New Year’s resolutions are notoriously difficult to keep. But when it comes to Ukraine, Europe hasn’t made any. There is no clear plan for 2024 on how to stop Russia from winning its war of aggression. With the future of American politics uncertain, it will fall to Europe to make a stand.
Initially lambasted for its reluctance to send weapons to Ukraine, Germany has since stepped up to the task and become its second largest contributor of military aid. Now, chancellor Olaf Scholz is leading the call for others to do more, too. ‘Europe must show that it stands by Ukraine, by freedom, by international law and by European values,’ he told the press earlier this week.
The German government announced last year that it wants to double the annual budget for helping Ukraine from €4 billion (£3.4 billion) to €8 billion (£6.8 billion). But Scholz’s warning was stark: ‘As important as our German contribution may be, it is not sufficient on its own to guarantee Ukraine’s security long term. I therefore call on our allies in the European Union to also bolster their efforts to support Ukraine. The arms deliveries so far planned by the majority of EU member states definitely fall short.’
Scholz is right to be worried. Russia has begun the new year as it ended the last: with a series of devastating missile attacks, including some supplied by North Korea according to reports. It is making advances on the front lines, too. Dedicated to winning at all costs, Russia is operating a war economy while Ukraine’s allies are distracted by their own domestic problems and other global issues like the war in the Middle East.
It will take collective, coordinated and sustained support to render the war unwinnable for Moscow.