In the face of the Kremlin’s military pressure on Ukraine, the US and European allies held firm this week in three rounds of discussions with Russia. As Jens Stoltenberg, Nato’s secretary-general, and US deputy secretary of state Wendy Sherman put it, Nato and the US are willing to discuss military transparency and arms control measures such as reciprocal limits on missiles and military exercises.
But they didn’t yield to the Kremlin’s principal demands. There will be no promise to end Nato enlargement, no cut-off of military co-operation with Ukraine and no reductions of US troop levels in Nato members such as Poland.
The US and Europe showed consistency of principle, steadiness and solidarity. But the western allies made no apparent progress in getting the Kremlin to stand down from its threats of new aggression. Now what?