“As Long as Putin Is in Power, There Is No Security With Russia, Only Against It”

During an Inspiring Round­table last week, we discussed the West’s future Russia policy on the basis of four key countries’ approach — Poland, France, Germany and the US. Some short takeaways:

1) A Russian defeat in Ukraine is key for the future European security order and the condition for any new beginning with Russia. The West urgently needs to agree on the outcome of this war and provide Ukraine the military and financial assis­tance to win.

2) Strength­ening Ukraine and Russia’s European neigh­bour­hood is the best insurance for peace and security in Europe. It is also the most effective lever to influence devel­op­ments in Russia for the better. Any future European security order must include Ukraine.

3) As long as the current regime and its revan­chist policies are in power, there is no security with Russia, but only security against it. Contain­ment and deter­rence plus support for the demo­c­ratic oppo­si­tion are the coor­di­nates of our future Russia policy until further notice.

4) We cannot spare Russia the farewell to empire. Without trans­for­ma­tion into a nation state with defined borders, there can be no sustain­able peace in Europe. To break the imperial nostalgia, the shock of defeat in Ukraine is needed.

5) The West must confront Russia from a position of strength. Every signal of weakness is under­stood as an invi­ta­tion to cross the next border. This is above all a lesson for German politics.


The round­table was held in the framework of the project Inter­na­tional Expert Network Russia, which is supported by the German Foreign Ministry. The papers discussed can be accessed here.

The discus­sion was held under Chatham House Rules.

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