The West is more united than ever after one year of war in Ukraine, according to a new poll, which describes the US and its European allies as having regained their unity and sense of purpose.
In the report – carried out by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) – its authors, foreign policy experts Timothy Garton Ash, Mark Leonard and Ivan Krastev, say that the results indicate that the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine marks both “the consolidation of the West and the emergence of the long-heralded post-Western international order”.
This divergence is reflected in opinions on preferred outcomes for the conflict which vary significantly between the West (the US, UK and nine EU countries) and the rest of the world (China, India, Turkiye and Russia).
While many people in Europe said they would like to see the war in Ukraine end as soon as possible, the ECFR poll found that more want Kyiv to win, even if it means the conflict continues for longer.
Similarly, Americans feel that if a lasting peace is to be secured, then Ukraine must prevail.
However, a majority in non-western countries would prefer to end the war now even if it would mean that Kyiv loses territory.
Still, nearly one-third of respondents in these countries – except for Russia – think that Ukraine should fight until it regains its territories.
When it comes to buying Russian energy, a majority of Europeans asked said that this should be avoided, even if it means further economic pain.
People surveyed were also asked why they thought the US and Europe were standing behind Ukraine.
Respondents from the US, UK and Europe mostly believed that it was related to defending Ukraine’s democracy or their own security, particularly in Europe in relation to the latter.
However, people in China, India and Turkiye are sceptical of these claims. Many believe support for Kyiv is driven by a desire to preserve Western dominance, especially the Chinese and Turks.
The authors of the report concluded that the biggest threat to the solidarity of the West lies from within.
“It is now clear that, contrary to the Kremlin’s expectations, the war has consolidated the West, rather than weakened it,” Garton Ash, Leonard and Kraste wrote.
“If the risk of a transatlantic split still exists, it comes from within: a possible victory by Donald Trump in the American presidential election in 2024 could be more threatening to Western unity than anything that Russia has so far been able to muster.”
“This may end up being the biggest geopolitical turning point revealed by the war: that the consolidation of the West is taking place in an increasingly divided post-Western world,” they added.
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