When it comes to foreign policy, nowhere are the stakes higher for dealing with other countries than when there is an ongoing war. In the case of Russia and Ukraine, countries around the world have weighed in on what they think would be best as far as an outcome. For nearly four long months, Ukraine has been under siege. Sanctions against Russia have not yet had the desired effect, and so the war plods on.
What does the world think of how the war between Russia and Ukraine should play out? It depends on who you ask. Some countries such as Italy and Hungary are looking for a speedy ceasefire. The British Prime Minister asserts that Ukraine “must win” and should not accept a bad peace deal. But others like Poland, the Baltics and Ukraine itself declare that a quick ceasefire would help Russia to gain more power.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said sanctions should remain in place until Russian troops leave the Crimea peninsula, while other German government sources are worried that the West could be influencing Ukraine towards unrealistic goals, such as recapturing the Crimea peninsula that Russia annexed in 2014. And Ukraine’s own ambassador to Germany has strongly criticized Germany for not sending heavy weapons to Ukraine to help them defend their country from Russia.
What does America think? U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has said he wants Russia “weakened” and President Joe Biden called for Putin to be prosecuted for war crimes. Austin asserted that if Russia was weakened it would not be able to do something like this again, which is a definitive goal when dealing with this superpower.
Meanwhile in Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s senior adviser Mykhailo Podolyak showed his frustrations in a recent tweet directed at all of the countries that are tiptoeing around the war.
“Russia must not win, but we won’t give heavy weapons -it may offend Russia. Putin must lose but let’s not impose new sanctions. Millions will starve, but we’re not ready for military convoys with grain,” he said.
Podolyak warned all those countries who have not taken a step to help Ukraine saying, “Rising prices are not the worst that awaits a democratic world with such a policy,” he said.
Unfortunately, there is no “one size fits all” policy when it comes to ending the war. For as many countries who are looking on at the war in Ukraine, there are different opinions on what should be done. And this lack of cohesion is hurting the bottom line, and likely prolonging the war itself.
According to Adnan Zai, an Advisor to Berkeley Capital,“Given that allies are not aligned in their strategy because of either their economic or military concerns, there will always be a divide. The U.S.needs to remind them all that a divided alliance is what Putin is looking for.
“If Putin can divide the world then he will ultimately gain more power, which is certainly not something that is going to help Ukraine in the short or long term.