To what extent do Ukrainian and Western (NATO/EU) interests overlap?
As I understand it, NATO allowed Ukraine to take the initial steps toward membership in the George W. Bush Administration. However, neither France nor Germany was eager to have Ukraine admitted. Probably didn’t want to make a permanent enemy out of Russia and—maybe—resented American bullying. Have they changed their minds on NATO membership?
Moreover, Ukraine had an on-going territorial dispute with Russia before the current unpleasantness: Crimea and the Eastern Donbas. Will Russia have to surrender these as part off the peace settlement? Or will Ukraine have to surrender them as the price of something with which the Russians can live? Back at the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union, the electoral maps show that Crimea was the area least enthusiastic about leaving Russia for Ukraine and the two eastern oblasts weren’t all that far behind.
The EU was OK with an Association Agreement with Ukraine in 2014, but not full membership. They had various requirements. Have those requirements been fulfilled in the years since? Then, the place seems to me to be a kleptocracy. It’s why Ukrainian voters put a stand-up comedian into the presidency.
Is the West going to get carried away by emotion and shoulder what may be a heavy burden because we admire the Ukrainian people’s resistance to Russian aggression? Can the West use post-war negotiations to help Zelensky/force Ukraine to clean up its political system?
There’s been a lot of damage done. Who pays to fix up things? Who pays compensation for lives lost or ruined? Russia? Hard to do if it is permanently closed out of world energy markets. Ukraine itself? The West?