Liana Fix was formerly Resident Fellow at GMF.

Media Mentions

It is a scenario that would come at enormous cost for both Ukraine and Russia. Moscow would try to achieve its aims through terror, through a bombing campaign in major cities… to make Ukrainians somehow more willing to accept some of the Russian demands.
If Russia gains control of Ukraine or manages to destabilize it on a major scale, a new era for the United States and for Europe will begin. US and European leaders would face the dual challenge of rethinking European security and of not being drawn into a larger war with Russia.
While I think the main driver is the threat perceived from Russia, the feeling is that the reliance on the transatlantic relationship, as good as it is right now, might not last.
Eastern allies will want to have more US troops on their soil, they will want more assurance measures.
German voters may not want their country to supply weapons, but they want their leader to be visible in the diplomatic effort. And that is something that should be within Scholz’s reach.
In Europe, the perception was that Russia is building up the military threat to gain concessions. Whereas, the perception here seems to be that military escalation is perhaps the most probable path ahead.
Weapons deliveries are very clearly seen in other countries as a deterrence measure, whereas in the German political discourse they are seen as contributing to further escalation.
It reflects Russia’s view that Europe is basically a continuation of US politics to some extent, as is NATO. In Berlin, it’s viewed as a Russian negotiation strategy, whereas in the United States it’s seen as a very real and probable option that Russia will use military force.
The problem here is that the European Union has not been involved formally in talks in 2014 when the Ukraine crisis started. Back then we had Germany and France in the Normandy format [talks] and no official EU representative.