Collectively, European governments have been able to agree on measures to isolate Russia’s economy that once would have been unthinkable, including an embargo on most of the crude oil Russia sells to Europe. But opinion is sharply divided on the stakes of the war and Ukraine’s chances.
Public statements by the leaders of France and Germany and comments by those countries’ officials suggest they are skeptical Kyiv can expel the invaders and they have called for a negotiated cease-fire, triggering complaints from Ukraine that it is being pushed to make territorial concessions…
Some Western European nations are losing appetite for sustaining a war they think is unwinnable and has reached a bloody stalemate that is draining European resources and exacerbating a looming recession. By contrast, Poland and the Baltic countries, who once lived under the Kremlin’s boot, see themselves as next in line for Russian imperialist expansion.
The flow of millions of Ukrainian refugees into those countries has brought the war much closer to citizens’ ordinary lives, while for Germany, Austria and Italy, the conflict is primarily felt through higher energy costs.