Gleb Garanich/​Reuters

Ukraine: We Must Do More

Martin Schulze Wessel, Norbert Röttgen, Claudia Major

2 mins - 15 de Diciembre de 2023, 07:00

“Ukraine defends the freedom and security of the West”. This phrase is correct and hardly missing from any official discourse on Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. However, an abyss has opened between the Zeitenwende rhetoric and actual military support for Ukraine. Instead of supplying what is needed quickly and completely and creating the conditions for long-term defence production, German and the West’s policy is to give Ukraine just enough to continue the war, but not enough to bring it to a successful conclusion.

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This policy creates humanitarian problems, given that the number of civilian and military casualties increases the longer the war continues. Russia’s war is aimed at the integrity and independence, even the cultural existence of Ukraine: the rape and torture of the Ukrainian population and the abduction of children to Russia for assimilation is part of Russian occupation policy.

However, this policy also creates a strategic problem. Russia’s aims are by no means limited to the annexation of the Ukrainian regions of Crimea, Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson, which together account for more than 20% of Ukraine’s territory. Russian policy openly threatens other states, such as the Republic of Moldova and the Baltic states. In the long term, Putin’s Russia threatens the entire Western alliance. If Russia ends its war with the successful division of Ukraine, this will also shake the credibility of the Western security promise for NATO members in northeastern, central, and southeastern Europe. This will further fuel Russia’s imperial ambitions. To avoid Russia’s dominant position in Europe, Russian expansion in Ukraine must be contained.

“Unity, justice and freedom” are Ukraine’s goals, not its own conquests. These are principles that Germany also proclaims for itself. When it comes to supporting Ukraine, there is no tension between a foreign policy guided by values and one guided by interests. Ukraine is defending our values, and our existential security interests dictate that we support it with all our might as long as it takes this war into its own hands.
Se puede leer el artículo en español y la versión en alemán publicado en Zeit Online

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