The Munich Security Conference presented its annual report on the world situation.
On Monday, February 12, the annual report of the Munich Security Conference was published, where the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy is expected to speak this year – for the first time since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Russia, and the signing between agreement between Ukraine and Germany about Berlin’s commitment to continue supporting Ukraine financially and with weapons, like the one Kyiv signed with London in January of this year.
The authors reports point out that Ukraine is a prime target for Russia’s attempts to force post-Soviet countries back into its orbit by committing a series of war crimes and, some argue, genocide.
“Putin’s denial of the existence of a Ukrainian nation shows that, for him, a sovereign Ukraine cannot coexist with Russia. Despite Russia’s inability to make any significant military progress, Putin shows no signs of wanting to negotiate. On the contrary, Russia will spend 2024 on defense more than 7% of GDP, or 29% of all state expenditures, and will significantly increase the production of the defense industry,” the report says.
According to the Munich Security Index-2024 (annual sociological survey of the Munich Security Conference – ed.), for the vast majority of Ukrainians, only the complete withdrawal of Russia from all their territories, including the Crimean peninsula, would be acceptable conditions for a cease-fire – this is 92%.
Despite the limited success of Ukraine’s counteroffensive, 80% of Ukrainian citizens believe that their country will win the war.
Meanwhile, Ukrainians clearly see their future in the West: 79% are in favor of membership in NATO, and 84% are in favor of membership in the EU within the next five years.
The failure of US lawmakers and EU members to agree on long-term financial and military aid packages for Ukraine at the end of 2023 casts doubt on the promise to support Ukraine as long as needed.
The Munich Security Index indicates that fatigue with Ukraine is emerging. However, even the current level of military aid is insufficient to help Ukraine win the war.
The enlargement of the EU and NATO is also being questioned. Thus, the promise of NATO membership for Ukraine remains uncertain, and the Alliance members do not agree on specific steps and temporary security guarantees for Ukraine while it is at war.
“EU and NATO member states should double their financial and military support to Ukraine. A Russian victory would be catastrophic not only for Ukraine. A battle-hardened Russia with an economy converted to military rails will quickly rearm and look for the next victim. No one in Europe will be safe from Russian aggression and hybrid warfare at a time of growing doubts about the future of the US security umbrella (due to the possibility of Trump’s second presidential term – ed.),” the authors of the report emphasize.
A Russian victory would also set a dangerous precedent for conflicts outside of Europe, showing that the inviolability of borders no longer exists and that aggression and war crimes are possible.
Therefore, decision-makers in Europe and the US must fight Ukraine fatigue to help Kyiv win and reduce this gray area.
The Munich Security Conference is an influential global gathering of leading policymakers and analysts to discuss defense and security issues. This year it will be held from February 16 to 18.
We will remind, Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban made a scandalous proposal about a “buffer zone in Ukraine” – what is wrong with the politician’s statement.