Sunday, September 17, 2017
Ahead of 72 UNGA: Ukraine in NATO & EU will Ensure its Sovereignty
In a strongly worded address at the 17th Annual Yalta European Strategy annual meeting, President Poroshenko of Ukraine denounced Russia for its endless wars against Ukraine and other countries while setting out his country’s rightful claim to membership in the European Union and the North Atlantic Alliance.
Ukraine’s full-fledged membership in NATO, Poroshenko emphasized, would be the “genuine guarantee of Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty, welfare and prosperity.”
In his presentation, Poroshenko detailed Russia’s step-by-step plan to destabilize the free world and re-subjugate Ukraine. He also reminded the free world that today Ukraine is the only country on Earth that is fighting against Russian imperialism and simultaneously defending Europe and the free world with its blood and steel. The Ukrainian leader also pointed out that in the midst of the Russo-Ukraine War of 2014-17 Ukraine has managed to turn itself around and chart of steady course to economic and democratic stability.
This year’s session, held September 15, a week before the General Debate at the 72nd UN General Assembly, discussed “Is this a New World.” Poroshenko said many of last year’s calamities still exist but the greatest global catastrophe, Russia’s war with Ukraine, persists with Russian invaders and their mercenary-terrorist allies escalating the battle while violating numerous ceasefire agreements.
The Ukrainian president said it would be the height of naiveté to believe that an end to the hostilities would quickly return the world to its pre-war status.
“If anybody thinks that when the war finally comes to an end in Ukraine (God, let it be so), everything will be as it used to be, then he is absolutely wrong,” he lamented. “You can’t bring tens of thousands of dead Ukrainians back to life. You can’t stick together broken contracts.”
Citing the Budapest Memorandum that Ukraine signed in 1994 with Great Britain and Russia thereby voluntarily surrendering its nuclear weapons, Poroshenko seemed to regret that decision by saying that it did not live up to its expectations. Indeed, in February 2014 Russia invaded Ukrainian territories of Crimea and Donbas with no one standing up in its defense except for expected speeches and sanctions.
Poroshenko said the new political reality that the world is facing means that “dozens of Budapest Memoranda provide less security than one nuclear charge.”
Realistically, the future world order, he continued, depends on everyone today. “It depends on our firm, consistent and uncompromising response to those who want to send the world back into the Middle Ages.”
Poroshenko said the Revolution of Dignity that ousted Russia’s governor in Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych was “a wake-up call” for the democratic world. Russia had intended to move against the free world at the time but Ukrainians’ successful three-month standoff against Moscow forced it to delay its plans. Unfortunately, Russia then quickly turned its army and military might against Ukraine.
“Military machine built by Russia on the Western border is already capable, if tasked, to implement any barbaric aggressive plans of the Kremlin. But the Revolution of Dignity spoiled these plans,” Poroshenko said.
Providing money and other financial assistance to Russia in order to help its widespread, needy population was another example of Western naiveté. Feeding the beast so it will not eat us does not work with Russia, Poroshenko warned.
“Few took into account that purpose of that money was not well-being of the ordinary Russians or reclaiming endless but unpopulated Russian territories but were used to build up modern aggressive army,” he said.
The Maidan Revolution forced Russia to reveal its diabolical global intentions.
“For Russia, Ukraine is not just a part of the past empire. It is a symbol. It is an integral part of the imperial grandeur that the Kremlin cannot imagine this empire without. It is ‘our Jerusalem’ as Moscow Patriarch Kirill claims.
“That is why Putin had to go all-in, ‘tear off masks’ and show his true predatory face to the entire world.
“Unfortunately, in this situation, neither neutrality, nor non-bloc status helped Ukraine. Now it is clear that these ideas were merely fairy-tales used by the aggressor to neutralize its potential victim.
“The Budapest Memorandum security guarantees didn’t help either,” he elaborated.
Perhaps adjusting concepts of hybrid war and war, Poroshenko indicated that the former pertains to the free world and the latter to Ukraine.
“The Kremlin started its hybrid offensive on the democratic world, started its war for its own world order. The world order, which is based on the rule of strength and the will of the Tsar, not on the rule of law and the people’s will,” he said, adding caustically “History teaches us that Russia cannot be trusted. Under any circumstances.”
By making reference to the Russian tsar, the Ukrainian president seemed to note that Russia’s aggressive mentality does not change. Tsarist Russia, Soviet Communist Russia and today’s Russia are the same. It is one treacherous, deceitful and dangerous country in which only the leaders change, not the policies.
“With Moscow, one should always be prepared for the worst. You can hear it from tens of thousands of Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians who are persecuted in the Crimea and Donbas. Hundreds of them have perished at the hands of the killers and torturers only for the Ukrainian language, the Ukrainian flag or the Ukrainian passport,” he said.
With sanctions being the free world’s only weapon against Russian invasion and occupation of Ukrainian territories, Poroshenko said they must remain in force until full implementation of Minsk accords and restoration Ukraine’s sovereignty over the Crimea and Donbas. He thanked the United States for its leadership in strengthening the sanctions against the aggressor.
“The price for aggression must keep rising. It must be unbearably hard to keep what was unlawfully taken, or, more bluntly, cynically stolen,” he declared.
Poroshenko thwarted any discussion about Ukraine’s abandonment of Crimea for the greater good, saying “only shortsighted politicians could give such advice.” Such a foolhardy decision would set a bad precedent for peaceful countries around the world and allow aggressors to seize any territory with the tips of their bayonets. Furthermore, it would surrender to Russian persecution and repression tens of thousands of Crimean Tatars and others Ukrainian citizens.
Turning to his idea about a mechanism for pushing Russia out of the Crimea, Poroshenko noted that the 71st UN General Assembly has already declared Russia an occupying power in Crimea. As a demonstration of their independence of Russian control, UN member-states must reaffirm this position about Crimea’s subjugated status during the 72nd UN General Assembly.
Poroshenko said: “Today, I would like to suggest the idea of creating an international group of friends of de-occupation of Crimea to coordinate common steps and actions. I plan to discuss this initiative in detail in New York at the UN General Assembly.”
I have frequently quoted Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin who said a few years ago that the need for such a coalition is urgent. Outraged by the Russian invasion of his homeland, Klimkin had suggested the creation of a Coalition of Freedom – an updated Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations – to defend democracy and Western values in a troubled world.
This idea is certainly a contemporary Presidential call to action to all Ukrainian NGOs recognized by the United Nations. In response to Poroshenko’s appeal, their mission is to create a coalition with other x-captive nations and supportive stakeholders to take this message of liberation, freedom and de-occupation of Crimea up and down the hallways of the United Nations.
Indeed, Russia will threaten Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence until it is shown that the free world understands that it too needs Ukraine for its survival. It’s time for Europe, the United States and the free world to payback Ukraine for the favor of defending their freedom with its nation’s blood.
“Our vocation is to become the Eastern border of the European civilization, a contributor to European and international security, an engine of the continental economy.
“We will be fulfilling this vocation together with you, dear friends of Ukraine.
“We will move to a full-fledged membership in the EU and NATO.
“As the events of the recent years have demonstrated, this is the genuine guarantee of Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty, welfare and prosperity,” Poroshenko concluded.
You can watch the General Debate at the UN General Assembly at this website: