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  • Writer's pictureAnton Kuchuhidze

International Press Review dated 18 – 29 December 2023

The end of the year is a time to make conclusions and set goals for the future. The goals of our state remain unchanged - protection of borders and return of the territories occupied by the rashists.


In a recent article by The Washington Post, the author notes that the war between russia and Ukraine could last indefinitely if the West does not understand that not only the fate of Ukraine is at stake, but also the future of the West itself. Ukraine cannot lose this war, because the existence of the Ukrainian state and nation depends on its outcome.


In addition, the author is sure that the defeat of Ukraine will also be a big loss for the USA and its allies. A russian victory will strengthem moscow’s control over the post-Soviet space, reassert its position in the Caucasus, where Armenia has shown interest in strengthening relations with the West, and in Central Asia, where Kazakhstan uses its ties with China to counterbalance russian influence in the region.


And the most important is that russia's success in Ukraine will increase the threat to the eastern flank of NATO, in particular to the Baltic countries and Poland and not only. US and NATO troops may find themselves at the epicenter of a military conflict like the one Ukraine is fighting today without NATO's direct involvement.

In another article by The Wall Street Journal, the author claims that 2025 will be a good year for Ukraine. After all, an increase in NATO defense spending by 1% of GDP is equivalent to an increase in russian spending by 24%. Although the rearmament of the West has been meager and slow, it will eventually eclipse russia year after year. Every dollar helps ensure the investments already made in rebuilding the defense and industrial base of the West. This helps to create modern Ukrainian army that can serve as the backbone of European security for decades to come.


Britain and France reiterated their position on Tuesday that a full-scale russian invasion of Ukraine will lead to a failure, and the UK foreign secretary said Ukraine's allies should make better use of their economic power. The Washington Post writes about this.


British Foreign Minister David Cameron noted that if you count the economies of Ukraine's Western partners together, they exceed the russian economy by 25 times. Therefore, Ukraine's partners should ensure that this economic power pays off.


In addition, according to The Wall Street Journal, Japan's recent decision to send Patriot anti-aircraft missiles to the United States after revising its arms export rules has become a landmark decision. It was the first major review of the country's arms export restrictions in nine years, as Japan banned its weapons exports for decades as a result of its desire to stay out of global conflicts since World War II.


Japan will be able to export several dozen Patriot missiles to the United States to replenish the Pentagon's stockpile. Thanks to this, Washington will be able to direct more means of air defense to Ukraine.


Today it is obvious that the aggression of the rashists is becoming protracted and the attacks will only intensify. A key issue on the global agenda next year is the future of both Ukraine and the West. In this war, not only the fate of Ukraine is at stake, but also the security of the West, the stability of the international order, and the future of democracy as a global power. I hope that next year the light will overcome the darkness, and the rashists will bear responsibility for the destructions and the crimes committed.

 

It’s fairly easy, in fact, to say when Mr. Putin should be ready to stop the fighting—2025. A 1% of GDP increase in NATO defense spending would be the equivalent of a 24% increase by Russia. Mr. Putin’s 70% planned hike in actual outlays in 2024, equal to about 2% of GDP, is not a repeatable event. Meanwhile, though Western rearmament has been paltry and slow to get off the ground, eventually it will swamp Russia’s year after year.


Even a stalled U.S. aid package may not be as make-or-break in these circumstances at it seems. But it would be exceptionally idiotic to let Mr. Putin hope, even for a moment, the West might snatch defeat from the jaws of victory for want of a few billion to see Ukraine through the next year.


Each dollar helps to secure an investment already made in restarting the West’s defense-industrial base. It speeds the dismantling of Russia’s vaunted military modernization. It helps with the creation of a battle-hardened, modern Ukrainian army that can serve as a linchpin of European security for decades to come.


Japan will provide Patriot missiles to the U.S., bolstering global stocks as Ukraine defends itself from a new wave of Russian missile attacks, the U.S. and Japanese governments said.


Tokyo is set to transfer dozens of the interceptor missiles, which are used to shoot down ballistic missiles and other aerial threats, from its own supplies, starting as early as the first quarter of 2024, according to a U.S. official.


The decision is a landmark for Japan, which has had a self-imposed ban on weapons exports for decades as a legacy of its desire to stay out of global conflicts following World War II.

 

Ukraine can’t lose this war because the very existence of the Ukrainian state and nation depends on its outcome. And ending it with an armistice resulting in the loss of people and territories and without NATO membership is tantamount to losing the war.


A loss for Ukraine also would be tantamount to a major loss for the U.S. and its allies. Russian victory would result in Moscow strengthening its grip of the post-Soviet space, restoring its positions in the Caucasus, where Armenia indicated its interest in strengthening its relations with the West, and Central Asia, where Kazakhstan uses its ties with China to counterbalance Russian power in the region.

 

The renewed insistence from U.K. Foreign Secretary David Cameron and French counterpart Catherine Colonna that Russia can’t be rewarded for its aggression comes as wartime aid from Ukraine’s biggest single military backer — the United States — is faltering.


Cameron, speaking after talks with Colonna in Paris, said that if the economies of Ukraine’s Western partners are calculated together, “we outmatch the Russian economy by 25 to one or more.”


“What we have to do is make that economic strength and that commitment pay,” he said. “If we can, I have no doubt that we can make sure that (Russian President Vladimir) Putin loses and it’s essential that he does lose.”


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