Will US security guarantees help Ukraine – expert opinions

Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Joe Biden. Photo: president.gov.ua

On August 3, the leadership of Ukraine began negotiations with the United States of America on a bilateral agreement on the provision of security guarantees.

This is provided for by the Joint Declaration on Support to Ukraine, which is the basis for the development of relevant bilateral agreements.

Security guarantees for Ukraine from the USA
In Ukraine, they understand that the country cannot join NATO while the war with Russia continues, but the leadership of the state is counting on guarantees for the security of its allies now.

“Security Guarantees. Such important security guarantees for people on the way to NATO. I emphasize this again, what is needed is security guarantees on the path of integration,” President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said.

The Office of the President of Ukraine believes that security guarantees will strengthen Ukraine’s progress towards future membership in the European Union and NATO.

“It is symbolic that the United States of America, our largest strategic partner, became the first country with which Ukraine began this process. In this way, we are creating a successful model for other partners as well… Security guarantees for Ukraine will be a concrete and long-term commitment that will ensure Ukraine’s ability to defeat and deter Russian aggression in the future. These will be clearly described formats and support mechanisms. We are talking about defense and financial support, as well as sanctions and punishment of the aggressor,” said Andriy Yermak, head of the President’s Office.

On July 11-12, the NATO summit was held in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius, at which the Ukraine-NATO Council was established. On the first day of the summit, the heads of state and government of the Alliance countries approved the Vilnius communiqué, according to which Ukraine will be a member of NATO, and accession will take place without a NATO Membership Action Plan, that is, according to an accelerated procedure.

In addition, within the framework of the summit, the G7 countries agreed on a joint declaration on long-term security and economic support for Ukraine.

“NATO continues to stay with you and will stay for as long as it takes,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg confirmed.

The G7 countries have agreed to work to ensure a sustainable force capable of defending Ukraine now and deterring Russian aggression in the future.

According to the joint declaration of support, the allies will provide assistance in the field of security and modern military equipment, the development of Ukraine’s defense industrial base, train and educate the Ukrainian Armed Forces, and strengthen the country’s economic stability.

In addition, the G7 representatives agreed that each country would separately negotiate agreements on providing security guarantees and assistance to Ukraine.

Expert Review

On the air of the FREEDOM TV channel, the following people talked about security guarantees from the United States for Ukraine:

  • Mykhailo Podoliak, Advisor to the Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine;
  • Oleg Shamshur, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine (2004-2005), Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States (2006-2010), Ambassador of Ukraine to France (2014-2020);
  • Igor Reiterovich, political scientist

MYKHAILO PODOLYAK: In documents such as security guarantees, it is necessary to spell out all the conditions

“Now the subjectivity of Ukraine is much higher, and we understand our tasks much more clearly. When the Budapest Memorandum was signed, then it seemed to Ukraine that it was enough to simply open its eyes wide and believe everything that our partners tell us.

What are bilateral negotiation platforms today, within which certain guarantee packages will be worked out? Here it will be necessary to structure, legally write out specifically mutual military obligations.

This means, for example, the supply of such and such equipment in such and such quantities with such and such regulations, and so on. That is, it will be necessary to register and fix it legally.

It is legally fixed that we can receive specific instruments from this or that counterparty of this or that country. It seems to me that this is a good fix, at least for this period.

Even now, if we have signed this, for the period when Ukraine will solve the issues of logistical entry into the military alliance and so on, I think this is not bad. And again, the fundamental difference is that this needs to be scrupulously legally prescribed, including mutual responsibility, specific legal aspects of the supply of this or that equipment.

OLEG SHAMSHUR: US aid is not a guarantee of security

  • I think that this is first of all, it is important right now – negotiations on security guarantees – when Ukraine is waging war against Russian aggression. There is a statement and its implementation through bilateral agreements. One of them, and perhaps the most important, is with the United States.

This agreement defines the entire scope of US assistance to Ukraine in repelling Russian aggression. In this regard, this is a very important agreement.

At the same time, one must be realistic, one must not deceive oneself. These are not guarantees of security, this is help that is critically needed for Ukraine, but it is not a guarantee of security. And the only guarantee of security will be Ukraine’s membership in NATO.

Until then, it will be help, help in repelling aggression. Just like the Israeli model, it is also, in principle, about this help in repulsing the aggressor. And in order to show the aggressor that there will be a price for aggression, there will be constant help from partners.

In this case, from our main partner, the United States of America. But this, unfortunately, is not a guarantee of safety.

IGOR REYTEROVYCH: Today many countries are ready to sign security guarantees with Ukraine

  • I think, first of all, this assistance will differ in that it is designed for a certain time with a very clear program, which will be spelled out by months. Perhaps half a year, depending on what form will be chosen for signing these guarantees.

It will be very detailed and will cover both current problems, requests from the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and issues of such a strategic nature regarding the reform of our sector, national security and defense.

And there is one very important key point when we talk about these security guarantees: even following the example of the Israeli model, there is one very important political and strategic difference: Israel has never raised, does not raise, and is unlikely to raise the issue of its entry into NATO.

For Ukraine and our partners, this is, in fact, an already resolved issue. We are talking exclusively about the timing and features of this integration, which, of course, depends on the end of the Russian-Ukrainian war.

Therefore, these guarantees are not a substitute, but a factor that simply enhances this integration, and will be called upon to provide Ukraine with the necessary assistance while this integration is at one stage or another. These are the key points that distinguish the security guarantees that Ukraine will receive first from the United States of America, and then, understandably, from other countries.

Because as of today, a fairly large number of states have already declared that they are ready to sign such guarantees with Ukraine. But it is clear that the initiative from the United States will be a definite signal to other countries. Both in terms of the volume of those guarantees and this plan, which will be signed, it will largely depend on what guarantees other states will provide.

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