Vladimir Putin’s designs on dismantling Western alliances have “backfires spectacularly” as countries pull together to oppose the Russian leader and his escalating nuclear threats.
Writing in the Telegraph, columnist Fraser Nelson described how countries previously wedding to military neutrality have turned their backs on this principle to stare down Russia.
He wrote: “Sweden and Finland both accepted that there could be no fence-sitting while Ukraine fought for its life.
“Even Switzerland is moving away from neutrality, discussing military exercises with NATO.
“Micheál Martin, Ireland’s Taoiseach, says Dublin’s position of neutrality could change at any time.”
But changes in mentalities are being seen far and wide, he added, as a number of the “most consequential changes are those taking place in East Asia”.
He continued: “So the countries that are joining the Western anti-Putin alliance are – for now – East Asian. Singapore, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan together speak for nine per cent of the world economy – about half the size of Europe, so quite a reinforcement.
“Having Asian democracies rally to Europe’s defence isn’t something that politicians here demanded or even expected.
“But a new alliance has taken shape nonetheless – one that sees things not as West and East but about the free world and its enemies.
“When the Ukraine conflict ends, a great many things will have gone forever. The old idea of ‘the West’ may be one of them.”