Munich, Westerners demonstrate their unity in face of Russia

Almost a year after the start of the Russian invasion, the allies gathered as part of the Security Conference once again assured kyiv of their support. Emmanuel Macron underlined the “failure” of Moscow.

by Thomas Wieder (Munich, Special Envoy) and Sylvie Kauffmann (Munich, Special Envoy)

The wind is bad and it’s not time to weaken. While the Ukrainian forces face a critical phase in the face of a new Russian push in Donbass, Western leaders gathered in Munich for the Security Conference, which is held every year in the Bavarian capital, wanted to address Russia, Friday, February 17, a message of unit and determination, accompanied by an observation: this conflict will be long, you must be ready.

A week of the first anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, the unit was first manifest in the number and the rank of the leaders present: the American vice-president, Kamala Harris, accompanied of a large delegation, Bipartisan, of the Congress, the French president, Emmanuel Macron, the German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, the British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, the Polish president, Andrzej Duda, the Baltic leaders, all escorted by several of their Ministers.

The European Union (EU) is also present in force, with the president of the commission, Ursula von der Leyen, the chairman of the council, Charles Michel, as well as several vice-presidents and commissioners. Without forgetting NATO, represented by its secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg.

Another unit signal: the dinner that gathered MM. Macron, Scholz and Duda, while Warsaw and Berlin are stuck in a bilateral quarrel and in Ukraine, Poland did not hesitate last year to criticize the hesitations of Germany and France in matters of arms deliveries. This summit in “Weimar triangle” format had not met since February 8, 2002, two weeks before the start of the war.

A year ago, the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, had participated physically in the conference, in a civil costume, at a time when, despite the information collected by the Americans and the British, nobody in Munich did not want to believe that Russia was about to invade Ukraine. Friday, it is the now familiar image of a president in khaki sweatshirt, with the face marked by fatigue, which appeared on the screen in the large conference room. “Last year, I expected the determination of the West, I wanted to hear:” Ukrainians, we are with you! “Unfortunately I only heard it after” the invasion, launched the Ukrainian president. As in all his interventions, Mr. Zelensky thanked the Allied countries for the aid provided to Ukraine, but implored them to accelerate their arms deliveries and the adhesion process of his country to the EU. “Too late decisions comfort Putin’s dictatorship,” he warned them.

You have 64.79% of this article to read. The rest is reserved for subscribers.

/Media reports cited above.