The Guardian view on celebrating Ukraine’s independence: In the shadow of insecurity | editorial

WLKenya’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, can forgive his lucky curse as the country celebrates the 30th anniversary of its independence from the former Soviet Union. On Tuesday, Mr. Zelensky presided over a Military parade In Kiev, it was attended by an impressive group of eminent personalities and heads of state. But in the week he hoped to focus the minds of the Western allies on Russian bullying and obstinacy, their focus is heavily on Afghanistan.

The struggle to survive is on the diplomatic radar. On Monday, Ukraine held seeking attention summit In Crimea, Vladimir Putin illegally annexed it in March 2014. The European Union, with which Ukraine signed an association agreement months later, imposed sanctions, refusing to recognize the region as part of Russia. At the summit, the President of the European Council Charles Michel a promise The European Union will continue to “stand high” against such violations of international law. But in truth, the Russian annexation is a fait accompli that no one now expects to be reversed. In sending belated apologies, Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel failed to appear at the event.

icy conflict In the Donbass region, where Russian-backed rebels carved out part of the country and controlled the eastern border of Ukraine, they also reached a dead end. In the spring, Putin allowed the creation of a huge army Building On the border which, though later withdrawn, was seen as an early test of Joe Biden’s strength. Zelensky is scheduled to meet Biden in Washington next week. Before that meeting, he has He expressed His frustration with the West’s reluctance to pass Ukraine’s NATO membership, which would greatly increase the risks of any Russian aggression. Merkel, who met Zelensky in Kiev on Sunday, acknowledged that talks between Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany over the Donbass region went nowhere due to Putin’s refusal to acknowledge Russian involvement in the conflict.

Given this context of temptations from the West and sword shocks from the East, it is understandable that Ukraine has raised bitter objections to the soon-to-be-completed project. Nord Stream 2 Pipeline. Passing under the Baltic Sea, this would allow Russia to eventually bypass Ukraine when exporting gas to Germany, costing Kiev billions of dollars in transit fees and potentially freeing Moscow to adopt a more threatening posture toward its neighbor. Mr. Biden, who originally opposed the pipeline, Projection His objections last month, the signing of an agreement on completing it with Ms. Merkel, which she considers an economic priority.

Thus Ukraine has legitimate reasons to criticize the level of support it receives from its powerful allies in the West. The disaster of withdrawal from Afghanistan – and the continued weakness of the European Union as a geopolitical power – will only deepen the sense of insecurity. Last month, Mr. Putin published A 5,000-word essay titled About the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians. The West’s response to Putin’s constant maneuvers and mind games should be more than mixed messages.

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