There was palpable nervousness among the large Ukrainian delegation to the World Economic Forum in Davos last week that western support may soften. The Ukrainians are alarmed by the slowness of weapons deliveries from the US and Germany, which is making it harder to push back the Russian advance. They worry that, by September, western countries will be focused more on their own economic problems than on the plight of Ukraine.
They fear that some countries — probably led by France or Germany — will grab on to illusory peace negotiations and drastically reduce support to Ukraine. These Ukrainian anxieties will have been raised by the recent phone call between Putin and Olaf Scholz and Emmanuel Macron, the leaders of Germany and France.
These fears are understandable. But I think (and hope) that they are wrong. Scholz’s speech in Davos showed a clear understanding of what is at stake in Ukraine. The chancellor argued that Russia is waging an imperialist war and stated that “Putin must not win”. Importantly, the Germans say the same thing in private — insisting that they have no intention of forcing Ukraine to cede territory and fully intend to deliver the promised weaponry.