Britain's Leadership in the Formation of the New Europe
A new role of Britain in European affairs began to form in 2016, when Great Britain left the European Union and began to promote the concept of a global Britain. Creation of a corresponding belt in Europe, which would fully work to contain aggressive russian policy including against Britain itself, was one of the components of this concept.
It is about the well-known events regarding the poisoning in Salisbury. At that time, British Foreign Ministry assessed this act of the Russian Federation as an act of aggression against Great Britain. That is why the British began to call for a new partnership of states that have a common interest in countering the aggressive foreign policy of the Russian Federation.
The idea of forming partners around a common vital interest of ensuring the protection of statehood, sovereignty and territorial integrity worked even before the war. This policy became effective and expanded already during the large-scale invasion of the Russian Federation into Ukraine.
The concept of the new safety belt was first presented at the expert level. The Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI), founded back in 1831, became one of the leading British think tanks engaged in its scientific support.
The belt of partner states includes the Baltic states, Poland, Ukraine, Turkey and the countries of Northern Europe. The main thing that united this belt from London to Ankara was that all its participants had problems with the Russian Federation in terms of security and defence.
This belt, which was initially formed at the concept level, began to be formalized in the relevant political documents in 2019. For example, on 17 February 2022, the Alliance of Ukraine, Great Britain and Poland was launched as a military-political format of tripartite cooperation between Great Britain, Poland and Ukraine to counter the Russian threat and work together for the sake of European security.
This alliance became part of Ukraine's broader strategy of creating small alliances: “Lublin Triangle” (Ukraine-Poland-Lithuania), “Associated Trio” (Ukraine-Georgia-Moldova), “Quadriga” (Ukraine-Turkey).
We should draw attention to the powerful assistance that Sweden and other Northern European states began to provide to Ukraine during the war. Thus, even before 24 February, this entire belt had a clear understanding of the Russian threat. And Britain was one of the top leaders and, in a military-technical sense, made a lot of efforts to conduct military training for representatives of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and provide the necessary weapons for the Ukrainian defence and security forces.
This formation of New Europe (New Europe is a concept of a political space that is formed as more general and less formalized than the EU, and is not bound by obligations of various nature with the Russian Federation) within the old conditions and became the first dynamic blow from the collective West on Russia.
Support in war
When Putin launched a second wave of aggression against Ukraine on 24 February, Great Britain guaranteed that it would provide all the necessary military and technical assistance together with its partners. Poland and Northern Europe began to provide weapons. Turkey closed the Bosphorus and Dardanelles, strengthened military-technical cooperation in many areas, including UAVs. The Baltic States began to repair the military equipment and continue to do so.
Great Britain acted as a certain political guarantor to Ukraine that we would have everything necessary for victory, and confirmed its position at the G7 summit in summer 2022. This is how Britain confirmed its guarantor status both for Ukraine and for the entire belt of partner states.
The principled position of Britain and the countries of the belt led to drastic historical changes in the common foreign policy within the EU and NATO. In particular, the EU actually proved itself as a military and political leader, which turned out to be more mobile and dynamic in its response to a military threat than NATO. It is thanks to the leadership of Britain and allies from the belt of New Europe that a historic change in approaches occurred in foreign policies of Germany and France.
Here we should recall the talks of Prime Minister Boris Johnson with Scholz and Macron, when Johnson directly said that he would like to see more resistance to Russian aggression from these leaders of old Europe. The creation of a tank coalition led by Poland became a significant influencing factor as well. All this led to the fact that the foreign policy of Germany and France has shifted from the rhetoric about the possibility of negotiating to the policy followed by the countries of the belt.
New EU philosophy
The philosophy promoted by the London-Ankara axis has become the philosophy that the EU works with. In addition to that, under its influence, there was a fundamental historical event in world politics: Finland, which was a neutral state since 1948, became a member of NATO in 2023. As US President Biden noted, Putin thought he would achieve the "Finlandization" of NATO, but he got the "Natoization" of Finland." Turkey played the major role in this by initially restraining the membership of Finland and Sweden, and then giving the green light. That is, NATO will expand thanks to the states of New Europe: Sweden, Finland, and Ukraine.
Of course, no allied relations of Britain, no powerful political strategy of Britain in the modern history during and after the World War II was built without an alliance with the US.
That is, all the decisions of the countries of the London-Ankara belt also led to the creation of the Ramstein+ format under the auspices of the US. This belt became the primary reason for the activation of the old Europe and the American establishment regarding more active support of Ukraine in countering Russian aggression.
We can already clearly say that the role that Britain has chosen for itself, as well as the formation of the New Europe belt by London, is completely beneficial and suits Ukraine. Soon, Ukraine will also integrate into the EU and NATO. The relevant political decisions have already been made, now it is a matter of victory on the battlefield and formalizing the defeat of Russia from a military, political and legal points of view.