A delegation of the Spanish Parliament and Senate visited the ICDS on 1 June as part of a tour of northern Europe to hear views about Russia, its war in Ukraine, and what else might be done to help Ukraine.
ICDS researcher Kalev Stoicescu noted that if Georgia in 2008 was a bad dream and Ukraine in 2014 a wake-up call, then the situation in Ukraine today is a blazing fire. He explained Russia’s assumptions and expectations at the start of the war. Russia has made confrontation with the West part of its national identity. If it again escapes the consequences of its aggression against Ukraine and is not made to take responsibility for its actions, it is certain that the horrors will not end. But there is still hope for the Western value space in the current situation if we set a clear goal and fully commit ourselves to achieving it. There are no simple solutions, and there is no option on the table in which everyone wins. One party must lose, and it cannot be Ukraine and the West that supports it.
The ICDS team also noted, regarding possible diplomatic solutions to the war, that oil and gas move from east to west, but phone calls from west to east. The decision when and under what conditions to conclude a ceasefire is for Ukraine alone; meanwhile, the West must continue its support. It is debatable whether this has been sufficient and has come quickly enough, but the cohesion of NATO and the EU since 24 February has been extraordinary and will provide solid grounds for NATO’s upcoming Madrid Summit. Sanctions, though, cannot be an end in themselves. They can only serve as a means to achieve objectives. Russia must be weakened until the Kremlin no longer poses a threat to others. Concerning the Alliance’s southern agenda, the meeting also discussed the struggle in Africa between autocracy and democracy.