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Vladimir Putin

Putin has united Europe against him

Volodymyr Zelensky receives a standing ovation in the EU parliament

Until a week ago things were going as well as Vladimir Putin could have hoped for, says Fraser Nelson in The Daily Telegraph. Nato seemed a relic; the queue of world leaders waiting to sit at the end of Putin’s long table appeared to show where power lay. “Now things have changed – and changed utterly.” Europe, not just the EU, is uniting. Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, is selling its stakes in Russian companies. Not long ago, Britain was the only country sending weapons to Ukraine. Now, 20 nations are doing so, including Sweden, which “hasn’t sent arms to a war zone in 80 years”.

Olaf Scholz, Germany’s new chancellor, is “barely recognisable” from the vacillating figure of a few weeks ago: he has agreed not just to kick several Russian banks off the Swift banking payments system but to ditch Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. “You want peace?” says Polish president Andrzej Duda. “Get ready for war.” Two years ago, Macron denounced Nato as “brain dead”; now all of a sudden he’s “talking like Reagan”, and the only question is how much bigger the alliance gets. Sweden and Finland, neither of which joined Nato in the Cold War, are seriously debating doing so. Had any of this coherence looked likely two weeks ago, Putin might not have invaded. This could still be a long war. “But it really seems as if Europe will face it together.”