France, Germany, and Italy ‘afraid of humiliating Russia’: Politico

Ukraine’s recent successes in its defence against Russian invaders are making the leaders of France, Germany, and Italy start to consider a victory for the Ukrainians as possible and fear that such a “humiliation” of Russia would create new political problems, the news website wrote on Monday.

As it stressed, that is why some countries are quietly advocating a solution to the conflict that would allow Moscow to “save face,” even if it means allowing the aggressor to take control of part of Ukraine’s territory.

According to the website, western European leaders fear that a Ukrainian victory would destabilise Russia, making the normalisation of energy relations a remote possibility.

Although French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz have reiterated that it is up to Ukraine to set the conditions for a cessation of hostilities, both recently admitted that they would prefer a ceasefire to happen “rather sooner than later.”

President Macron recently declared in the European Parliament that Europe “is not at war with Russia” and would have to create a new strategy for balancing security once peace comes. As Politico pointed out, the sentence “set off alarm bells in Central and Eastern European countries.”

It also noted that the German Chancellor spoke in the same manner after his phone conversation with Vladimir Putin on Friday. Similarly, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi argued last week that it was time to think about a peace deal.

Ukraine ‘pressured into negotiations’

“Even as they stress their support for Ukraine, the fact that the leaders of the EU’s three largest countries have adopted nearly identical talking points on peace negotiations just as Kyiv has the upper hand in its fight suggests the trio is trying to pressure Ukrainian leaders into negotiations,” the website explained.

According to Politico, for now the US is not worried that European support for the Washington-led pro-Ukraine coalition is waning. It quoted an anonymous senior US official who indicated that the allies are still united by a common goal.