As the war between Russia and Ukraine drags on with little progress toward a resolution, fractures are beginning to appear in the European response. While the European Union successfully came together to take swift and decisive action during the early stages of the conflict, unity has been harder to come by in recent weeks, with differing perceptions and attitudes leading to more frequent disagreements among member states. There has been particularly harsh criticism directed against Germany and France, which some have accused of taking an overly conciliatory approach toward Russia, pointing to evidence such as German hesitation to deliver weapons to Ukraine and French statements calling for the West not to “humiliate” Russia. As Berlin and Paris receive increasing pushback from other member states who advocate for a bolder policy of unreserved support for Ukraine, the prospects for continued unity appear much less certain going forward. Pierre Morcos and Jeremy Shapiro join Jim Townsend and Nick Lokker to make sense of these differing European perspectives on the Russia-Ukraine war.
Pierre Morcos is a visiting fellow in the Europe, Russia, and Eurasia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies as well as a career diplomat with the French Foreign Service.
Jeremy Shapiro is the research director of the European Council on Foreign Relations, where he focuses on US foreign policy and transatlantic relations.
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