Is the West at war with Russia?

A heated debate has erupted over whether Europe is moving towards direct participation in the Ukraine war after several Western countries took the decision to supply battle tanks to Ukraine. While the Kremlin has declared that the West is increasingly acting like a warring party, Berlin and Paris have denied that the arms deliveries mean they are participating in the war. Commentators give their own assessments.

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Phileleftheros (CY) /

Uncharted waters

Academic and writer Stephanos Konstantinidis writes in Phileleftheros:

“The war in Ukraine is taking on new dangerous dimensions and becoming a Nato and US-led war against Russia after Germany's decision to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine. Of course, the Americans were in theory willing to send their best tanks, the Abrams, as well. They are doing this more as a symbolic gesture, keeping the number very limited, to put pressure on the Germans. ... To judge by Moscow's initial indications, the Russian reaction will be fierce. The war is now entering uncharted waters. The dangers for humanity are great.”

Magyar Nemzet (HU) /

Tank deliveries are not humanitarian aid

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock was right in saying that most of Europe is at war with Russia, writes the pro-government Magyar Nemzet:

“With the tank deliveries the Western countries have crossed the Rubicon - be it for moral reasons, to secure business interests or to weaken Russia. We are only one step away from them also sending soldiers to the front. There could still be talk of ethical considerations when it came to supplying blankets, helmets and perhaps even ammunition, but tanks are a clear threat.”

Dnevnik (BG) /

All just propaganda

Such accusations are part of Russia's strategy to justify its own aggression, writes Dnevnik:

“It is misleading to claim that by seeking to improve its military mobility and its level of cyber security and defence, the EU is planning a military confrontation with Russia. Neither the Military Mobility 2.0 action plan nor the EU Cybersecurity Strategy, nor the Network and Information Security Directive (NIS2) indicate that the EU is preparing a military confrontation with Russia. Such statements are part of the Kremlin propaganda that portrays Russia as a victim threatened by the united and hostile West.”

Index (HU) /

Key powers pulling the strings behind the scenes

In Index, former MEP and publicist Gyula Hegyi writes that this is a US-driven proxy war against China:

“The conflict in Ukraine has become a real war between the US-led West and Russia. At the same time, it is also a proxy war by the US to deter China. Beijing understands this perfectly and its response is clear: the further development of its military and its science and technology sector as well as intensive alliance-building in the so-called non-Western world. Europe and Russia, which are turning against each other and becoming enemies, are being subordinated to the US and China, and their fate depends on the decisions of these two great powers.”

Polityka (PL) /

Poland key only in tandem

Warsaw's role in supporting Ukraine is crucial but it won't work without help from the Germans and Americans, Polityka points out:

“The geography of the current conflict and the location of the epicentre of the US, Nato and European Union defence efforts mean that Poland will be 'favoured' for years to come. Poland is the 'spearhead', the geographical, logistical and political hub of activity. Exposed, important, but unable to exist without the corresponding infrastructure and support. Whether we like it or not (the current government does not), Germany remains the hinterland of Poland in the American strategy for Europe.”