Munich Security Conference: "The West has never been so desperate"

The war in Ukraine, the war in the Middle East, the death of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny: Over the weekend, the Munich Security Conference focused primarily on the world’s crises. This is how the press assesses the meeting of the elite.

“Badische Zeitung” (Freiburg): “Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Defense Minister Boris Pistorius gave remarkable speeches at the Munich Security Conference. ‘Without security, everything else is nothing’ – Scholz’s credo sounds banal. But if you consider that security policy was not a priority in Germany for 30 years, it is “It’s an important confession.”

“Südkurier” (Constance): “Vladimir Putin managed to become the dominant player in Munich without even being present. Two greetings of love from Moscow demonstrated to those present how bad things are after two years of war for Ukraine and the power of the West: Just in time for the start of the conference, the news of Navalny’s death and the fall of Avdiivka came. The Ukrainian president increasingly has his back to the wall. But neither the Europeans nor the USA are willing or able to supply him with sufficient ammunition and weapons. The message emanating from Munich is that of a helpless, indecisive West.”

“Augsburger Allgemeine”: “Sure, Trump hasn’t said anything new, and it’s still far from certain that the former real estate agent will actually move back into the White House in the fall. Nevertheless, it’s good if the Europeans finally realize that they have to do more for their defense , if they don’t want to be alarmed by every change in the wind in Washington.”

“Ludwigsburg district newspaper”: “There is no shortage of confessions that Europe must do more to support Ukraine and arm itself against Russian aggression. Just as few as last year. And the consequences? It will be about an EU defense commissioner and European nuclear bombs Fabulous. While Russia has switched to a war economy, progress in Europe is far too slow and laborious. As if Ukraine, which is increasingly under military pressure, had all the time in the world. No wonder that in Munich the optimism of the past year is replaced by sober realism and bitterness has given way.”

“Nuremberger Zeitung”: “If the security conference at least served to reassure the West, the international community appeared powerless in the face of the Gaza war and the other Middle East conflicts. Nobody could think of anything better than the famous two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians. But of that The parties to the conflict are more distant than ever before. And what about protecting the global climate, hunger and poverty in the world? Boosting arms production is currently ‘number one priority,’ said Sweden’s Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson. That wasn’t good news .”

“Munich Merkur”: “We have never seen the West as desperate as at Siko 2024. Putin’s psychological war was fully realized in Munich: the Kremlin boss presented his two trophies at the opening – the death of the resistance icon Alexei Navalny and the conquest of Avdiivka. It was the second Munich Shocking moment after Putin’s speech in 2007. ‘Without security, everything else is nothing’ was the sentence that stuck in the Chancellor’s speech. But now it can’t just be just words. A turning signal must come from the Siko of the helpless. The delivery of Taurus- Cruise missiles to Kiev, the ramp-up of weapons production, the debate about a European nuclear defense umbrella, an EU arms commissioner – all of this has to be on the table now if the sacrifices of the heroically fighting Ukrainians are not to be in vain and Europe does not want to wait for Putin to do so the next country attacks. But the Chancellor must finally muster the will to lead.”

International voices on the Munich Security Conference:

“Nepszava”, Hungary: “The news of the death of Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny changed the course of the Munich Security Conference somewhat. But perhaps it also brought the West to its senses: it must act as quickly as possible and deliver weapons to Ukraine, because if it doesn’t does, after Avdiivka other places on the front will also fall into the hands of the Russians – and the collapse would be inevitable. The EU’s neighbor could become a state that copies Stalin’s methods, that liquidates its political opponents, that arrests those who do one Remembering the deceased, putting the murderer on a pedestal. (…) At the Munich conference, Western heads of state and government may have also realized: Only they can help Ukraine, a miracle cannot.”

Telegraph, Great Britain: “The response from NATO leaders to the death of Alexei Navalny in a Siberian gulag was robust. They warned that Putin faces significant consequences, including further unspecified sanctions. But the outrage will be meaningless if Russia does can turn the tide in this war because the West abandoned Ukraine when it counted.”

“De Volkskrant”, Netherlands: “At the security conference in Munich, Yulia Navalnaya, the widow of Alexei Navalny, called on the world to oppose the ‘terrible regime’ in Russia. But especially in Munich there were serious doubts about the West’s resilience against Russia. (.. .) There will be no peace in Europe if Putin is not stopped. A victory for Russia would encourage dictators around the world to act according to the law of the strongest and to achieve their goals by force. Navalny’s death should further motivate the West to do so not to be allowed.”

Kommersant, Russia: “In order to give the event a global thematic dimension, the organizers tried to make the program as diverse as possible, but in the end everything somehow revolved around the conflict over Ukraine and the confrontation with Russia. (…) Many Senior participants at the event tried from the stage to exude optimism and confidence in Ukraine’s victory and the reliability of transatlantic relations, but they sounded pessimistic, uncertain and lost during numerous closed-door sessions that traditionally accompany the forum’s main program . (…) In Munich the speeches came to nothing. The security conference could not decide how to deal appropriately with Russia.”

“La Stampa”, Italy: “The Europeans are not sitting idle. But that is not enough. Chancellor Olaf Scholz has not made any new announcements, for example about the deployment of Taurus cruise missiles, while major European countries such as France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy and Poland have not taken the opportunity to signal loudly and clearly that we will do without the United States if Donald Trump is re-elected to the White House and carries out his threats to abandon Europe to its fate. (…) We should be determined “We then ask ourselves what we can do to stop wars and pave the way for a just peace.”

“Neuen Zürcher Zeitung”, Switzerland: “It is the name of a small Ukrainian town that symbolizes the mood at the 60th Munich Security Conference. When President Volodymyr Zelenskyj came to the event hotel ‘Bayerischer Hof’ at the weekend, pale and exhausted, Avdiivka had been a bulwark of the defenders for months in the Donbass.(…) The mood in Munich was correspondingly depressing. After there had been optimism in the same place last year in view of the impending Ukrainian offensive, an atmosphere was now spreading that had the characteristics of a quiet Western inclination Surrender wore.”