The Western world responded with unity to Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and its ongoing proxy war in eastern Ukraine. The transatlantic alliance has held firm in maintenance of economic sanctions until Russia complies with its international commitments.
However, the war in Ukraine’s Donbas region continues to cost lives on an almost daily basis and threatens to become a humanitarian disaster in Eastern Europe. Meanwhile, questions have arisen over whether transatlantic unity could be undermined following an alarmist reaction in Europe to the decision by U.S. Congress to strengthen Russia sanctions.
Russian President Vladimir Putin recently proposed a UN Mission to protect the OSCE monitors along the Line of Contact in eastern Ukraine: a proposal that is unacceptable to Ukraine and the west. However, transatlantic partners – led by the U.S. – believe President Putin’s willingness to negotiate a meaningful mission should be tested.
To discuss the current situation in Ukraine and the imperative of maintaining transatlantic unity, Hudson Institute was honored to welcome H.E. Anders Fogh Rasmussen for a keynote speech and panel discussion. Rasmussen is the former Secretary General of NATO and Prime Minister of Denmark and currently serves as an external adviser to President Poroshenko of Ukraine. He recently returned from the Line of Contact between Ukrainian and Russian-backed forces in Donbas.