"The Kremlin is fighting a losing battle" - Josep Borrell
Ukraine's counteroffensive has started a new phase of the war. The Kremlin is fighting a losing battle against the background of sanctions pressure from the West, which will continue into the future
This was written by the head of diplomacy of the EU, Josep Borrell, in a column for Project-syndicate.
"The Ukrainian Armed Forces’ successful counteroffensive has already shifted the strategic balance on the ground. With Europe and its partners set to continue providing support to Ukraine and maintaining sanctions against Russia, the Kremlin is fighting a losing battle," Borrell said.
"It is not yet known how far the Ukrainian counteroffensive will go, but it is already clear that the strategic balance is shifting," the European diplomat said.
Borrell pointed to the effectiveness of anti-Russian sanctions as a tool of war. "Those who question the effectiveness of sanctions find themselves in an increasingly shaky position. In general, sanctions have a dual function: to signal and to coerce. The signal expresses opposition to a state's behavior, which in this case includes violations of international law and reckless attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure. And while we are not at war with Russia, coercion is aimed both at forcing a change in its behavior and at eroding the economic and technological means for its aggression."
He emphasized that the EU has meanwhile fully mobilized to confront the energy crisis. Gas storages are filled to more than 80% - much earlier than the planned date of November 1. The EU also agreed on clear goals for reducing gas consumption in winter. To help vulnerable consumers and businesses cope with price spikes, the EU is pushing for a contingency tax on energy companies that have made excess profits.