By Patial RC
Ukrainian President Zelensky has expressed publicly unequivocal concern over US former President Trump’s suggestion that he could end the Russia-Ukraine war within a day if he returns to the White House again. “If I’m president, I will have that war settled in one day, 24 hours.” Ukrainian president described the statement as “very dangerous.”
Zelensky conceded it was possible that Trump’s claim was just an electioneering “Political message.” But he said the idea that Trump as president might unilaterally make decisions that do not work for Ukraine or its people, and seek to drive them through regardless, “makes me really quite stressed.”
NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg Stand
There has never been any doubt about NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg’s stand on Ukraine. He has been instrumental in garnering and coordinating support including weapons, ammunition, and training. Stoltenberg had said “Aiding Ukraine is the morally right thing to do.”This will put Ukraine in a strong position to continue to retake occupied territory. “NATO stands with Ukraine.” Ukraine’s rightful place is in NATO, and over time, our support will help you make this possible.” “Weapons Are – In Fact – The Way to Peace.” NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg, also speaking at Davos, said “Support for Ukraine was not charity but an investment in the alliance’s own security”.
EU-US, Western hesitation in backing Ukraine War
The Ukrainian President Zelensky says Western hesitation in backing Kyiv is costing time and lives and could prolong the fighting for years. He has urged the West during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland to tighten sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin and step up its support for Kyiv to ensure that Moscow does not succeed in its war. Zelenskyy said he strongly opposes freezing the conflict along its current lines.West’s US-NATO staunch wartime support for Kyiv appears to be now wavering amid political wrangling in Washington and Brussels.
European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen advised; “Ukrainians need predictable financing throughout 2024 and beyond. They need a sufficient and sustained supply of weapons to defend Ukraine and regain its rightful territory.”
Germany has been on a path of U-turns since the beginning of the Ukrainian crisis be it theEnergy policies with Russia, Nord Stream 2 and its sabotage,supplying of Leopard Tanks to Ukraine, trade with China, sanctions on Russia or thebeefing up of defence spending. Now comesthe defending of the East: Germany’s Panzer Brigade 42 in Lithuania for European Security. Is it the threat of Trump leaving NATO if he becomes the President? Germany’s trust deficit on American policies! A strategic manoeuvre to reinforce NATO’s eastern flank… Or is it Germany’s calculated move to show cooperation within NATO and protect its eastern members and project itself as the voice of NATO? German chancellor, Olaf Scholz,a reluctant supporter of aid in the initial stages of the war speaking after an EU ministers’ meeting in Brussels also said EU countries planned to train another 20,000 Ukrainian soldiers, on top of 40,000 already trained.
Earlier simmering voices among EU leaders regarding continued Ukraine package with Hungary’s PM Viktor Orbán have come out in the open over his refusal to sanction a new €50bn assistance package for Ukraine. EU official, “We are really at a crossroads.” But worried about the signal a lack of unity will give to Putin. There are also increasing concerns among some member states that Russia, which has intensified its ammunition production, could win the war against Ukraine.
This EU fund, combined with support from the International Monetary Fund and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, has allowed the salaries of teachers, doctors, and soldiers to be paid. Some say it was out of a sense of frustration in Germany, which has so far contributed €17bn with another €7.4bn committed for 2024, that other member states, particularly the large economies of France, Italy and Spain, were not doing enough. The EU expected to reach its target to send 1m rounds of shells to Ukraine by March this year has just reached 52% of its target. Diplomats confirmed the survey had been completed but “some member states did not provide data”.
Five EU prime ministers including Scholz issued a blunt warning in an open letter that the EU had already failed in the promises to supply ammunition to Ukraine. German chancellor appears to be now taking an aggressive leadership role in supporting the Ukraine support like what NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg did at the initial stages of the war on Ukraine.
No Peace Deal in Distant Future
“If anyone thinks this is only about Ukraine, they’re fundamentally mistaken. Possible directions and even timeline of a new Russian aggression beyond Ukraine become more and more obvious.” By contrast, Zelensky continues to insist there can be no peace deal that does not see the removal of all Russian forces from landsthey have captured from Ukraine since 2014, including Crimea.
The Biden administration, and the NATO alliance, have repeatedly stressed Ukraine will not be coerced into any agreement with Russia: “Nothing about Ukraine, without Ukraine.”NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg, also speaking at Davos, said “We just have to stand by Ukraine. At some stage, Russia will understand that they are paying too high a price and sit down and agree to some kind of just peace – but we need to stand by Ukraine.” Putin has also shot down the possibility of peace talks with Ukraine, saying the country had advanced “Prohibitive formulas for the Peace Process”.
A peace agenda now seems nowhere in sight as is evident from the above stubborn aggressive statements. The Western agenda continues to support and arm Ukraine to fight its proxy war to weaken Russia with the dream of hope to defeat Russia.