” and asserts: “But one must state very clearly that there is a very big difference between candidate status and membership. The path between these two terms is a long negotiation path. And very difficult, which must also involve transformations in the candidate country itself. I fully agree that Ukraine needs this perspective, this political encouragement.”
The Russians are not united behind the war
The former Swiss ambassador to Moscow, Yves Rossier, sees no turning point in Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. Russia has now started a war of attrition and can continue in it for a long time. Rossier, who is now a consultant to the Center for Humanitarian Dialogue and continues to travel to Russia, describes the mood in Moscow these days as depressed.
No one should lose sight of the fact that Russia’s war against Ukraine is putting a “tremendous strain” on Russian society and the Russian economy, says Rosser: “You don’t see any Russian flags on the street. I haven’t seen a single ‘Z’ song in an entire week in Moscow.” People are worried, look where this is going. This pressure is already noticeable. It will continue and will not stop after the hostilities because the sanctions will certainly remain. And this separation between the Russian economy and society has now been decided for a long time. Of course, I don’t know if it has a direct effect, and above all Something, when. The country is not united behind this war.”
The long-term consolidation of Russia’s position in Europe
However, the Swiss diplomat stresses that Russia must be integrated into a European security system in the long term. For a peace that brings “security and just order” to the affected countries and not a “cease-fire or frozen conflict”, “no price is too high”. Looking back, Rossier says: “We have not succeeded in establishing Russia’s position in Europe since the early 1990s. Of course we are not the only ones, the Russians are also responsible for this, but it is a shared responsibility.” Russia must be integrated into a peace regime in order to prevent future wars.
- Dr. Stephanie BabistStrategic Adviser and Former Assistant Secretary General of NATO
- Eckhard Bruce, President of the Federal Academy for Security Policy
- Yves Rosset, Diplomatic Counselor and Former Ambassador of Switzerland to Russia
- Thomas Urban, Eastern European reporter and realist author