Andrius Kubilius: What does the West want?

2023-01-05 | Political initiatives, Geopolitical analysis

The fundamental question of the future course of this war is, paradoxically, not about Ukraine but rather about Russia. It is about the West’s attitude towards post-war Russia. Because Western fears, linked to the future of post-war Russia, determine and control the decisions that the West takes today in relation to support for Ukraine.

The support of the West for Ukraine is apparent. It is also evident that Ukraine has won several strategic victories thanks to that support. But the future course of the war can either be a sequential and more rapid continuation of Ukraine’s victories or a ‘frozen trench war’, frustrating for Ukraine, perhaps frustrating for Russia too, but comfortable for the West because it does not require any clear strategic answers to the question: what does the West want and what does it seek?

Theoretically, the answer is that the West wants Ukraine to win and that it is up to Ukraine to decide what it wants, but it remains unclear whether the West wants Russia to lose in a crushing way.

The words about the outcome of the war being for Ukraine to decide sound like the position of a bystander; such words do not reflect any strategic interest of the West: do they want a crushing victory for Ukraine or just the preservation of the ‘status quo’?

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