Opening the meeting, Andriy Yermak noted in his speech that the unprecedented task of this group is to develop effective comprehensive security guarantees for Ukraine, which would protect it from new potential aggression from Russia.
“These guarantees must be included in legally binding and duly ratified international agreements with guarantor states,” he said.
Andriy Yermak noted that Ukraine has an extremely negative experience of security assurances in the framework of the Budapest Memorandum and categorically refuses to repeat it.
The Head of the President's Office noted that it is necessary to ensure Ukraine's ability to exercise the right to self-defense. In particular, it is about the further provision of modern conventional weapons and military equipment without any restrictions and politically motivated obstacles.
The next important element, according to Andriy Yermak, is the construction of a system of bilateral and/or multilateral treaties, which will provide for detailed mechanisms of action by the guarantors in the event of aggression against Ukraine.
He also said that the last block of guarantees should be the sanctions policy, which should become an effective tool for preventing the recurrence of aggression. That is why the introduced packages of sanctions and restrictive measures should be in effect not only until the complete withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine, but also until Russia fulfills two conditions: provides adequate assurances and guarantees of non-repetition of aggression against Ukraine and provides full compensation for the damage caused to our state and citizens.
An effective mechanism for the implementation of preventive sanctions should also be envisaged in the future - in the event of a threat of aggression.
Andriy Yermak reminded that the idea of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is that security guarantees for Ukraine in the future will become the basis of a new world security system.
“The U24 format (United 24) is a kind of rescue service for countries. A club of responsible states that provide specific assistance within 24 hours - military-technical, economic, political, humanitarian. Which promptly and without delay implement sanctions and involve other restrictive mechanisms against the aggressor,” he said.
For his part, Anders Fogh Rasmussen noted that this group should prepare recommendations on what security guarantees can be provided for the period until Ukraine joins NATO, as the corresponding intention is enshrined in the Constitution of Ukraine.
He urged the experienced politicians and scientists who joined the group to think unconventionally and outside the box, to work efficiently and purposefully to develop ideas for providing guarantees for Ukraine.
During the first meeting of the Group on International Security Guarantees for Ukraine, Andriy Yermak and Anders Fogh Rasmussen introduced its members. The invited politicians and scientists noted that they were extremely happy to join that important initiative, and expressed their admiration for the leadership of the President of Ukraine and the heroism of the Ukrainian people.
Former Prime Minister of Australia Kevin Rudd noted, among other things, that during the work of the group, it is necessary to carefully analyze the consequences of the involvement of various countries of the world in the circle of guarantors of Ukraine's security.
Former US Under Secretary of Defense Michèle Flournoy is convinced that practical steps should be found to prevent similar aggression against Ukraine in the future. In her opinion, clear commitments to strengthen Ukraine's defense capabilities are absolutely necessary.
Former British Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs William Hague believes that the development of security guarantees for Ukraine is important for the whole world, and it is worth paying attention to whether these guarantees can be turned into a mechanism of multilateral obligations.
Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Legal Policy Andriy Kostin, for his part, noted that the system of security guarantees should protect Ukraine from potential aggression in the future. In addition, it is very important to ensure that Russia's hopes that countries that strongly support Ukraine will refuse to provide it with clear security guarantees after the end of the war do not come true.
The group included: former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, former US Under Secretary of Defense Michèle Flournoy, former Swedish Prime Minister and former Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, former British Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs William Hague, former Federal Minister for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety of Germany Norbert Röttgen, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland and Member of the European Parliament Anna Fotyga, director of ECFR's Wider Europe Programme, French diplomat Marie Dumoulin, President of the Italian Institute for International Political Studies, diplomat Giampiero Massolo, Director of the Center for Eastern Studies (OSW), Polish PhD in political science Adam Eberhardt, political expert Roxana Cristescu, people's deputy of Ukraine, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Legal Policy Andriy Kostin.
The members of the working group act as experts on their own behalf and do not represent the governments of their countries or the organizations in which they work.
Oleksandr Bevz and Daria Zarivna will be project managers of the group on the Ukrainian side, and Fabrice Pothier and Harry Nedelcu on the side of Rasmussen Global.