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Ukraine can still lose the war — but Russia can’t win, Ian Bremmer says

“Ukraine can still lose the war — but Russia can’t win,” Ian Bremmer told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble at the Munich

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Ukraine can lose the war, but Russia cannot win at a geopolitical level, Ian Bremmer, political scientist and president of Eurasia Group, told CNBC. 

“Ukraine can lose this war,” Bremmer told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble at the Munich Security Conference on Friday, but Russia cannot win in NATO because of its “pariah” status, Bremmer said.

“[Russia] will still be cut off, NATO will still expand and for Putin, feeling humiliated, insecure and in a vastly worse geostrategic position than he was before he invaded, what’s he going to do as the world’s most powerful rogue state? That’s a long-term question that goes beyond Ukraine,” Bremmer added.

Watch CNBC's full interview with Eurasia Group president Ian Bremmer

Bremmer said that the NATO support for Ukraine had been “extraordinary” and “well beyond what anyone thought possible,” with Germany reducing its dependency on Russian energy supplies and the U.S. taking the lead in sending military supplies to Ukraine. But he questioned whether this assistance would continue. 

“Will it be true in 2024, with upcoming presidential elections?” he asked. “We don’t know what’s going to happen there.”

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It remains to be seen whether Ukraine will continue to have the “attention and cohesion” it has gained from the West in the first year following Russia’s invasion, Bremmer noted.

“The answer is Ukraine can lose. Everyone here needs to understand that Ukraine can lose this war,” Bremmer said.

So far, the U.K., U.S. and Germany are among the nations that have agreed to equip Ukraine with tanks, but they have yet to fulfil Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s most recent request for fighter jets.

“[The war] is an existential crisis for Ukraine, it’s an existential crisis for Zelenskyy and his family personally – they’re fighting literally for their lives,” Bremmer said.

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