Ukraine needs reliable and legally justified security guarantees that would work and protect our state from the repetition of such a full-scale aggression committed by the Russian Federation. This was emphasized by Head of the President's Office Andriy Yermak at the Yalta European Strategy (YES) Annual Meeting in Kyiv.
Together with ex-Prime Minister and ex-Foreign Minister of Sweden Carl Bildt and President of the Council on Foreign Relations (the United States) Richard Haass, he took part in a discussion panel devoted to issues of security guarantees for Ukraine. The discussion was moderated by Chair of the editorial board of the Financial Times Gillian Tett.
Yermak said that Ukrainians remember very well the Budapest Memorandum and other documents that did not protect our country from the full-scale aggression of the Russian Federation, which has been going on for more than six months, and the war that Ukraine has been in for more than eight years.
"Therefore, first of all, these should be very clear, very effective and reliable legal guarantees. Today, Ukraine is an outpost of democracy and the struggle for principles, ideals, and freedom. And Ukraine deserves to have clear security guarantees after this war," he is convinced.
Yermak said that our country has never given up its desire to become a member of NATO. In his opinion, today it is hard to find more reliable guarantees than those provided by Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty.
"And it seems to me that this war, the courage of our nation, the heroism of our soldiers should also change the attitude of NATO members towards the prospect of Ukraine's membership. I think that strong players and partners always strengthen international organizations," the head of the President's Office said.
At the same time, he emphasized that Ukraine needs security guarantees already today and in the status in which our state is now.
According to Yermak, the group he heads together with former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen is preparing the first document with recommendations for the future treaty on security guarantees for Ukraine.
The head of the President's Office also drew attention to the fact that one of the mistakes the world made was not taking preventive steps that would have stopped Russia's aggression against Ukraine.
"That's why today we put all this tragic experience that we gain every day into these security principles. We have a clear understanding of which sanctions work, which don't work, and how quickly they start to work. We see exactly what we need to defend ourselves and how to strengthen our defense capabilities," Yermak said.
The head of the Office of the President emphasized that an understanding of what security guarantees should be is being developed in real time. And they should be not only for Ukraine.
"As President Zelenskyy said, today the response formula in 24 hours is needed not only in Ukraine. Because this war showed that no one in the world can feel safe," he said.
Yermak also said that security guarantees should extend to the entire territory of Ukraine within internationally recognized borders, and this is the fundamental position of our state.