I don’t think this declaration by Germany’s Foreign Minister is going to age well, especially how it calls back to the infamous Lebensraum policy of the Third Reich.
Ukraine’s future “lies in” the European Union, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on Monday, adding that the bloc would soon incorporate regions that had joined Russia in 2022 but are still claimed by Kiev.
“[The EU] will soon stretch from Lisbon to Lugansk,” Baerbock told journalists on the sidelines of the EU foreign ministers’ meeting in the Ukrainian capital.
Lugansk is the capital of the Lugansk People’s Republic – one of the two former eastern Ukrainian regions that declared independence from Kiev in 2014 in the wake of the Western-backed Maidan coup in Kiev. Russia recognized its independence in February 2022, just days before the start of its military campaign in Ukraine. In autumn 2022, the Lugansk People’s Republic joined Russia, together with three other former Ukrainian territories following a series of referendums.
I don’t think this will surprise the Russians, who have known they were going to have to defeat NATO directly ever since the decapitation attack on Kiev failed at the beginning of the special military operation. And while I’m confident the Russians aren’t seeking a European empire, I think it is far more likely that Imperial Russia will stretch from Primorsky Krai to Porto than the EU will reach Lugansk. I very much doubt either Ukraine or the EU will survive WWIII as political entities.
This does not bode well for Europeans who had hoped for saner governments in the aftermath of the inevitable failure of the Ukro-NATO offensive.