Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was initially met with a coordinated Western response of severe economic sanctions — an impressive display of unity despite prior disagreement among Western states on issues ranging from AUKUS to the Afghanistan withdrawal to the shape of Europe’s security order. However, with time differences began to emerge among EU member states on the question of a Russian energy embargo and the export of military equipment to Ukraine. Emmanuel Macron’s proposal for a more inclusive “European Political Community”, incorporating countries that are not ready for EU membership, has also faced criticism in some corners of Europe.
In the wake of the EU Council’s decision on according candidate status to Ukraine, how long is Western unity expected to last? If Washington’s (already limited) coalition begins to break down and Russia continues to make military gains, will the US resort to economic and diplomatic coercion if necessary in order to save face? Moreover, do Canadians, Americans, Europeans and Ukrainians possess identical interests in the emerging great power rivalry? What wider geopolitical consequences of a disunited West potentially lie ahead?
– Tara Varma: Senior Policy Fellow & Head of Paris Office, European Council on Foreign Relations
– Michael J. Mazarr: Senior Political Scientist, RAND Corporation
– Michael Kimmage: Professor of History, Catholic University of America; Visiting Fellow, German Marshall Fund
– Roland Paris: Professor & Director, Graduate School of Public & International Affairs, University of Ottawa
– Zachary Paikin: Research Fellow, Institute for Peace & Diplomacy; Researcher, Centre for European Policy Studies