Ukraine conflict: how should Europe react?

Russia's latest escalation in the Ukraine conflict has alarmed states in Europe and around the world. At an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council, the UK warned of an imminent humanitarian disaster, and Germany announced decisive measures with serious consequences. Europe's press asks key questions about security policy.

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Sabah (TR) /

Nato is no guarantee of security

The states of Europe must really be careful now, political scientist Hasan Basri Yalçın writes in Sabah:

“Many countries want to believe that they are safe because they benefit from Nato protection. At least they hope so, but they're not sure. Because after Ukraine, Russia will threaten other Nato allies using non-conventional methods. It will try to create chaos through minorities in these countries and then use hybrid warfare techniques, seeking a change of power. This means that Nato will not automatically intervene. Clearly, Putin is taking advantage of this. In this way, the goal of Russian expansionism can shift to Europe.”

Diário de Notícias (PT) /

Peace has its price

There are three lessons to be learned from the crisis, Diário de Notícias notes:

“First, war is not a thing of the past or something that happens only in distant countries, war is always possible. Second, European security is not created against or in spite of Nato and the Americans. There is a difference between taking more responsibility for our security and thinking that we are some kind of peaceful, commercial, almost equal third way. We are not. ... But we must pay a certain price for our security and for the global status that we also want to enjoy. ... That price will have to be paid in the form of gas prices, import costs or export losses.”

Tygodnik Powszechny (PL) /

Central Eastern European perspective prevails

Tygodnik Powszechny comments:

“Paradoxically, there is a good side to all this. For years, Poland and the Baltic states have tried unsuccessfully to find their way into the European mainstream with their narrative of total mistrust of Putin. The West has generally turned a deaf ear to our message (for example regarding Nord Stream 2) and has stood idly by while the Russian army modernised and grew in size. ... Today, elite Russian units transferred from the Chinese border are stationed in Belarus. ... On the one hand, these steps frighten the West; on the other, they mean that even those who previously advocated a cautious policy towards Russia - France and Germany - now see Putin with different eyes.”