The recent major Russian offensive in Ukraine, which began in the early morning of February 24 after seven years of frozen conflict, has triggered extraordinary international reactions that are likely to completely reshape the geopolitical reality in Europe. This change must have come as a shock to many, including decision-makers in Russia.
Germany announced an extreme reshaping of its foreign and security policy, sending lethal weapons to Ukraine and announcing a drastic increase of its defense budget. The EU is still a "military dwarf," but the organization's decision to support one of the fighting parties with lethal military aid could spark a debate on the supranationalization of the CFSP. Current events have reinvigorated domestic debates in Finland and Sweden about possible NATO accession, although this remains unlikely. The escalation has also demonstrated the great geopolitical importance of Central and Eastern European countries and the indispensability of the U.S. as NATO's anchor country and Europe's protecting power. The only thing that is certain today is that Europe's future security architecture will look very different from what it did before February 24.