Welcome to the unknown

It is a reality of which we only perceive the premises: the war in Ukraine reshuffles all the geopolitical cards and makes the world more dangerous, more unpredictable than ever.

The United States, of course, is doing well – so far. Their armaments industry is running at full speed, their cereal producers will benefit from the rise in prices and their gas will partly replace the Russian gas which the Europeans have to give up. Strategically, Washington has accomplished a faultless, which erases their fiasco in Afghanistan. They unveiled Russian plans, allowed Ukraine to resist, made a spectacular comeback in Europe and flexed their muscles in China.

The European Union finds itself under tension. First, the question of enlargement arises with disconcerting urgency: Ukraine is crying out for it, Georgia is hoping to take advantage of the movement while the current Balkan candidates refuse to be given priority. Emmanuel Macron’s idea of ​​a “European political community” is interesting, but could fail at the foot of a mountain of institutional problems, like François Mitterrand’s similar project in 1991.

Read also: Weapons, gas, wheat: how the United States benefits from the war in Ukraine

Above all, the EU must maintain its unity, miraculously born on February 24. The Hungarian refusal to ratify the embargo of the Twenty-Seven on Russian oil is only a preview of the tensions to come, while the war seems set to last.

Everything hangs by a thread


This duration, precisely, threatens the Old Continent much more than the United States. Hence these differences: Paris and Berlin, whose priority remains a negotiated peace as soon as possible, increasingly openly criticize American warmongering. There is no question, for the Europeans, of letting the conflict rot with the idea of ​​weakening Russia. There is no question of cutting ties with Moscow and making peace impossible in the short or medium term. Nor is there any question of giving the Ukrainians false hopes of a hypothetical Russian “defeat”. Finally, there is no question of replacing the Ukrainians and dictating to them the terms of a negotiation with Russia, when it can resume.

More broadly, this war that the White House wants to see as an existential struggle between Russia and “the free world” appears rather as a divorce between the West and the rest of the world. Large democracies like India, South Africa, Brazil or Indonesia have more nuanced positions, even outright favorable to Russia.

From then on, everything hangs by a thread. That of the bloody battles in progress, the looming world food crisis, the American mid-term elections in November or the threats of nuclear slippage. Finished the balance of blocks from the Cold War and the attacks of September 11, welcome to the unknown.

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