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Deficiencies in Western Strategy


Every day and week I am witnessing this tragic conflict, I find it more and more incomprehensible that the West – the United States, NATO and the European Union – is failing to actively and aggressively respond to and counter Putin’s monstrous lie that the West is determined to destroy his country.

This constant propaganda by the President of the Russian Federation is nothing but a gigantic and preposterous, but very successful, strategy to deceive his own population in order to stay in power and also to maintain his popularity.

Why on earth, I am asking myself, does neither Washington, nor Brussels nor other capitals of the West constantly declare, as forcefully and convincingly as possible, that an attack, let alone destruction, of Russia has never, neither in history nor at present, been contemplated. Not even a “weakening” of the country, although we have to recognize that in the present conflict, the position of the United States and Europe are not congruent.

The West must proactively, with all the means at its disposal, insist that the expansion of NATO’s influence to the boarders of Russia in the past was the result of the free will of a number of former Soviet satellites to safeguard their security and independence and to be on guard against a possible military adventure by their former oppressors. NATO, it should be made clear to the Russian population every day,  was never intended to be an alliance with an aggressive agenda – on the contrary, solely a defensive and political organization, providing Transatlantic and European stability, including cooperative security arrangements with Russia itself.

I am convinced that the narrative of Putin that he has to defend his country against the West has to be “destroyed” by any means at the disposal of the free world. To the best of my knowledge, this has not been done yet in an efficient and convincing way.

One thing is clear: Europe and Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and the Baltic states will eventually – for better or worse – have to coexist, be it by a frail arrangement or in a more stable environment. The sovereignty, territorial integrity and the future of Ukraine without coercion and with a EU perspective, will remain the cornerstone. However, we have to be realistic in recognizing that without painful territorial compromises by Ukraine of some sort, this goal will never be attained.

The ABS is looking forward to receiving your views and comments!

About the author

Former Ambassador Dr Alexander Christiani is the Vice-President of the Austro-British Society and leads the ABS Expert Group which releases high-quality Policy Papers with first-hand background information on current political developments. Dr Christiani is a member of the board of the Austrian Society for Foreign Politics and the United Nations. His professional career led him to the hotspots of political developments all over the world (e.g. to the Middle East, South Africa, New York and many others) where he contributed reasonably to Austria’s excellent diplomatic reputation in the world.
The views expressed in this article are entirely his and reflect in no way the opinions of the ABS.