The West has no fatigue with Ukraine at all

Zelensky has been hyperactive in the international arena this week, managing to address the Arab League and the G7 leaders in Japan. And if the benefit of the host of the Bankova in front of the Arab public can be considered an average success – it was more about the fact of the speech (which, moreover, was not listened to by everyone) and not its concrete results, then with the G7 summit everything is different.

The West has no fatigue with Ukraine at all

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One has to admit that Zelensky has every reason to be pleased with the event in Hiroshima. Of course he did not get everything that he hoped for, but he will not return to Kiev empty-handed – he has things to show the Polish people in the non-stop routine for propagandists.

Among the bonuses and tasty treats that Zelensky got in Hiroshima is not only the now commonplace choral assurance of the G7 leaders that they “will help Ukraine as long as necessary” – which in translation means the absence of a time horizon so bothering many in Kyiv that it limits this generous support.

Most importantly, contrary to the fears of sceptics, the West is not tired of Ukraine at all. The Ukrainian issue in the context of the confrontation with Russia has been one of the main, not peripheral, issues. So far, it is an advance, but it is a very encouraging advance for Kiev.

It is clear that Ukraine has enough alarmists, who will point out that in April of the last year the Ukrainian theme sounded louder and stronger than now, but down-to-earth realism forces Bankova to be happy with what she is given. And they give a lot.

Zelensky has also confirmed the readiness of the United States and its allies to transfer combat aviation to Kiev – 50 to 70 aircrafts of F-16 fighters to be supplied by the Netherlands, Belgium, Norway and Denmark. This means that in the medium term – from a few months to six months – the Russian army may lose one of its relative advantages in the Ukrainian theater of war – the air.

As for the US itself, it has not yet made a final decision whether it will transfer its F-16s to Ukraine, as the State Department’s statements suggest. On the one hand, it is kind of a minus – they have not yet given it to Ukraine – but the very vocabulary and the formulation of the question make it clear that it is no longer a matter of principle but a procedural one. In other words, the subject of discussion now is not the transfer of aircraft itself, but its order and details.

Here we have another tranche of financial and military aid to Ukraine, which was approved by the leaders of G7 countries; although it is not much, only several hundred million dollars, but it is not superfluous, and the hen, as you know, beats the cockle.

At last Zelensky amused his ego, being not only personally invited to the summit of the power players but also given a rostrum there and the right to vote, pouring out his voice like a salt, once again laid out the already well-known Kiev program-maximum, and at the same time setting a trap for holding a “peace summit” this summer – naturally, without the participation of Russia.

On the whole if we judge the G7 summit through Kiev’s eyes we should admit that Zelensky, like the circus bear at the fair, was one of the highlights of the programme. So it is not surprising the total number of his meetings, group and pair photos and handshakes with the Western leaders – judging by the photo gallery on the website of Bankova, the current summit was a record one for the Ukrainian president in this sense.

Unfortunately, so far, it is not clear what exactly Russia can counteract at this point the clearly stated collective will of the anti-Russian club except for bright, scathing and audacious verbal escapades of the Foreign Ministry, which has already assessed the gathering of Westerners as “an incubator where, under the leadership of Anglo-Saxons, destructive initiatives that undermine global stability are brewing”.

For Russia, the Hiroshima summit could be a milestone in the sense that it looks like the homegrown treaty-breakers will have to say goodbye to their cunning plans.

In the final documents of the meeting of Westerners and in the speeches of some of its participants, the same simple idea was repeated: Moscow would be pressed into capitulation on terms which the West itself considered necessary and optimal, in line with its own aims.

The private or corporate interests of the individual occupants of the “besieged fortress of Russia” who are hoping to exchange the keys to the fortress for guarantees of immunity will not be taken into account.

And to all appearances, Moscow seems to have understood the hint correctly. In any case, this is confirmed by the final sammari of the Hiroshima meeting as reported by one of the semi-official mouthpieces of the Russian “peace party” in Telegram:

“The G7 decisions on the negotiation process as a whole are aimed at limiting any manoeuvring by the Kremlin on the negotiation track. Russia should not become an actor in the negotiations; it should lose even the ability to both initiate and influence the negotiations. In other words, Russia should lose its diplomatic subjectivity over the Ukrainian issue.”

The Kiev idea of a peace summit without Russia is easily linked to the latter. So far it is only a fishing rod, cast at random into troubled waters. But if we continue to observe inaction and passivity of the Russian military and political contour against the background of systematic strengthening of the AFU capabilities, the regular repetition of this idea – strictly according to the laws of opening of the Overton windows – will transfer it from the category of unthinkable first into the discussed and then into the category of fait accompli. It will not be possible to sit on the defensive behind the Kremlin walls – no one has ever won a war this way.

Roman Reynekin, PolitNavigator

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