Russia’s blatant and excessive use of force to achieve its foreign policy goals marked the crossing of the Rubicon. Russia’s military actions against Ukraine forced the International Community to take sides or, as many did, keep their distance. Many commentators ventured to guess a quick and overwhelming Russian victory. Seven months later, the Ukrainian flag still flies over Kyiv and Ukrainian forces have even re-taken large swaths of territories in the North East during September, decisively taking the war initiative and putting the Russians on the run. On the other hand, the West’s response in the upcoming months and during this war could be described as an orchestra missing its director, with a few rebellious musicians. It only requires one instrument to be out of tune to ruin the whole symphony. We can find a clear example to illustrate this metaphor in Europe’s efforts to reduce its dependence on Russian gas. While most have taken steps to reduce it, in spite of the economic cost, we saw Hungary signing a new deal with Russia for additional gas supplies. There is no doubt among Western countries that Russia is conducting an illegal and illegitimate war of aggression. A crisis of this magnitude will redefine the West and especially the EU. It is paramount to reflect on where we came from and have the serenity to acknowledge errors and remain on the path we have committed to instead of reacting to the events as they develop. Given the uncertainty of how the world may look like in the upcoming decades, those countries embracing democratic values, human rights and multilateralism who strive to preserve the integrity of their liberal political systems and effectively tackle global challenges must find ways to coordinate swiftly and offer solid cohesive responses.
Author: Carlos Severo
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“Transatlantic peace comes from within” – Carlos Severo