Russia’s war against Ukraine, which began on February 24, 2022, has become Europe’s biggest military conflict since World War II.
This conflict changed the course of history forever and continues to do so. More precisely:
1. Sweden will provide military assistance to Ukraine, including anti-tank weapons, helmets and body armor. The last time this neutral country supplied weapons to conflict zones was 83 years ago, when Finland was attacked by the Soviet Union.
2. On February 28, 2022, the UN General Assembly called an extraordinary emergency session to condemn Russia’s military attacks on Ukraine. The emergency session was the UN’s first in 40 years and just the 11th in the organization’s history.
3. The EU will provide Ukraine with €500 million in lethal weapons and €50 million in assistance (non-lethal goods). This step is unprecedented for the EU and the first in history. The EU will use a special “European Peace Fund” worth more than 5 billion euros.
4. Germany is ending its long-standing policy of blocking arms supplies to military conflict zones. Instead, it will send Ukraine anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons, as well as let the Netherlands and Estonia send multiple rocket launchers and howitzers to Ukraine. Due to postwar shame, Germany had developed a cautious approach to international wars.
5. Switzerland has given up its neutrality and joined the EU’s sanctions on Russia, which include asset freezes, account closures, and the shutdown of the skies to Russian planes. Immediate financial sanctions will be imposed on Russia’s president, prime minister and minister of foreign affairs. Political isolationism in Switzerland dates back over two centuries.
Photo: Aris Messinis for AFP
6. The Norwegian government has decided to send lethal weapons to Ukraine. This decision cancels Norway’s policy that has been in place since the 1950s. In the past, the country has not sent weaponry to non-NATO countries in a state of war or armed conflict.
7. Finland is now closer than ever to joining NATO. Finland has traditionally been a non-aligned country, but the Russian invasion of Ukraine has altered that, and the country’s prime minister has stated that now NATO membership is being considered.
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