Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 was a pivotal moment for European and global security. The invasion triggered strong Western sanctions on Russia. The West also provided Kyiv with extensive support in the form of military equipment, financial assistance and military training. Spurred by their own unpreparedness for large-scale conflict, Europeans have taken some steps to buttress their defences and many countries have announced large increases in defence spending. However, European countries have now used up much of their preexisting stocks of weapons and ammunition, and they are struggling to produce enough to supply Ukraine with what it needs to defend itself. As Russia rapidly scales up its own military production, it may gain the upper hand, removing any incentives for Putin to negotiate. If Russia prevails, an emboldened Putin may be tempted to capitalise on Russia’s strengthened military to test NATO’s defences in the Baltics, potentially leading to a catastrophic conflict.
Author: Luigi Scazzieri, senior research fellow, Centre for European Reform.
This text has originally been published on the Centre for European Reform website.