The EU leaders have decided to go ahead and use profits from frozen Russian assets to support Ukraine. Prior to the decision, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had repeatedly called for the assets to be confiscated but failed to gain majority support. Commentators are happy that Europe has recognized the seriousness of the situation, but for some it is still too sluggish in its actions.

Make the most of the assets

Russian funds should be used to help Ukraine defend itself, Obozrevatel urges:

“Europe is formally trying to avoid the inevitable risks associated with [full] confiscation. Firstly, in the event of an immediate seizure of sovereign Kremlin billions, European financial companies would face lawsuits brought by the Russian Federation. Secondly, the Kremlin would seize Western assets in response. But to be honest, the EU's hesitation is an expression of cowardice. ... Because in any case Putin will nationalise all major Western companies in Russia, and then the West will also have to decide how to respond to confiscations. Sooner or - as often happens - later.” Orest Sochar


Ukraine has a reliable coalition

Unlike Moscow, Kyiv has real partners, writes Telegraf:

“Both Beijing and Tehran are ashamed to admit that they support Moscow. They conceal their support and deny that they are supplying arms. ... What's more, Russia's current partners are mainly focused on their economic interests. This means that they are simply exploiting its vulnerable position by consuming its resources for what basically amounts to dumping prices. ... This is the big difference between the genuine Western coalition in support of Ukraine and the very conditional Eastern coalition in support of Russia. ... Yes, there is a certain 'axis of evil' that includes North Korea and vassal states like Belarus as well as the trio mentioned above. But this is not a real coalition.” Serhij Harmasch

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Go the whole hog

As US support for Kyiv falters Europe must pick up the slack, La Stampa demands:


“The support already provided will not be enough to turn the conflict around. At best it will enable Ukraine to maintain its lines of defense. Much more is needed to restore peace in Europe. ... The European Council is aware that it will increasingly be up to Europe to ensure the defense of Ukraine. And although a Russian attack on other European countries is not imminent, the risk would increase exponentially if Europe fails to support Kyiv. ... The human and economic costs of such a failure would be infinitely greater than the crumbs Ukraine has been given so far.” Nathalie Tocci

From multiculti to military

Radio Kommersant FM outlines the challenge the EU faces:

“One can dare to describe the EU summit as historic. The main topic is not so much the fate of the frozen Russian assets, but the fact that the community is likely discussing the transition of the economy to a war mode for the first time. ... Europe was completely unprepared for the war. Nobody expected it, nobody thought it possible. What were the priorities? The climate - manuals were being written for farmers on how much carbon dioxide their cows were allowed to emit so as not to harm the environment. ... What else? Gender neutrality, multiculturalism, equality. Against this nice, rosy background, the military threat was forgotten.” Dmitrij Drise


The West will keep dithering

Neatkarīgā does not believe that Europe or the other Western allies will change their stance:

“Russia's economy is gradually being turned into a full-blown war economy. ... This means we can expect the Russian army's military force to become more and more powerful and effective. ... History teaches us that the West, despite its current military superiority, will avoid any military conflict with Russia for as long as it can…. This will naturally encourage Putin.... The West is hoping to delay things until Putin leaves the stage and then negotiate some kind of deal with the new Kremlin bosses. The question is how long that will take and how much will Putin have achieved by then.”

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Comments (2)
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Spijker op z'n kop, goed gezegd.
Mark Rockford
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They need to stop being afraid, and just confiscate the money already. Russia will do nothing. They are perpetually on the verge of collapse, and our choice to seal with them slowly actually sustains them. Take all their money, drive their invasion forces out of Ukraine. Isolate Putin and ALL of his government. The Russian Federation will collapse, and the internal power struggle that will take place inside Russia after that will deal with Putin and his cronies.

Mark Rockford
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@Mark Rockford, Our choice to *deal* with them slowly, I should have typed. I would also add that future Russian pleas for international aid when their country descends into civil war should be tied to demilitarization and reparations. Both to Ukraine directly, and all the countries that spent money helping Ukraine defend and rebuild itself. Russia will be allowed to continue to exist, but never again as it once was. Putin will be remembered as the genocidal madman who was defeated by Ukraine, and ended Russia in the process. Nothing more.