It is time for Ukraine to reinforce military cooperation with its closest partners

 

Politics

Nazariy Zanoz

Russian aggression is becoming more and more open, and the range of the reaction of the global community, as observers and analysts note, still varies between strong concern and great worry.

The pro-Ukrainian positions of the former Socialist camps remain expressive and certain, as they know very wheel who “Kremlin peacemakers” are and how much time a country needs to recover after their arrival.

The EU’s bureaucracy, the impotence of the UN, the short-sightedness of some European politicians and the lack of opportunity for Ukraine to become part of the NATO today, have to force Ukrainian governors and thinkers to seek another way out of the situation.

The axis change

Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote in his classic, The Great Chessboard, about the European security axis, which consists of France, Germany. Ukraine was supposed to become part of it after all necessary reforms.

Ideally, this belt should have included Russia as well, in order to create a transatlantic security axis, however, as we can see, this country decided to take a different way, and now Europe and the Western World have to seek protection from Kremlin aggression.

Brzezinski’s proposed security axis was horizontal and showed its inefficiency, because it was not reinforced by a vertical belt of the countries in the region. Modern Europe needs a protective wall rather from the South to the North, as there is a closer threat which had stubbornly gone unnoticed.

History knows several concepts which construct the idea of a vertical union between European countries. Some of them have become redundant a long time ago, some have been called utopian and untimely until very recently. Franz Ferdinand’s idea of the United States of Great Austria, Józef Piłsudski’s Intermarium project, Kunderivsky’s concept of Central Europe or the Baltic-Black Sea community.

It is not important what this economical and military cooperation was supposed to be called, the most important part are ideas and functions that such a union is based on. And they are quite simple – the creation of a safety belt from the attacks of Putin’s crazy Russia, the balance between the EU’s bureaucracy and safety, beneficial commercial cooperation.

The basis of such an economical and military union should include Baltic states (and, possibly, Finland), Ukraine, Moldova, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia, Romania, Turkey and, ideally, Belarus. Georgia and Azerbaijan could also be involved, which would allow not only to increase control of such a community over the Black Sea, but also to make Europe independent on Russian gas thanks to supplies of Iranian gas around Russian territory and that of countries close to it.

Military cooperation

However we are now talking less about economic benefits than security guarantees, which Ukraine failed to receive from the NATO. The NATO does not even risk building its bases in Poland not to incur Russia’s wrath.

Therefore, not only Ukraine, but all other states that are territorial close to the Russian Federation, that feel a threat, have to think about additional protection for their borders and populations. The Baltic-Black Sea military and economic union would be very useful in this case. It cannot be a panacea for all Ukrainian problems of the moment and rid it of war. And it is impossible to achieve in the short-term perspective. However, if it takes a long time, it will definitely become additional help.

The first harbinger of such a union in the military sphere may be the Ukrainian-Polish-Lithuanian brigade “UkrPolLitBrig.” Russia has not reacted officially to its emergence yet, however it is clear that the Kremlin will try to prevent the creation of such joint projects by various means. Ukraine has to increase international cooperation in the military sphere with the biggest number of friendly countries possible.

The unification of vertical and horizontal axes should reinforce European security and ensure Ukraine’s safety as an alternative to joining the NATO. As such, the issue of economic cooperation between the Baltic and Black Sea states should be examined in the short-term perspective as a possibility of increasing our weight in regional policies and the shift of the influence center from the Paris-Berlin to the Warsaw-Kyiv axis.


 

Source: Radio Liberty

Translated by Mariya Shcherbinina

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