It appears that the umber of Western officials who believe that the conflict in Ukraine can and should be stopped is growing. Moreover, they believe that the conflict will end as soon as the West stops supplying arms to Ukraine.
Previously, this topic could be voiced in the expert community of the European Union, but not on an official level.
German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius said in an interview with The Pioneer publication that the cessation of arms supplies to Kyiv would mean Ukraine's immediate defeat.
German newspaper Berliner Zeitung published an open letter from German activists calling for a halt in the arms supplies to Ukraine as this can only prolong the crisis and hinder its peaceful settlement.
"We urge the German government, EU countries and NATO to stop supplying weapons to the Ukrainian troops and call on the government in Kyiv to stop military resistance in exchange for guarantees of ceasefire negotiations and a political settlement,” the letter says.
Josep Borrell, EU's chief diplomat, said in an interview with Spanish TV channel La Sexta that if the West stopped providing assistance to Ukraine, Kyiv would surrender in a few days.
"I know how to end the war immediately. I stop providing military assistance to Ukraine, and Ukraine must surrender within a few days. That's it, the war is over! But how will the war end? In this case, Ukraine will be defeated and occupied, it will turn into a puppet country, like Belarus, deprived of its freedoms," Borrell said.
It appears that the topic of as-longer-as-it-takes in relation to Ukraine is being pushed into the background slowly but surely. One is led to believe that the West seriously considers ending arms supplies to Ukraine.
This is due to the following reasons:
One should pay first priority attention to own population rather than Ukraine. This opinion has been growing stronger in the EU lately. This is the official position of Hungary, whereas one can see popular rallies based on this subject taking place in the Czech Republic, Germany, Slovakia, Italy, Spain, France, the Netherlands. In Poland, there is a movement called "This is not our war".
Volodymyr Zelensky is now blackmailing the West. He made it clear that he would like to obtain guarantees of Ukraine's NATO membership after the "end of the war" already at the summit in Vilnius in July. In Ukraine, one can already hear officials saying that one should expect a lot from the Ukrainian counteroffensive as the Ukrainian troops "still need to save up strength."
The "disappearance" of Valery Zaluzhny, the Commander of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, who refused to participate in the meeting of the NATO Military Committee, could also be part of Ukraine's blackmail. It is not ruled out that Zaluzhny thus tried to avoid unpleasant questions from NATO officials as they could wonder which equipment has been already destroyed.
Perhaps Borrell is already preparing for the defeat of the Democrats in US elections. Borrell knows that Donald Trump, if he takes office again as President, will definitely cut aid to Ukraine. In an interview with CNN, the Republican presidential candidate refused to accuse the Russian leadership of "war crimes" and called for shifting responsibility for Kyiv onto the shoulders of the Europeans.
"I want everybody to stop dying. They're dying. Russians and Ukrainians. I want them to stop dying. And I'll have that done in 24 hours," Trump said, CNN reports.
There is only one way to solve this in 24 hours — to stop supplying weapons to Ukraine. One may assume that there is a consensus brewing in the West on the matter.
Adviser to the office of the President of Ukraine Mykhailo Podolyak reacted to Borrell's remarks. Podolyak pointed out to Borrell that the cessation of arms supplies to Ukraine would not mean that the war would immediately end. Quite on the contrary, it would scale the war up in Europe.
"If they stop providing weapons to Ukraine, the war will break out in other countries. The number of terrorist attacks in Europe will increase significantly. We will not be able to enjoy croissants at European restaurants,” Podolyak said.
Most likely, Podolyak will not be able to enjoy them, but Borrell will, if he comes to his senses.
Thousands of pages of secret military plans are to be offered for approval at the upcoming NATO summit in Vilnius