Ukraine needs reliable and legally justified security guarantees that would work and protect our state against the repetition of such large-scale aggression by the Russian Federation. This was underlined by the head of the office of the president Andriy Yermak at the annual Yalta European Strategy (YES) meeting in Kyiv.
Together with the former Prime Minister and former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden Carl Bildt and the President of the Council on Foreign Relations (United States) Richard Haass, he participated in a panel discussion devoted to questions of security guarantees for the Ukraine. The discussion was moderated by Financial Times Editorial Board Chair Gillian Tett.
Yermak said that Ukrainians remember very well the Budapest memorandum and other documents that did not protect our country from the large-scale aggression of the Russian Federation, which has lasted for more than six months, and the war in which Ukraine has found itself for more than eight years.
“Above all, therefore, there must 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 join NATO. According to him, it is now difficult to find more reliable guarantees than those provided for in 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 believe that strong actors and partners always strengthen international organizations,” said the head of the president’s office.
At the same time, he stressed that Ukraine needs security guarantees today and in the state our state is in now.
According to Yermak, the group he leads with former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen is preparing the first document containing 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 made by the world was not to take preventive measures that would have stopped Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.
“That’s why today we put all this tragic experience that we acquire every day in these security principles. We know clearly which sanctions work, which do not 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 president’s office pointed out that an understanding of what security safeguards should be is being developed in real time. And they should be not only for Ukraine.
“As President Zelenskyy said today, the 24-hour response formula is not only needed in Ukraine. Because this war has shown 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 basic position of our state.