The Nato summit in Madrid, which focused mainly on the war in Ukraine, comes to an end today. The participants decided that Russia will no longer enjoy partner status but will once again be viewed as the Alliance’s greatest threat. In addition, Turkey lifted its opposition to the accession of Sweden and Finland. Europe’s press draws parallels to the Cold War and reflects on the re-militarization of the continent.

Today, Europe’s press debates the G7 summit and its implications for Ukraine. Here are some opinions from a selection of European publications presented by eurotopics.

Poland becoming a frontline state

Gazeta Wyborcza sees this as the start of a new era:

“Vladimir Putin had threatened Europe with turning off the gas tap and using Russian nuclear weapons to force recognition of his spheres of influence. The war in Ukraine has shattered the myth of a strong Russian military. Nato enlargement has shown that Putin’s threats were empty. It has also shown that we can get by without Russian gas. But that is not the end of the matter. The conflict in Ukraine is likely to continue for many months and take the form of a war of attrition. In Poland, we are returning to the Cold War era and our country will henceforth play the role of a frontline state, as West Germany once did.”



The new cold war will be costly

Jornal de Notícias points to the high military spending that the new Nato plans entail:

“Among the decisions taken at the Madrid summit is a commitment to increase the number of troops ready for action from 40,000 to 300,000 – with all that entails in terms of training and equipment and costs to the taxpayer. A change that will also affect Portugal. To boost our contingent sevenfold at Nato’s orders (which would require 12,000 well-armed soldiers, fifty aircraft, seven warships and more than 2,000 tactical vehicles, which the country does’t have) means an even bigger bill in the coming years. … The cold war will be costly.”



Supplying more weapons was not possible

The West hasn’t been able to supply Ukraine with more weapons so far, The Insider explains:

“Firstly, there was the post-Cold War refusal of the Nato states to stockpile as part of their defense policy. They simply don’t have hundreds and thousands of howitzers, rocket launchers and tanks in their depots. Moreover, Ukraine has no qualified soldiers who could be sent en masse to be trained in the use of these weapons while others fight Russia. Secondly, the Alliance’s own defense plan imposes constraints. It wasn’t possible to take large quantities of modern weaponry from one member army without risking a serious reduction in the collective defense capability of all allies.”

Moscow the arch-enemy once more

The Aargauer Zeitung feels like the clock has been turned back:

“The new reality is really just the old reality of the Cold War we thought had been left behind since the 1990s. Once again it is Russia and its despotic leadership that is threatening the open societies of the West with its imperial power policy. The world’s most powerful defense alliance is reacting to this and defining Moscow once more again as the number one enemy, which is only logical. If the war in Ukraine can teach us anything, it is this: Nato is by no means ‘superfluous’, as former US President Donald Trump claimed.”


New strategy on the eastern flank needed

Threats are useless, Wprost stresses:

“The war in Ukraine requires a change in the strategy the Alliance has used so far, which has been based on trying to deter Moscow with the mere prospect that it might be punished for an attempt at aggression. … Only Nato troops stationed on the Alliance’s borders can put a stop to its aggressive intentions. … And the announcement that Russia has been recognised as a strategic threat to the Alliance is no reason to rejoice. We all knew that. If this declaration is not followed by concrete action, nothing will change except the rhetoric.”

Do everything to reduce hunger and suffering

Novi list underlines the importance of the decisions to be taken in the coming days:

“No one can predict what the world will look like by the end of the year. Will we be hungry and unemployed this winter? Will we freeze? Will the war in Ukraine escalate? The summit in Madrid will not answer any of these questions. But the decisions taken there will certainly influence the outcome of the greatest geopolitical destabilization since World War II. It is to be hoped that all those involved – especially in Moscow, but elsewhere too – will have the prudence and wisdom to bring these events to an end as soon and as amicably as possible.”


Keep the squeeze on Russia

Now is the time to exploit Moscow’s vulnerability militarily, writes General Waldemar Skrzypczak in Wprost:

“Thanks to Ukraine, Nato now has an opportunity it must seize. The Russian economy and army are weaker now than they will be for a long time. Politically, Russia is already partially isolated. One by one its allies are refusing to support it militarily. The process of weakening Russia must be driven forward so that future generations of Europeans will never again have to live in the shadow of an impending war. … This could be the result of the Madrid Summit.”

Convince Putin that guarantees apply

Nato must clearly show that it is serious about defending its eastern flank, the Financial Times demands:

“Nine Nato states now meet the target of spending 2 per cent of economic output on defence; 19 more have ‘clear plans’ to do so by 2024. Yet Western allies have made too many declarations since Russia seized Crimea and parts of east Ukraine in 2014, without proper implementation. The priority is to convince Putin – who some officials fear does not think Nato’s defence of the Baltics is credible – that the alliance’s security guarantees apply equally across all members.”

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here
You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter