The longer Europe argues over an oil embargo, let alone a gas ban, the more Ukraine risks slipping off the global radar. Weapons are still pouring in, though not at the rate Ukraine would like, and not some of the offensive weapons it seeks. It is notable how often Ukrainian officials now urge in their daily videos and social media posts: Don’t start to forget us.
As time passes, calls will proliferate for Ukraine to negotiate with Russian President Vladimir Putin and potentially cede territory to secure peace (even if it’s temporary). Already there are signs nations including France and Germany are encouraging President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to more proactively work toward a cease-fire. That’s even as eastern Europe and the UK and, for now, the US, say the focus should be on helping Ukraine to fight on.
There are plenty who say giving Putin a deal now will only allow him space to regroup and come back for more. “Russia is not provoked by strength, but Russia is provoked by weakness,” according to Latvian President Egils Levits.
Conversely, there are those who say Zelenskiy risks losing bargaining power as Russian troops slowly accumulate territory, even if more offensive weapons are sent in by Ukraine’s allies.