France, Germany most likely to break under Russian pressure: journalist

TVP World’s guest Maciej Kożuszek, the head of the International Desk at the Gazeta Polska daily, argued that France and then Germany could be the first European countries to succumb to the Russian pressure exerted on Europe as the result of the invasion of Ukraine.

As winter approaches, Ukraine needs help more than ever before. It is not just about Russian war crimes and genocide, but about the freezing conditions that can turn the lives of ordinary civilians into an absolute nightmare especially since Russia continues to destroy Ukrainian infrastructure. This requires a concerted effort on the part of the international community and the big question is whether the international community itself will be able to meet this challenge.

Answering the question of which country is the most likely to break under the pressure of Russia, Mr Kożuszek said that this would be, unsurprisingly, “the common culprits… France and then Germany.”

“Germany claims to be the leader of Europe, also in terms of collective security. Germany holds a large part of the responsibility for the current security in Europe. But if you look at the raw numbers of French help for Ukraine are much lower. Even if you compare it to GDP, however, you want to slice it, the French support was meagre,” TVP World’s guest said.

Mr Kożuszek went on to recall that the French did send their CAESAR howitzers to Ukraine, which performed well on the battlefield. Still, he stressed that it was “only a part of the game.”

Although France’s interests in Africa are undermined by rival Moscow and affected by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which would be a sufficient argument for France to continue supporting Kyiv as long as possible, Paris seems the least enthusiastic about prolonging the EU’s backing for Ukraine.

“I think that larger geopolitical calculations come into play here. In Europe, we deal with hesitancy on the part of Germany and France because of the fact that this war strengthens the USA, exponentially,” Mr Kożuszek argued. “I think it’s a problem for them.”

TVP World’s guest went on to highlight that Emmanuel Macron’s vision for Europe was “strategic autonomy”, adding that there was “a deeply-rooted anti-Americanism in Europe’s political elites and even intellectuals. It really has to be taken into calculation here.”

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