The longer the war goes on, the more the early anti-Putin momentum could be stalled by political stresses, an energy crisis and the huge bill for military and humanitarian aid
How long will the western democracies maintain present levels of support for Ukraine? The war’s economic impact, already manifesting itself through spiralling inflation and living costs, could have seriously negative political consequences for elected leaders in the US, Germany, France and the UK. If public willingness to make difficult sacrifices diminishes in the months ahead and the conflict slips off the front pages, will they stay the course?
As Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, is keenly aware, western love for his country is already highly conditional. Military assistance is limited by Nato’s fear of provoking Vladimir Putin. Emmanuel Macron, France’s president, is “over-eagerly” pushing for a negotiated deal at the risk, British officials claim, of overriding Kyiv’s best interests. Accused by his far-right rival, Marine Le Pen, of ignoring domestic problems, Macron’s poll lead has narrowed before this month’s two-round election.