Putin’s war is turning a month today. A horrifying and sad anniversary, defined by indiscriminate aggression towards civilian targets, hospitals, schools, entire cities under siege without access to water, food or medicine, and humanitarian corridors attacked. War is truly the darkest side of our civilisation, its devastating effects seen in the thousands of lives lost, homes destroyed, families torn apart, and millions fleeing to safety.
The bravery of Ukrainians has impressed the whole world and solidarity with the refugees arriving to Europe has been unanimous in its response. All over Europe, from Russia to Spain, England to Hungary, people are manifesting their disgust for this war, calling for an end to this ruthless aggression, and condemning Putin’s war. In the face of this crisis, Europe has, for all its flaws, reminded us of its fundamental value as a project of peace and solidarity and how necessary this is in situations of crises.
Ministers are travelling by the day to Brussels to take joint decisions in a united response, unique in its pace and size in Europe. A response that has been defined by solidarity with Ukraine, sanctions against Russia and the support to Ukrainian refugees and recipient countries. The humanitarian crisis we are witnessing as a result of this war and the threat to the European continent that Putin’s atrocities is posing requires our full attention and support. Our members, our family of progressive civil society organisations will continue to work tirelessly to support refugees arriving and to mobilise for peace.
Putin’s lawless war against Ukraine threatens to ruin the very basis of a rules-based world order. It has already redefined the European security order as developed after the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989. With Russia once more seen as an unpredictable and dangerous neighbour, we are witnessing an incredibly rapid change in security and defence policy across Europe. Country after country, we see promises to restore and heavily invest in its military in a renewed arms race in the face of this threat. Deterrent and strategic autonomy are concepts that are now taking the central stage at the expense of common security and dialogue.
Lessons learnt from the nuclear threat of the cold war are treated as naïve at best in the public discourse. While we acknowledge the need for a swift reply to the crisis, we are concerned with the haste with which Member States are forgoing longstanding positions and make promises that will define public spending and debate for decades to come.