November 30, 2023


Welcome to the matrix, where not all allies are created equal. To help you see who’s putting the most into defending Ukraine, and what complications exist for reducing dependencies on Russia, we’ve plotted 35 countries that are participating in the EU, NATO and G-7 summits in Brussels this week according to their level of Russia skepticism and economic links. POLITICO is also tracking who is sending weapons to Ukraine.

Joe Biden is in Europe this week, for the second time in his presidency. The United States has come out swinging against Moscow with sanctions, though the American economy has taken few direct hits from cutting ties to Russian oil and gas.

It’s not that easy for European governments: Some depend entirely on Russia to keep the lights on. It may take months, if not years, to implement major shifts in fuel sources despite offers of new liquid natural gas shipments from the U.S. and elsewhere.

There’s also a big difference among countries with Russia ties: Some countries border Russia or Ukraine and refuse to be silenced despite the risks, while others are trying to please both Moscow and the Brussels/Washington axis.

Different summit formats bring different parties to the table. Only 21 of the 27 EU members are in the NATO alliance, leaving Austria, Cyprus, Finland, Ireland, Malta and Sweden on the sidelines of key military discussion.

Other European players including the U.K., Norway and Switzerland are not in the EU — and Britain’s Boris Johnson was intentionally not invited to the EU summit (there’s bad blood from his 2016 campaign to leave the bloc).

Japan is in the G-7 only, and Serbia is in none of the clubs.


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