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Western Alliance in Ukraine War Is Collapsing as Gaps Deepen

Wednesday 4 October 2023
Western Alliance in Ukraine War Is Collapsing as Gaps Deepen

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Alwaght- While the US and its allies are bracing for a long-term war with Russia in Ukraine and are in need of all-out unity among the NATO members to beat their rival, the developments in Europe are not going as the Westerners are expecting. 

Despite the fact that since the beginning of Ukraine war there was sporadic opposition by some NATO members to the escalation of tensions with Russia, now the voice of the opponents of confrontation with Russia has grown louder than before, and the victory of war opponents in recent Slovakia elections sounded the alarms to the NATO alliance. 

On Sunday, Robert Fico, the former left-wing prime minister of Slovakia who is considered an opponent of Ukraine war and a supporter of Russia won the early elections. 

The leader of the Slovak Social Democratic Party after the victory in an address said that his party will not back more military aid packages for Ukraine. Referring to the Ukraine war, Fico said: “We will do everything we can to start peace talks as soon as possible, more killing is in no one’s interest.” Despite the fact that Fico needs alliance with other parties to form a new government, many media outlets maintain that he can win approval of other parties to take the PM post. 

It is noteworthy that Slovakia was the first country to provide military aircraft to Ukraine, but the victory of the Fico’s party has put the future of this aid in doubt. 

In his election campaign, Fico had talked about stopping the supply of all kinds of weapons to Ukraine, and his victory shows that most people are against sending aids to Ukraine. This is while polls conducted last March showed that 51 percent of Slovaks blame Ukraine for the start of war and sympathize with Russia. 

Al-Arabi Al-Jadeed newspaper described the win of the anti-war figures in Slovakia as the result of wrong policies of the government, adding that the war in Ukraine has added to Slovakia’s economic suffering, with inflation reaching Europe’s highest level of more than 15 percent last February. Under the pressure of the living conditions crisis and continuous support for Kiev, political voices were raised with the support of popular protests from last fall demanding the return of cheap Russian energy and non-compliance with European sanctions against Moscow. 

Although Slovakia is a small country of about 5 million people, it has procured Soviet-era weapons, including S-300 missile systems, amphibious combat vehicles and the MiG-29 fighters, and with the victory of Fico, the strong ties of the past with Russia will be renewed. 

Even if Slovakia’s contribution to military aids to Ukraine is less than that of Poland and the Baltic countries, which are the largest contributors in this continent compared to the size of the country and their GDP, this country is of great importance to the West due to its neighborhood with Ukraine. Most of NATO’s weapons flow to Ukraine through Slovakia, and the blocking of this strategic supply route will have a significant impact on the war developments. 

Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria triangle 

For NATO, the danger that Slovakia will take a new turn from the West depends on the stances of the other European countries like Hungary and Western and Northern European powers that have voiced their discontent to the price they pay under the anti-Russian sanctions of the West but continue to back Ukraine militarily and financially. 

Experts predict that Fico’s government and party will join Hungary in challenging the EU to agree on support for Ukraine. This is while Viktor Orban, the prime minister of Hungary, is the biggest opponent of the war in Ukraine and has repeatedly opposed Western sanctions against Moscow. Hungary believes that heightened tensions with Russia will lead to outburst of inflation in Europe, and therefore it has not supported Western plans in this regard and even continues to buy oil from Russia.

Like Orban, Fico vowed he would veto anti-Russian sanctions after victory. He also blames the EU for disruption of Russian oil and gas supplies. Fico shares the view with Orban that the EU is afraid of the rise of bloc of countries opposed to Brussels policies. 

In recent months, the wave of opposition to Western policies has spread to Bulgaria. The President of Bulgaria, Roman Radev, had previously said that the responsibility for Russia’s war on Ukraine lies with Kiev and that sending Western weapons to Ukraine will only postpone Kiev’s defeat. The remarks drew strong reaction from Ukrainian officials. 

Although Bulgaria has supported Ukraine so far, it does not consider it advisable to continue the war, because Radev, like other NATO partners, has no hope of winning against Moscow. The expansion of the opponents of the Ukrainian war in Europe comes while Brussels seeks to maintain unity among the EU members in support of Kiev. 

In recent days, the New York Times pointed to the wave of public opposition in Europe to the war in Ukraine and wrote that recent polls show that the percentage of support for Ukraine joining the EU was 52 percent in France and 49 percent in Germany, and only 45 percent of the Germans supported Ukraine joining NATO. Given the recent political developments throughout Europe, experts believe that these developments are an important signal to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky regarding the need to immediately strike a peace deal with Russia. 

After the start of the war in Ukraine, the Western countries have faced an energy crisis and fuel shortage, and they had a difficult winter last year, and they do not want to pay the costs of the war in Ukraine for a long time. Now, on the eve of the winter, concerns about fuel shortage have increased.

Figures show that the Western support for Ukraine has increased the inflation rate and weakened European economies, and many of the economic giants of this continent are on the verge of bankruptcy. It is even said that some large companies are trying to migrate to the US and China to escape possible bankruptcy and not having the energy to continue their activities. 

Therefore, the embracement of the anti-war politicians by the European public opinion indicates that the European people, contrary to their leaders, show no will to see confrontation with Russia, and over the past 19 months, they have held several rallies protesting the Western warmongering. The European public wonder why they should pay the price for Ukraine war by feeling the cold at their homes. 

Worries about victory of anti-Ukraine war parties 

The victory of the anti-war figures in Eastern Europe is not the only nightmare of the NATO and there is a concern about similar victories in other European countries, and should this happen, the Russian victory would be certain. 

Now in France, too, the right-wing opposition led by Marine Le Pen have already managed to win the favor and patronage of the public. The victory of the conservative rights in the recent French Senate elections and entry of new right-wing figures to the Senate is considered a big loss to the government of President Emmanuel Macron and can set up roadblocks to the government policies. The burgeoning power gain of the right-wing parties is severely alarming the French government, and recently French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, referring to the waves of opposition to Paris policies, said that Le Pen may win the next presidential elections. 

In September 2022, Le Pen described Paris’ participation in anti-Russian sanctions as a “geopolitical mistake”. Therefore, the right-wing power gain in France is a serious warning to the EU structures, which are trying to tighten the noose on Moscow. 

On the other hand, in the US, the conditions are not going in favor of the Ukraine patrons either, and a year to the presidential elections, former US President Donald Trump has a big chance for re-election according to the polls. Trump said that if he wins, he will end the war “in 24 hours.” He is strongly against Biden’s aids to Kiev and has repeatedly predicted Ukraine’s eventual defeat. But the Western propaganda machine censors this reality. 

Pro-Trump Republicans of the Congress are opposed to several-billion aid packages to Ukraine, and even one reason why Biden failed to get the federal funding to his government afloat is the difference over Ukraine. The New York Times reported that the Republicans skipped meetings with Zelensky on the sidelines of UN General Assembly, showing that tensions are rising between Kiev and Washington over military strategy in Ukraine. 

The major reason why Western politicians and people are hesitant to continue supporting Ukraine is that the nearly $180 billion of US and European aids have had no effect in practice and even Ukraine lost 15 percent of its soil to the Russians, and according to the Western experts and media, Kiev’s counteroffensive has failed over the past three months and there is no hope for a win. 

The Westerners admit that Ukraine war would last for long years, and, as NATO chief Jens Stolteberg has put it, the Western military bloc should prepare for long-term confrontation with Russia. Therefore, the people and the opponents of the war in Europe and the US believe that the continuation of this useless war will bring them no profit and only costs them money and it is better for Kiev to sit at the table with the Kremlin as soon as possible and sign a peace agreement. 

Even some Western officials have made a land-for-peace proposal, arousing the ire of Ukrainian leaders. The Westerners believe that the lands lost to Russia cannot be retaken, and insistence on their recapture will spur Russian use of nuclear weapons, something the Russians themselves have repeatedly referred to. The Russians warn that insisting on defeating Moscow can unleash grave consequences to the West. 

Tags :

Europe NATO Slovakia Ukraine War Russia Alliance

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