Meeting in Bucharest: will Nato remain united?

At the fifth meeting of the Nato foreign ministers to be held this year, Russia's war against Ukraine is once again the focus of attention. This time the diplomats are focusing on how to supply Ukraine's suffering population with electricity and water this winter. Europe's press voices concern about the unity of the alliance.

Open/close all quotes
Revista 22 (RO) /

The Alliance is not wavering

Revista 22 sees no signs of a rupture in the Alliance:

“On the contrary, Nato's unity has never been stronger, and the consensus on the moral and political duty to support Ukraine is indisputable. One purpose of the foreign ministers' meeting is to reaffirm this unity at the diplomatic level and consolidate support for the Alliance's shared foreign policy objectives in Ukraine and vis-à-vis Russia. Since last spring, there have been discussions about a possible rift between Europeans and Americans over various more or less fabricated reasons. But this rupture, long expected and prophesied by the Kremlin, never happened.”

De Volkskrant (NL) /

Bones of contention abound

De Volkskrant sees several transatlantic breaking points:

“The fact that Europe is also lagging behind in providing economic aid to Ukraine is increasingly becoming a political factor in Washington. The US wants Europe not only to do more for Ukraine, but also to join its technological struggle against China. ... Grumbling is also growing louder in the EU over two other issues: the big profits American companies are making by selling liquified natural gas to Europe, and the Inflation Reduction Act [which with massive investments in US industry could bring disadvantages for the EU] ... Thus, after nine months, we see how the consequences of Russia's aggression against Ukraine are not only creating Western unanimity, but also new internal points of contention.”

Rzeczpospolita (PL) /

Hungary disrupting unity

Rzeczpospolita is disappointed with Budapest:

“Today Nato is reaffirming that the door to the alliance is open to Kyiv, and that only the citizens of Ukraine will decide whether they want to join the most powerful military pact in history. ... And it's just a pity that this beautiful atmosphere of solidarity between the West and Ukraine was disturbed by the representative of Hungary, who refused to invite the head of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry to the meeting of the Alliance ministers. A very telling gesture, by the way, given Budapest's attitude since the beginning of the war.”

Adevărul (RO) /

A chance for Romania to make its mark

The meeting is an opportunity for the host country, Adevărul stresses:

“Will Romania become Nato's main pillar on its south-eastern flank, at the expense of Turkey? Turkey buys weapons from Russia, wages war on its own initiative in Syria and Iraq and is problematic in terms of democracy and human rights. So it would be justified to shift the main burden of defence on the south-eastern flank to Romania. In view of all the military equipment and troops that have recently arrived in Romania from Nato countries, this question is certainly justified.”

Radio Kommersant FM (RU) /

Back to the root of the evil

Radio Kommersant FM points to a historical component:

“It would seem that it makes no difference where the foreign ministers of the alliance meet. But it does - and very much so. Because 14 years ago, at a Nato summit in Bucharest, George W. Bush issued a formal invitation to Ukraine and Georgia to become members. Although neither country joined, the issue remained a thorn in Russia's side all these years. Who knows, perhaps none of what is happening today would have happened if that meeting had never taken place. It's worth remembering that the next high-level Nato summit will take place in Vilnius, which is very close to the Russian border.”