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Ukraine war: Europe fights to maintain solidarity

As Kyiv gets ready to commemorate the sombre and deadly one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion, Vice President Joe Biden’s unexpected trip to Ukraine on Monday is a startling demonstration of support and an intended strong message to Moscow.

The Ukrainian leadership was naturally happy to see the US president, but as a dedicated observer of Europe, one comment in particular caught my attention.

Andriy Melnyk, deputy foreign minister, praised “the presence of our vital, main partner.”

The primary threat posed by Vladimir Putin’s aggressive ambition is to European security. He has reintroduced conventional warfare to this continent on a scale not seen since World War Two as a result of his invasion of Ukraine.

The sense of calm and relative security that most of us were accustomed to has been destroyed by his acts. The potential of a nuclear assault is being addressed as a serious possibility, albeit a remote one, for the first time since the Cold War.

Yet, Europe is made up of many different parts, both inside and outside the EU.The Russian incursion has served as a stark warning to Europeans—including France’s President Macron, a vocal supporter of Europe’s “strategic autonomy”—that the region cannot rely only on itself for defence. In comparison to the US, they lack the resources, the military might, and the undivided resolve (and even there, some tiny political fractures are beginning to show).

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