Ukraine invasion reshaped global alliances, renewed fears

Feb 17, 2023, 9:48 AM | Updated: 11:59 pm
FILE - President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelen...

FILE - President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

              FILE - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, left, shakes hands with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, as French President Emmanuel Macron looks on while they attend a joint press conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023. (Sarah Meyssonnier, Pool via AP, File)
              FILE - Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022. (Alexandr Demyanchuk, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)
              FILE - Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, left, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, second left, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, center, French President Emmanuel Macron second right, and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis meet for a working session in Mariinsky Palace, in Kyiv, Thursday, June 16, 2022. (Ludovic Marin, Pool via AP, File)
              FILE - From left, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, Prime Minister of Italy Mario Draghi, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, France's President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz attend a conference at the Mariyinsky palace in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, June 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko, File)
              FILE - From left, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and European Council President Charles Michel walk together to a media conference at an EU summit in Brussels on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, File)
              FILE - Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin pose for a photo on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022. (Alexandr Demyanchuk, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)
              FILE - Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, center, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pose for a photo prior to their talks at the Saadabad palace, in Tehran, Iran, Iran, Tuesday, July 19, 2022. (Sergei Savostyanov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)
              FILE - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy shakes hands with French President Emmanuel Macron during a press conference in Kyiv, Thursday, June 16, 2022. (Ludovic Marin, Pool via AP, File)
              FILE - British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy hold a news conference at a military facility in Lulworth, Dorset, England, Wednesday Feb. 8, 2023. (Peter Nicholls/Pool via AP, File)
              FILE - Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko talk during their meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence, outside Moscow, Russia, Friday, Feb. 17, 2023. (Vladimir Astapkovich, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)
              FILE - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appears on a large screen as he speaks via video conference during the 68th Annual Session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Madrid, Spain, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrea Comas, File)
              FILE - In this image from video provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, top from left: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, President of the European Council Charles Michel, second row from left, U.S. President Joe Biden, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, France's President Emmanuel Macron, third row from left, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Italy's Prime Minister Mario Draghi, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Britain's Prime Minister Liz Truss attend a video conference with G7 leaders and Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP, File)
              FILE - In this photo released by Kazakhstan's President Press Office, leaders of the Commonwealth of Independent States from the left, CIS Executive Secretary Sergei Lebedev, Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, Kyrgyzstan's President Sadyr Japarov, Kazakhstan's President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Tajikistan's President Emomali Rahmon, Turkmenistan's President Serdar Berdymukhamedov and Uzbekistan's President Shavkat Mirziyoyev pose for a photo on the sideline of the Summit of leaders from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), in Astana, Kazakhstan, Friday, Oct. 14, 2022. (Kazakhstan's President Press Office via AP, File)
              FILE - President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

BANGKOK (AP) — Nearly a year after Russia invaded Ukraine, the battlefield has narrowed and stiff resistance has forced Moscow to scale back its military goals. But the diplomatic consequences of the war still reverberate worldwide.

The fighting has reshaped global alliances, renewed old anxieties and breathed new life into NATO and the bond between Europe and the United States.

The invasion drew Moscow closer to Beijing and the pariah states of Iran and North Korea. It also raised broad questions about sovereignty, security and the use of military power, while intensifying fears about China’s designs on Taiwan.

“The war underscores the interrelationship between diplomacy and the use of force in a way that has not been thought about in quite the same fashion for many, many years,” said Ian Lesser, vice president of the German Marshall Fund think tank.

When Russian forces invaded on Feb. 24, it “marked the complete end of the post-Cold War world,” Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said last month in a speech at Johns Hopkins University. “It has come to light that globalization and interdependence alone cannot serve as a guarantor for peace and development across the globe.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed that Ukraine is an “integral part” of Russian history that never achieved “real statehood” — a stance that echoes Chinese President Xi Jinping’s position on Taiwan, a self-governed island that Beijing claims as its own.

Some six months after the invasion of Ukraine, China issued a white paper on Taiwan, saying the island “has been an integral part of China’s territory since ancient times.” The paper said Beijing seeks “peaceful reunification” but “will not renounce the use of force.”

China’s designs on Taiwan date to well before the war in Ukraine, but China stepped up its pressure over the past year or more, including firing ballistic missiles over the island and into Japanese waters in August in response to then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei.

If Russia is allowed to succeed in Ukraine, it could further embolden countries like China, with its visions of an international order “that diverge from ours and that we can never accept,” Kishida said.

He pledged to use Japan’s presidency of the G7 this year to strengthen “the unity of like-minded countries” against Russian aggression.

“If we let this unilateral change of the status quo by force go unchallenged, it will happen elsewhere in the world, including Asia,” he said.

A Chinese invasion of Taiwan would be far more complicated than Russia’s attack on Ukraine, said Euan Graham, a Singapore-based expert with the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

“Russia’s incompetent performance on the battlefield in Ukraine has to give pause to any military or senior political leader in China about an adventure on a much more ambitious scale with Taiwan,” Graham said.

But the fear is real. Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen extended the nation’s compulsory military service in a December announcement that referenced the war in Ukraine.

“They’ve drawn the lesson from Ukraine that you need to have a larger military reserve if there is a conflict,” Graham said.

North Korea, which has threatened to preemptively use nuclear weapons in a broad range of scenarios, was already a regional concern. But Russia’s suggestion that it could use nuclear weapons in Ukraine fueled new worries.

South Korea, which is under the protection of the American “nuclear umbrella,” last year expanded exercises with the U.S. military that had been downsized under the Trump administration. South Korea is also seeking stronger assurances that Washington will swiftly use its nuclear capabilities in the face of a North Korean nuclear attack.

North Korea has been strongly supportive of neighboring Russia. Late last year, the U.S. accused Pyongyang of supplying Russia with artillery shells.

Iran has also been helping Russia militarily, providing the bomb-carrying drones Moscow uses to strike power plants and civilian sites throughout Ukraine.

While Western allies have cooperated closely in their responses to the war, a major diplomatic challenge has been to convince much of the rest of the world of the invasion’s significance.

Only a handful of countries in Asia have taken tough action against Moscow, and many abstained from the United Nations resolution condemning the attack.

Just weeks before the invasion, China declared a “no limits” friendship with Russia. It has refused to criticize the war and has drawn closer to Russia, buying more of its oil and gas and helping Moscow to offset Western sanctions.

But there are signs of “complicated fault lines” in the China-Russia relationship, Jude Blanchette, an analyst with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said in a call with reporters.

During September talks in Uzbekistan, the Chinese president raised unspecified “concerns” with Putin over the invasion, though at the same time promised “strong support” to Russia’s “core interests.”

“I think if Xi Jinping could snap his fingers, he would like to see the war end but in a way that Russia comes out of this with Putin in power and Russia continuing to be a strong strategic partner,” Blanchette said.

India, which is heavily reliant on Russia for military equipment, also abstained from the U.N. resolution and has continued to purchase Russian oil.

But as regional rival China moves closer to Russia, India has quietly drifted toward the U.S., especially within the four Quad nations that also include Japan and Australia, said Viraj Solanki, a London-based expert with the IISS think tank.

In Europe, the invasion has reinvigorated NATO after a barrage of criticism from Donald Trump during his presidency that led French President Emmanuel Macron to declare the alliance had experienced “brain death.”

NATO member countries and allies have rallied to support Ukraine, with several changing policies that prohibited the export of weapons to countries in conflict. Perhaps most remarkably, Germany shed post-World War II taboos and provided Leopard battle tanks.

The war also prompted Finland and Sweden to seek NATO membership, which most experts think will be approved this year.

NATO last year singled out China for the first time as a strategic challenge, although not a direct adversary. The alliance warned about China’s growing military ambitions, its confrontational rhetoric and its increasingly close ties to Russia.

Beyond NATO, the war has also underscored the importance of the relationship between the U.S. and European Union, which Lesser said has been “absolutely critical” to sanctions and export controls.

China insists that it is the U.S. that started the Ukraine crisis, partially through NATO’s expansion into more Eastern European countries. Beijing has also criticized the alliance for suggesting the war could influence China’s actions in Asia.

“NATO claims to be a regional defense organization, but it keeps breaking through the territory and field, stirring up conflicts, creating tension, exaggerating threats and encouraging confrontation,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Wang Wenbin said Thursday.

The war’s long-term effects on global diplomacy are difficult to predict. But Lesser said one thing is certain: It will be “very hard for Russia to recover from the damage to its reputation on many levels.”

A core group of countries such as Syria, North Korea, Iran and Venezuela “may be inclined to stick with Russia,” he said. But in terms of broader diplomacy, Russia’s reputation “has experienced an enormous blow.”


Associated Press writers Lorne Cook in Brussels and Jon Gambrell in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, contributed to this report.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


File - Credit cards as seen July 1, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. A low credit score can hurt your ability...
Associated Press

What the Fed rate increase means for your credit card bill

The Federal Reserve raised its key rate by another quarter point Wednesday, bringing it to the highest level in 15 years as part of an ongoing effort to ease inflation by making borrowing more expensive.
9 hours ago
police lights distracted drivers shooting...
Associated Press

Authorities: Missing mom, daughter in Washington found dead

A missing Washington state woman and her daughter were found dead Wednesday, according to police.
9 hours ago
Associated Press

Google’s artificially intelligent ‘Bard’ set for next stage

Google announced Tuesday it's allowing more people to interact with “ Bard,” the artificially intelligent chatbot the company is building to counter Microsoft's early lead in a pivotal battleground of technology.
1 day ago
Evelyn Knapp, a supporter of former President Donald, waves to passersby outside of Trump's Mar-a-L...
Associated Press

Trump legal woes force another moment of choosing for GOP

From the moment he rode down the Trump Tower escalator to announce his first presidential campaign, a searing question has hung over the Republican Party: Is this the moment to break from Donald Trump?
2 days ago
FILE - The Silicon Valley Bank logo is seen at an open branch in Pasadena, Calif., on March 13, 202...
Associated Press

Army of lobbyists helped water down banking regulations

It seemed like a good idea at the time: Red-state Democrats facing grim reelection prospects would join forces with Republicans to slash bank regulations — demonstrating a willingness to work with President Donald Trump while bucking many in their party.
2 days ago
FILE - This Sept. 2015, photo provided by NOAA Fisheries shows an aerial view of adult female South...
Associated Press

Researchers: Inbreeding a big problem for endangered orcas

People have taken many steps in recent decades to help the Pacific Northwest's endangered killer whales, which have long suffered from starvation, pollution and the legacy of having many of their number captured for display in marine parks.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!
safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Ukraine invasion reshaped global alliances, renewed fears