“The World Order Holds – For Now”, Sven Biscop (Egmont, Belgium)

Does the Russian invasion of Ukraine herald the end of the world order? The same was said in 2008, when Russia waged war against Georgia, and in 2014, after its first attack on Ukraine. In reality the system is holding, at both at the European and the global level, but great challenges are apparent.

The core of the European security architecture are the European Union and NATO (i.e. including the American security guarantee). They work – for their members. The EU and NATO on the one hand and Russia on the other hand respect an implicit limit: the former do not send troops into Ukraine, and the latter withholds from direct military action against them. Thus they avoid a great power war and the risk of nuclear escalation. Which means, of course, that Ukraine pays the price. What does not work, are the broader organisations: Russia purposely broke the rules that it subscribed to in the OSCE and the Council of Europe.

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