GOOD MORNING FROM LONDON
Did the recent visit to Kyiv of France’s Macron, Germany’s Scholz and Italy’s Draghi mark the success of ceremony over substance? The Ukraine’s Ambassador to Berlin, Andriy Melnyk, said “We need hundreds more multiple rocket launchers, armoured vehicles, tanks, drones and ammunition.” But the EU leaders came with just warm words + backing for Ukraine’s bid to join the EU. But Ukraine is aware that the EU’s newest member, Croatia, joined the EU in 2013 nine years after being granted Candidate status whilst North Macedonia is still waiting 17 years after becoming a Candidate country. The only new pledge of real hope came from Macron to supply six additional Caesar Howitzers
In Kyiv the EU leaders discussed a possible new package of sanctions against Russia which would be the seventh such package, and how to tackle the food crisis caused by Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian ports. But Zelensky’s adviser Mykhailo Podolyak tweeted earlier this month that Ukraine needed 1000 howitzers, 300 multiple rocket launchers, 500 tanks, 2,000 armoured vehicles and 1,000 drones to achieve parity with Russia.
Hence the dramatic allegation – “Is the West fighting to the last Ukrainian?”. Every night television shows us further evidence of the cruelties of war and of Russia’s brutal advance and yet all the EU can muster is support for Ukraine membership of the EU.
With the West wrong footed by Russia’s ability to remain on the offensive and with gloomier predictions coming from the West’s military experts, the question has to be asked why this War was not Avoided. In a time of crisis, the combatants need cool headed leaders who can honestly + methodically review the strengths and weaknesses of their positions. Brave words should never take the place of rigorous self-examination. And yet that is what happened and the losers are the people of Ukraine.
NEXT POST #417 – 27 JUNE 2022