08 October 2023

If Putin’s Russia manages to achieve some of its objectives in Ukraine by the use of brutal force, it could de facto upend the post-WWII world order, based on the UN Charter and a network of international conventions and institutions. A much more volatile Europe with few, if any, universally agreed guardrails is a distinct possibility. The Euro-Atlantic community must be clear-eyed about what is at stake and adapt without delay.

It would be myopic to stake the future of European security architecture on a deal with Putin, given his endless record of reneging on previous commitments. The outcome of this war will likely be decided on the battlefields of southern and eastern Ukraine. The General Rapporteur welcomes the shift in Allies’ general approach to the war from “helping Ukraine to endure” to “helping Ukraine to prevail”. Such outcome is both desirable and achievable, provided Allies and other partners refrain from self-imposing unhelpful red lines and deliver a full range of necessary capabilities and ammunition to Ukraine. It is vital to ramp up the production of these capabilities without delay to ensure they are delivered soon enough to matter for Ukraine. It is also imperative to increase the cost for Russia by intensifying, sustaining, and enforcing sanctions.

Building on the decisions of the Vilnius Summit, NATO is urged to continue delivering on robust forward defences and on the new Force Model, backed up by all Allies meeting the benchmark of at least 2% of GDP on defence without delay, reinvigorating the defence industrial base, as well as sustaining credible nuclear deterrence. The Alliance must remain open to dialogue with all global actors with a view to safeguarding the rules-based order, but any such effort would be greatly undermined by a failure to defend a democracy against naked aggression by a totalitarian state.

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