The current international security system has expired, so Ukraine is suggesting a new collective agreement on security guarantees as a foundation of the format of a collective response to the global security challenges. Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak wrote this in his op-ed for TIME.
He reminded that the system of international relations has been based on the Peace of Westphalia 1648 and its core principles: national sovereignty, foreign and domestic policies separation, compromise as a means of reconciling conflicting national interests, equality of sovereign states, as well as pragmatizing the relationship between them by putting religion out of question.
“Russia’s war against Ukraine is a rejection of all Westphalian principles. We are denied the right to sovereignty. We are under pressure to change our domestic policy. Under the guise of compromise, we are offered surrender. We are denied subjectivity and therefore equality. Our civilians are being tortured and killed en masse for simply being Ukrainian citizens,” Andriy Yermak noted.
According to him, the Russian invasion of Ukraine is a natural consequence of the continuous series of conflicts in which Russia took part after the collapse of the USSR.
“Moscow has consciously chosen the path of international relations archaization. It has chosen to consistently deny the primacy of international over national law, systematic violations of agreements, and withdrawal from any rules contradicting its aggressive ambitions. It has chosen to disrupt the international bodies. These are all signs of the drive to replace the rule of law with the right of force,” the Head of the Office of the President emphasized.
According to Andriy Yermak, the true goals of Russia move even further into the past to the pre-bloc era of the Vienna Congress.
“However, it is obvious that the current Russian regime is not a restorer. It does not need to recreate either the Romanov Empire or the USSR. It is an attempt to replay history turning moments and cancel or offset unsatisfactory results, including the Caribbean crisis, the dismantling of the Soviet bloc, and subsequent NATO enlargement,” Andriy Yermak emphasized.
The Head of the President’s Office believes that the refusal to let Ukraine and Georgia into NATO was a de facto consent to Russia’s aggression against both countries. The era of hybridity in modern international relations started.
As a result, according to him, international organizations have shown a complete inability to stop the aggressor. The EU consensus decisions aimed at deterring and punishing Russia are systematically weakened by national governments. The UN Security Council is in need of reform — a country resorting to annexation, aggressive wars, and genocide should definitely not be its permanent member. NATO still allows Russia to intervene in the enlargement issue, both directly and through cautious politicians.
The Head of the Office of the President stressed that given the situation in the world, the Russian leadership was confident in its right to destroy Ukraine. But the Ukrainian people’s fierce resistance spoiled the game.
“Our longing for freedom has proven to be stronger than pragmatic calculations. It caused astonishment and respect. Only after the tragedies of Mariupol, Bucha, Hostomel, Chernihiv, Kharkiv and dozens of other settlements did the international community start to understand what we are dealing with. Each passing day brings horrible footage of the inhumane crimes of the Russian army. But these tragedies could have been avoided if there were leaders who could defend the world order,” Andriy Yermak noted.
According to him, the time has come for the leaders who act decisively, making the dreams possible and realizing possibilities. Such people have been in business for a long time. Until recently, such people were very scarce in politics. One of such leaders is President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who during the greatest trials for our country became the leader of the Ukrainian philosophy of freedom in the whole world.
“So, today Ukraine is not just a country near Russia. Not a weak and corrupt state, whose leaders used to buy handshakes and minute meetings on the sidelines. Volodymyr Zelenskyy is different. He is sincere. He is brave. He is popular. It’s a politician of a new formation. And Ukraine is a state of a new formation. Ukrainians are a model of courage for the whole democratic world,” Andriy Yermak emphasized.
According to him, there have been too many martyr heroes in our history. So now is the time for the winning heroes. Heroes who will live long and happily in their free state.
The time of Ukraine’s loneliness in the international arena is over. Ukraine is very grateful to all of you who came to our aid, as stated by the Head of the President’s Office.
“Lend-lease will help Ukraine survive. Restore the state’s integrity. Bring back our people. Punish the aggressor decisively and severely. This will be our victory. But there is an issue that needs to be addressed now. We need to understand how the world will live afterwards,” Andriy Yermak said.
According to him, it is necessary to make sure that no one even thinks about starting wars of aggression again. Ukraine needs reliable, comprehensive, and binding security guarantees. Without them, any agreement with Russia will only be a truce, temporary, and fragile.
The Head of the President’s Office noted that Russia is losing strength. The atrocities the Russian soldiers commit are a sign of weakness, a sign of degradation and Russia’s inevitable collapse. So now is the right time for such reforms. Time to reform international institutions. To create an effective security format in the event that NATO does not dare to show determination.
“We propose a new collective agreement on security guarantees for Ukraine—as a basis for a collective response to global security challenges,” Andriy Yermak wrote.
He added that it is obvious that neutrality cannot be the key issue in this agreement despite systematic efforts to promote this thesis.
“This agreement should ensure the status of Ukraine as a democratic, sovereign and integral state—without putting the issues of Donbas and Crimea out of question. The conditions for securing such a status are a matter for discussion, but it is clear that there is room for both the West and the East among the guarantors. For the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa. For the UN Security Council members, Poland, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Canada, Israel… The club is open. Ukraine is one of the leading guarantors of world food security, so securing it is not only a moral issue, but also a purely practical one. Moreover, Ukraine is the shield protecting Europe from invasion,” the Head of the President’s Office emphasized.
In the future, the Ukrainian security platform should become the basis for the U-24, United for Peace multilateral format. A kind of rescue service responsible states would provide for the countries in need.
According to Andriy Yermak, this service will be able within 24 hours to provide aid - humanitarian, financial, material and military-technical - to a state that suffered aggression. And will punish the aggressor within 24 hours by imposing effective sanctions.
“Ukraine has been paying a very high price for its leading position in this system. The Moscow-centric world’s inevitable collapse is a chance for new leadership. Democratic. Humane. Human-centered. The leadership of a state whose people value liberty above all,” Andriy Yermak summed up.