In 2015, Ukraine was facing a crisis. Prof. Mearsheimer delivered this talk about that crisis but also showed courage to predict the future. Mearsheimer was one of the few American experts in International Relations who went against the flow – and with Henry Kissinger – was suggesting that the way forward for America was to bring Russia to its side. According to Mearsheimer, America needed Russia and the worst thing that those, in Washington, mulling foreign policy could do was to put Russia in China’s arms. No one took heed of Mearsheimer, Kissinger, and others, with the result that seven years later, the world is witnessing what Mearsheimer feared most: the Russian bear has struck an alliance with China.
The solution that this American professor proposed for Ukraine was not much different from the one proposed by Dom Mintoff for Malta. Mintoff saw Malta as a buffer state during the Cold War. This is why he proposed and included in our constitution the clause on neutrality. Mearsheimer offered the same solution for Ukraine during the 2015 crisis. For Mearsheimer, the Ukraine solution lay in not joining NATO but in becoming a buffer state between Russia and NATO. For this, he proposed that Ukraine was to be recognized by both parties as a neutral country.
I would have gone a step further. The EU would only survive if NATO is dismantled. But unfortunately, NATO powers continued to speak Cold War rhetoric after the fall of the Soviet Union. Back then, what needed to be done was the dismantling of NATO and the forming of a new alliance that should have included the USA, Europe, and Russia. Unfortunately, this did not materialize. Today, Europe is suffering the consequences.
Now, what will happen to Ukraine? Mearsheimer does not think that Russia will invade Ukraine. He is right. Russia does not want to be involved in another Afghanistan. Russia needs to consolidate its hold on Crimea which has been lost to the West. It is now a de facto Russian territory. Therefore, the interest of Russia in this whole story is to destabilize Ukraine. Russia has an interest that Ukraine is divided between West and East. It is the Western part of Ukraine that wants to join the EU. The Eastern part wants to be with Russia and Russia has the interest to annex this part and keep a weak and puppet state on its western side. Thus, the only way for Ukraine to survive as it is now is not by joining NATO, but by the big powers accepting and recognizing Ukraine as a neutral state.
On the other hand, had the EU wanted to save Ukraine, it should have helped built Ukraine economically. Unfortunately, the EU failed to do so during the 2015 crisis. More importantly, the EU needed to guarantee the respect of all the ethnic communities present in this country. This was another EU failing. Certain laws, passed in Ukraine, with respect to language usage by the minority groups in this country, did not help matters.
It is only through such a strategy that the EU can awaken from its comatose state Europe has to stop seeing Russia as an enemy. I know that this is a bit late in the day but Russia should become Europe’s ally. Therefore, certain political discourses by our European bureaucrats, including the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, are not going to save the day. Europe cannot go to war in support of Ukraine or any other country. Europe does not have the demographic potential to fight. Its woke policies have relegated Europe onto the back burner of world politics.
Unfortunately for Europe, it does not have the same history of migration as the United States. The US has a long history of integrating migrants. Europe does not. Thus, for this crisis in Ukraine, in particular, if Russia succeeds in destabilizing the country, Europe is not in a position to cope and adapt to the flow of those fleeing the country.