Months ago, US President Joe Biden warned that Ukraine’s allies would have to show “stamina” in the fight against Russia. Are you starting to run out of breath?
In a week, the Russian campaign against Ukraine will last 100 days. Since then, the Western alliance has been trying to contain and, at best, end the warfare through concerted and resolute action. So far in vain. Neither far-reaching sanctions nor arms deliveries worth billions to Ukraine were able to dissuade Kremlin ruler Vladimir Putin from his war course.
Joe Biden saw this coming. In the fight for freedom and democracy, one thing is crucial, the US President said at the end of March: “staying power.”
Where the cohesion of the West begins to crack
Against the historic backdrop of Warsaw’s Royal Castle in Poland, Biden appealed to Ukraine’s allies: “We must now commit ourselves to staying power in this fight. We must remain united – today, tomorrow, the day after tomorrow and in the years and decades to come. ” It won’t be easy, said the US President, and the efforts would entail costs. “But that’s a price we have to pay.”
However, there are already indications that unity is beginning to crumble and that the front against Russia is beginning to crack:
Putin provokes the next issue
And another point of contention could arise, calculatedly placed by the Russian President: According to the Kremlin, Putin indicated in a telephone call to his Italian counterpart Mario Draghi that he would no longer block grain exports from Ukraine – if the West in return lifted its sanctions against Russia.
Background: Russia and Ukraine are major grain exporters with an important role in feeding the world. Kyiv accuses Russia of blockading the Black Sea ports with warships and thus preventing wheat exports, which are important for world nutrition.
The US government immediately rejected the Russian demands. “It is Russia that is actively blocking food exports from Ukrainian ports and increasing world hunger,” White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said in Washington on Thursday. There would be tons of grain stored in silos in Ukraine and on ships that could not be shipped because of the Russian naval blockade. The sanctions would prevent neither the export nor the necessary monetary transactions. There is currently no discussion about lifting sanctions, said Jean-Pierre.
It is obvious what goal Russia is pursuing with the latest castling. Time and time again, the Russian President is testing the Western Alliance’s pain threshold, trying to undermine resolve with threats (anti-nuclear war) and greed (food and energy) to drive a wedge between Ukraine’s supporters.
In other words: “Russia is waging its brutal war not only with tanks, missiles and bombs. Russia is waging this war with another terrible and quieter weapon: hunger and deprivation,” as Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said.
It was also Baerbock who, even before Russia invaded Ukraine, named the decisive weapon in the Western arsenal against the aggressor: “Our strongest weapon is and will remain our unity,” she said in January when Russian troops were forming in front of Ukraine .
It was a turning point now. The war will soon be in its 100th day, and the attacks on Ukraine continue. But the strongest weapon in the fight against the Kremlin ruler’s warmongering remains unity, as the Western alliance has repeatedly emphasized since then. “He had believed that the Western Allies would fall out and fall apart if he ordered war. That didn’t happen,” said Federal Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht. But that obviously doesn’t stop Putin from trying again and again.
Sources: “Zeit Online”, “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”, Bayerischer Rundfunk, “Tagesschau.de”, “Süddeutsche Zeitung”, editorial network Germany, “Handelsblatt”, “Hamburger Abendblatt”, “Die Welt”,