President of Ukraine

Security guarantees for Ukraine will ensure the stability of the whole of Europe - Andriy Yermak and Anders Fogh Rasmussen in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal

30 September 2022 - 15:24

Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak and former Secretary General of NATO and ex-Prime Minister of Denmark Anders Fogh Rasmussen note that the conclusion of the Kyiv Security Compact will ensure stability for the whole of Europe and prevent the recurrence of war crimes. This is stated in their op-ed for The Wall Street Journal.

The authors remind that an international group of experts under their leadership developed and presented to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy recommendations regarding such a security agreement. Its primary goal is to introduce such security guarantees that will make it impossible to repeat the events and crimes that are currently being committed by Russia in Ukraine.

"We call for the creation of the Kyiv Security Compact. The principle is simple: Ukraine's security depends primarily on its ability to defend itself. To do this effectively, Ukraine needs long-term commitments from its allies," the article states.

As Andriy Yermak and Anders Fogh Rasmussen noted, when the Ukrainian army gets the weapons it needs, it beats Russia on the battlefield. An example of this is the rapid liberation by Ukrainian forces of the Kharkiv region and the de-occupation of more than 6,000 square kilometers of territory in the south and east of the country since the beginning of September.

The authors indicate that the recommendations for the security treaty were developed on the basis of information and results of discussions with experts from all over the democratic world: former prime ministers, foreign ministers, high-ranking officials and academics.

"Everyone we talked to agreed that there should be no limits on the size and strength of the Armed Forces of Ukraine," they state.

The Head of the President's Office and the former Secretary General of NATO emphasize that security guarantees do not change Ukraine's aspiration to join NATO, which is enshrined in the Constitution. In the future, membership in the Alliance and the European Union will strengthen the security of Ukraine, and security guarantees will protect our state while it is on the way to these structures.

"Ukraine needs to develop and maintain an army capable of opposing the Russian armed forces and paramilitary formations. This requires great commitment from Ukraine's allies. Our recommendations include permanent investments in the defense and industrial base of Ukraine, the transfer of weapons from NATO, the exchange of intelligence data and the intensive conduct of training missions under the flags of the EU and NATO. We must make sure that the price of a future attack on Ukraine will be too high," Andriy Yermak and Anders Fogh Rasmussen emphasize.

One of the examples of how allies can strengthen Ukraine's security in the short term and long term perspective is the provision of modern and effective air defense and missile defense systems.

"In order to protect civilians and ensure the recovery of Ukraine, the Allies should supply weapons that will make it possible to close the sky from air attacks. Taking into account the danger to the environment that such attacks can cause, the international interest is for Ukraine to be able to effectively protect its skies," the publication emphasizes.

According to the authors of the recommendations, security guarantees should come from the main group of allies of Ukraine - those who have significant military potential and those who are ready to undertake both political and legal obligations. We are talking about the US, Great Britain, Canada, Poland, Italy, Germany, France, Australia, Türkiye, as well as the Baltic, Northern and Central European countries.

Along with military aid commitments, a set of non-military sanctions-based safeguards should be maintained by a wider group of international partners. In this case, we are talking about the G7 countries and the EU, as well as other states that currently apply sanctions against Russia, such as the Republic of Korea and Japan. The security guarantees should contain provisions on the automatic restoration of sanctions in the event of further Russian aggression.

"The Kyiv Security Compact is something else. It is focused on providing practical material support to strengthen Ukraine's ability to defend itself. The launch of the Compact depends only on Ukraine and the guarantor states. This means that, unlike the Budapest Memorandum, Russia does not play a role in the guarantees and cannot block their application in the UN Security Council. In the event of an attack on Ukraine, the guarantors will meet within 24 hours and decide what measures to take within 72 hours," the authors note.

"Putin must understand that the democratic world's commitment to Ukraine will not waver, that his war is futile. Therefore, it is extremely important that Ukraine receives guarantees against the background of the ongoing war. Prolonging and postponing the process will encourage the Kremlin to continue the illegal war for as long as it takes to exhaust Ukraine and undermine its potential, regardless of its own losses," said the Head of the Office of the President and former NATO Secretary General.

It is also important that these guarantees are a signal to the Ukrainian people that the Allies believe in a safe and independent Ukraine, where people can work, live, and raise families, in Ukraine at the center of Europe and the democratic world.

"For this to happen, Ukraine needs to win the war, as well as have everything necessary to defend its security in the long term," summarize the authors of the material.