The Weaponisation of the Environment in the War in Ukraine

“Armed conflicts have contributed to environmental degradation for thousands of years” (Palczewska, 2022, p. 100). The war in Ukraine is no exception; the conflict already has an immense impact on the soil, water and air quality as well as the biodiversity of the largest European country.

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Refusing a second Finlandization

Europe is again amidst a security crisis, the roots of which go far beyond the unsolved issues with post-Soviet Russia and NATO enlargement towards the East of Europe. The current invasion of Ukraine shows that two opposing international concepts are on the battleground. On the one side, there is a vision that officially supports the right of non-interference in a multipolar world whilst, in reality, abusing sovereign power, imposing it on other nations and dividing the world into areas of one-dominant country influence

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Germany Prepares Permanent Force in Lithuania

Germany is preparing to permanently station 4,000 troops in Lithuania to strengthen NATO’s Eastern Flank. This was announced by German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius during a visit to the Lithuanian capital Vilnius on Monday (The Associated Press, 2023). “We explicitly acknowledge our responsibility and our obligation as a NATO member state, as the largest economy in Europe, to stand up for the protection of the eastern flank”, Pistorius stated (Pitel & Foy, 2023). Pistorius was accompanied by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, who welcomed this announcement and praised Germany for its dedication to NATO’s collective defence strategy (The Associated Press, 2023).

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France says yes to Ukraine’s Acession to NATO

On the 12 June 2023, a French Defence Council examined the possibility of an accession of Ukraine to NATO once the war is over (Pietralunga & Ricard, 2023). Paris used to be reluctant, alongside Berlin and Washington (Pietralunga & Ricard, 2023; Smolar, 2023). France now regards Kiev’s membership as a viable option to guarantee security in Europe in the coming years (Pietralunga & Ricard, 2023). This recent change of mind also expresses a determination to increase pressure on Moscow to halt its war in Ukraine. It further conveys France’s support to Kiev at a time when its counter-offensive is facing difficulties (Pietralunga & Ricard, 2023)

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