NATO’s Fraying Unity on Russia Policy

Biden’s approach to Russia-Ukraine war was based on the assumption that there would be widespread international support for a coercive reaction to Russia’s invasion. There were signs that Washington’s belief in a coercive response to Russia’s invasion was flawed even during the initial weeks of conflict. Biden’s claim that the world was united against Russia’s “aggression” was nothing more than wishful thinking. A United Nations General Assembly vote calling to withdraw Russian forces was rescinded by a large number of defections less than a week after the outbreak of war. Out of the five nays, 35 abstentions were recorded–even though resolution didn’t commit U.N. members any substantive action.

The majority of abstentions were from Africa and Asia. This vote was a sign of widespread indifference towards the war and a strong opposition to Washington’s efforts to punish and isolate Russia. The problem got worse over time. Except for NATO and its long-standing allies in East Asia the global map did not support economic sanctions against Russia. It also did not support economic or military backing for Ukraine.

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