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“Between the EU and the United States, the two pillars of NATO, the power gap is widening at the expense of the Europeans”


QWhen they meet with the United States for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, on July 11-12, the European allies will be in the position of vassals – more dominated than never by the Americans. Between the two pillars of the Atlantic Alliance, the power gap is widening. At the expense of Europeans and in all areas.

At least this is the conclusion of a comparative study conducted by two researchers from the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR): “The art of vassalization” (April 2023). Jana Puglierin and Jeremy Shapiro do the accounts. They draw up an inventory. The war in Ukraine revealed an increasingly unbalanced situation between the two blocs of the Atlantic Alliance. The matter goes beyond the sole question of their contribution to the NATO budget.

It is not that the European Union (EU) failed in its duties in the face of Russian aggression. The Twenty-Seven deliver substantial civilian and military aid, they provide Kiev with multifaceted assistance, they welcome refugees, they sanction Moscow and have, in particular, taken the decision, as strategic as it is radical, of an embargo on imports of Russian gas and oil. Their political support is strong, their representatives flock to kyiv. Finally, the Europeans have just decided to make the relationship thus developed with Ukraine – a country which is destined to join the EU – a long-term one.

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But to this day, throughout this tragedy, the United States has given the there. They were the first to announce that Vladimir Putin was going to war. They have, at each stage, fixed the level of armaments that could be delivered to Ukraine. They bring to the battlefield, in real time, the information that Ukrainian defenders need. The crisis is unfolding as it did during the Cold War. It is managed, broadly, under American leadership. Because the Europeans have still not developed the instruments for the beginnings of strategic autonomy?

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Puglierin and Shapiro recall the psychodrama to which Berlin’s decision to deliver Leopard 2 tanks to kyiv gave rise. Chancellor Olaf Scholz did not want “go there alone”. He would not send Leopard 2s to the Ukrainian front until they were accompanied by American tanks. It was a way of protection, we were waiting for the green light from the United States. It came in the form of about thirty Abrams heavy tanks.

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