“Europeans have today understood that Russia constitutes a lasting and real threat to their security”

ITwo years ago, Vladimir Putin unleashed his forces against Ukraine to wage a three-day war. The failure was equal to his complacency. However, today, if Moscow has not won, it has not been defeated. And it is ultimately this complex political-military in-between that Europe finds itself confronted with.

These first two years of war constituted a salutary geopolitical shock for Europe. They denied all the hypotheses formulated about it by the producers of euroscepticism and sovereignism with well-rehearsed arguments: absence of unity, fear of confrontation, military shortcomings. Against all expectations, the European Union (EU) has demonstrated unity and speed in this matter. Despite the principle of unanimity considered prohibitive, the EU released 88 billion euros in aid in the form of financial, economic and military aid. Moreover, it is the EU which has always been the driving force in raising the qualitative level of military aid to Ukraine, whether it be tanks, fighter planes or long-range missiles.

Furthermore, this war revealed the exceptional quality of European military equipment in all segments, except that of intelligence, where American predominance remains indisputable. But we can never say it enough: the war in Ukraine is the product of Euro-American co-production and not of a strategy decided alone by the United States. Europeans today understand that Russia poses a lasting and real threat to their security. And when one day we have to deal with it, we will have to do so from a position of strength.

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United, Europe has managed to take risks and therefore assume the risk of confrontation. She very strongly broke her energy dependence with Moscow, adopted in its place twelve packages of sanctions – the thirteenth is in the process of being adopted – and is preparing to transfer the income from the interests of Russian assets frozen at home since the start of the war. The idea that the EU could not have a united response to Moscow, due to the differentiated perception of the Russian threat by its member states, was not confirmed in the test of war.

France, which saw its nuclear weapon as an essential instrument of deterrence against Russia, thus minimizing the risk of conventional war with it, is now considering the hypothesis of a high-intensity war. The result is a tightening of Europe’s strategic view of Russia, which Putin’s brutality has facilitated for a long time. However, if these two years of war allowed Europe to express an instinct for power, the years to come are full of uncertainties.

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