The European Union has continuously made strategic mistakes throughout the course of the war due to a lack of unity and analytic insight, both of which have cost Ukraine dearly in its conflict with Russia, according to Italian media outlet Il Foglio.
The article described the current situation involving Ukraine’s accession to the EU and the Russian-Ukrainian war. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been invited to the European Council on Thursday and Friday, marking the second time since the start of the Russian war that he is leaving the country to sit at the table of European leaders.
As the paper writes, a few days before the first anniversary of the attack, Zelensky’s presence in the European capital will have strong symbolic value. As with last week’s visit to Kyiv by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel, it will serve as an encouragement to Ukrainian soldiers and civilians. It will also put minds at ease in Brussels, as some have expressed reservations about Zelensky’s decision to travel to Washington instead of Brussels at the first opportunity.
However, a possible visit to Brussels by Zelenskiy is a challenge to the EU, which continues to be beset by hesitations and strategic miscalculations. The paper writes that the European countries are at a standstill, despite Russia’s preparations for a major new offensive to regain its advantage in the war.
“Gazprombank cannot be excluded from the SWIFT system because Austria, Hungary, and Italy need it to pay for gas. Belgium is hesitant to accept an embargo on Russian diamonds. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán vetoes sanctions against Russia’s nuclear sector, which is supposed to build and supply Hungarian nuclear power plants,” Il Foglio writes.
“In the area of military assistance, European countries have done too little, too late, to deliver munitions, air defense systems, and tanks. In the space of a year, EU leaders have already miscalculated four times,” the paper writes, concluding with a list of miscalculations made by the leadership in Brussels since the war began last February:
First, EU leaders refused to believe that Russian President Vladimir Putin was launching a war of aggression. Second, when they assumed that Kyiv would fall within a week. Third, they thought that the Ukrainians would not be able to retake their territories. Fourth, they underestimated Russia’s ability to reorganize and Putin’s willingness to use masses of troops as cannon fodder to regain territory and inflict casualties on the Ukrainian army.