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Ohryzko: the guarantors fail to act, Ukraine must act on its own, building military potential

4112-5-2Volodymyr Ohryzko, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine (2007 – 2009). March 6, 2014

Long-awaited consultations of the “guarantors” of Ukraine’s independence in Paris have fully failed. Only infinite political and security fantasy can suggest that a decision about sending observers to Crimea constitutes sufficient “guarantees”. A sad ironic smile is the only sentiment this decision can provoke. Ukraine continues to be left without support.

Another thing is also surprising. All the “guarantors” – and not only guarantors – started calling the brutal aggressor to negotiate with its victim. Is this what “guarantors” consider as steps to ensure our territorial integrity and security? Do they have any doubt about the way how these negotiations will be conducted, even if we presume that they will take place? Or, rather, is it an intention to “freeze” a conflict, in the way how the conflict is frozen in Transnistria or at other places, in which Moscow has been “freezing” conflicts for decades?

If this is the case, Ukraine has to act in a different way.I already wrote about the need to take steps towards Ukraine’s withdrawal from the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and to launch steps leading to creation of these weapons. We have all the possibilities to do this. All we need is political will.

But these steps will not be enough. We have to urgently return to an issue of short or medium-range missiles, which will have sufficient radius to make sure that our aggressing “guarantor” understands what is at stake. Similarly to the nuclear weapons, we can get these arms quickly. Again, what is needed is political will.

Therefore, if signature of the Association Agreement with the EU is delayed, if Ukraine does not get the NATO Membership Action Plan (I hope that Ukraine’s current leadership applies for it quickly), if Russia does not face strong measures, whose impact it can really feel (declarations and diplomatic demarches have no effect on it), Ukraine’s only way will consist in taking concrete steps to renew its territorial integrity and ensure its security.

And I address my request to all those who is “deploring” and verbally “condemning” Russian aggressor: do not tell than that you have not heard anything and did not know anything. And do not denounce the risk of proliferation of nuclear weapons and other sensitive weapons. You, the so-called “guarantors”, will be responsible for this.

As we see, Ukraine has implemented its commitments. You, however, have not implemented yours.


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