Europe’s ‘unity’ for the sake of ‘unity’ against Russia is misguided

In recent years, the world’s great powers have increasingly placed their own narrow interests and their deepening competition with one another ahead of the well-being of the wider international order: the United States reiterates its lofty principles without truly addressing the security concerns of its adversaries; Russia pursues destabilizing actions to gain an edge in its asymmetric contest with the West; and rather than embrace the role of defender of globalization and multilateralism, China has chosen the path of assertiveness and has hunkered down for a long-term standoff with the U.S.

In such a context, middle powers ideally should play a role in restraining the impulses of the world’s most powerful states. However, in the current crisis over Ukraine, Euro-Atlantic allies (apart from France’s Emmanuel Macron) have opted to prioritize demonstrating “unity,” rather than pursue creative diplomacy with Russia which might have averted a war.

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The Global Policy Institute is a research institute on international affairs. It is based in the City of London, and draws on both a rich pool of international thinkers, academics as well as policy and business professionals. The Institute gives non-partisan guidance to policymakers and decision takers in business, government, and NGOs.

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