Home News Western Anxiety Leads to Unexpected Success of G7 Summit

Western Anxiety Leads to Unexpected Success of G7 Summit

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The Group of Seven summit ended on Saturday with an unusually smooth run by the standards of a gathering of world leaders, reflecting concerns among leaders about deteriorating situations in Ukraine, the Middle East, China and their own political futures.

There is one Controversy over the use of the word “abortion” But it was seen as a gesture to domestic voters, the grouping said in a communique after a push by host Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meroni, which has few divisions on important issues such as geopolitics.

President Biden may look politically vulnerable and uncertain about his reelection, but the summit was another example of America’s undisputed leadership in the West, especially on contentious issues like war and peace.

Headlines about new support for Ukraine – $50 billion in funding The gathering was built on money earned from freezing Russian assets and long-standing security agreements signed between the United States and Japan and Ukraine — just the first in a series of meetings aimed at bolstering President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s fight against Russia.

This weekend, the so-called Swiss Peace Summit The move is intended to show that Ukraine has global support and is willing to negotiate fairly with Russia, even though Moscow was not invited. It will be followed by a NATO summit in Washington in mid-July marking the 75th anniversary of its founding.

While Ukraine will not receive an invitation to begin membership talks with NATO, the U.S.-led alliance is preparing what U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken has called a “bridge to membership” — a coordinated package of long-term military and financial support for Kyiv that some have likened to a diplomatic and military “mission.”

All of this is an attempt to convince Ukrainians and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia that his attempts to bring Ukraine to its knees will never succeed.

“As the geopolitical situation deteriorates, these summits become more manageable,” said Jeremy Shapiro, director of research at the European Council on Foreign Relations and a former U.S. diplomat. “The same will be true of NATO summits. Everyone is nervous and thinks unity and American leadership will bring greater benefits.”

Leaders of countries like Britain, Canada, France, Germany and Japan have lost political clout in recent or upcoming elections, “and it’s easy for the Americans to manipulate them,” Shapiro said. “The bickering at the big summits has almost disappeared.”

A few years ago, Shapiro said, the room would have been much more boisterous. “But,” he noted, “no one is undermining the United States right now, not even French President Emmanuel Macron.” Macron has emerged as a hawk on Ukraine and just suffered a major political defeat in the European elections, as has German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Even on issues such as Israel and Gaza, Europeans are deeply divided and are not as willing as Biden to let Israel pass on the opportunity to start a war, but the discussions at the summit were calm. Communiqué It was bland and low-key, and simply reiterated the Biden administration’s views.

Likewise, when it comes to China, European and American interests do not always coincide, and Washington has adopted a new tough tone. Compared with a few years ago, the communique mentioned China 25 times more, almost all of which were critical of Beijing.

But it is the message about Ukraine that matters most, an attempt to convince Putin that “you can’t wait for us to end the war,” as Charles A. Kupchan, a former American official and professor of international affairs at Georgetown University, put it.

Mr. Kupchan noted that the $50 billion loan, bilateral security pledges and NATO’s new commitment to Kyiv “are making concrete progress if progress is measured in terms of an extended time frame for support to Ukraine.”

“This is important now because Putin believes he can still win, conquer Ukraine or subjugate it by destroying its infrastructure and economy, forcing people to leave and installing a puppet regime,” Mr. Kupchan added. “But the only way the war will end is when Putin is convinced he can’t achieve either goal, so the time frame is key.”

Putin raised the issue as Zelenskiy left Italy for a peace summit in Switzerland on Friday. His negotiating terms This is tantamount to Ukraine’s surrender. Currently, Ukraine and Russia each have their own opinions.

Mr. Kupchan said they would be willing to negotiate seriously only when “a military stalemate becomes apparent and both sides believe that no further progress is possible.” He said that could happen sometime next year as Ukraine continues to build better defenses.

To achieve that goal, however, the West must ensure Ukraine “survives as a sovereign state,” said Robin Niblett, former director of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, a London-based international affairs think tank. “Every meeting and move over the past few months and during the upcoming NATO summit has been designed to ensure Ukraine’s long-term survival,” he said.

“We’re investing in Biden and preparing for Trump,” Niblett said, because there’s a real chance Biden could lose the election to the unpredictable Donald J. Trump, who is not a fan of aiding Ukraine.

“A key element of Western strategy is to achieve an effective transition from U.S.-led support to Europe taking over,” Niblett added. The message to Putin, he said, is that “maybe Ukraine can’t dislodge you, but you can’t win.”

This week only, NATO defense ministers agree NATO will take on a larger role in training Ukrainian forces and coordinating arms supplies to Ukraine, taking over from the United States to safeguard the process.

Claudia Meijer, a defense analyst at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, said Europe already provides more total financial and military aid to Ukraine than Washington, but that is not enough.

She said Western countries were stepping up their military, budgetary and reconstruction support for Ukraine. “But I’m worried that we’re just congratulating ourselves, which is really great, but it’s not enough for Ukraine to win the war or end the war on its own terms.”

She said sending Western troops to Ukraine to train Ukrainian soldiers, as some NATO countries have advocated, would send an important political message. But Ms Major said it would also require more protection for Kiev when it needs all its troops for real combat.

Likewise, Macron’s provision of Mirage fighters to Ukraine was an important political gesture, but Ms. Major noted that “it gives Ukraine another complex weapons system, which adds to its logistical headaches, and therefore has questionable military benefits.”

Ms. Major said South Korea, West Germany and even Finland were excellent examples for Ukraine of how a country could lose territory and still become a democratic and economically successful nation fully dependent on the West. “Are we prepared to do as much for Ukraine?” she asked.

Niblet and Kupchan said the war in Ukraine is slowly moving toward some form of effective ceasefire. “Ukraine is beginning to consolidate a relatively fixed front, even if Zelensky doesn’t want to say it, and he’s worried that this front could become the new border,” Kupchan said.

But no one expects there to be a serious discussion about the realism of Ukraine’s war aims before the U.S. presidential election. “Few people are still optimistic that Ukraine can win the war, but there is no serious public discussion of alternative war aims, which leaves everyone in a state of uncertainty for now,” Mr. Kupchan said.

“The level of Western solidarity is not false, and Western countries still have amazing solidarity with Ukraine,” he added. “The question is how do we leverage that solidarity.”

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