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The Only Way to End the War

The faster that Ukraine gets the means to expel Russian forces, the better for it and the rest of Europe. But the European Union must not only ensure that Ukraine can attain a just and lasting peace as quickly as possible; it also must support Ukraine’s efforts to transform itself into a prosperous EU member.

BRUSSELS – Russia’s war against Ukraine, like almost all wars, will end at the negotiating table. But negotiations cannot start until Ukraine’s territorial integrity has been restored. Since a change of heart in Moscow is unlikely in the short term, the faster that Ukraine gets the means to force Russian troops to return to Russia and stay there, the better – for Ukraine and the rest of Europe.

We should all aim for a swift conclusion of the fighting. But, paradoxically, to bring about that outcome, we must make clear to Russian President Vladimir Putin that we will stay the course, doing whatever it takes for as long as it takes, so that he sees there is no point in endlessly sending young Russians into the meat grinder that is the Ukrainian front.

Putin will not win this war. In fact, he has already lost it. But he could prolong it or create a semi-frozen conflict if Ukraine is deprived of what it needs to expel Russian forces. For any peace to last, it must be just. And to be just, it must respect Ukraine’s international borders, its democracy, its statehood, and its right to choose its own destiny.

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