Western countries cannot reach a level of protection

Western countries cannot reach a level of protection

Despite the fact that the West has assured Ukraine that in the event of a peace agreement with Russia it will guarantee the country’s security, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz suggests a completely different, discouraging idea for Kyiv. He made it clear that such security guarantees, similar to those within NATO, could not be granted to Ukraine.

In his opinion, “Western countries are willing to protect Ukraine’s future existence through security guarantees, but they cannot reach a level of protection similar to that offered by the NATO military alliance,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Wednesday.

Countries such as the United States, Britain, Germany and France have begun talks with Ukraine on how to ensure that a potential peace agreement between Kyiv and Moscow is respected by both sides, so that Russia does not use such an armistice to regroup and attack again in the future.

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However, answering questions from parliamentarians in the lower house of the German parliament, Scholz said it was “clear” that such security guarantees for Ukraine “would not comply with Article 5 of the NATO Treaty,” Politico reports.

Thus, the chancellor referred to the mutual defense clause of the military alliance, which says that an attack on a NATO country must be treated as an attack on all members. In practice, the Article 5 clause is a major guarantee, especially for more vulnerable countries, such as the Baltic countries, because it means, for example, that the US would intervene with all its military might if Russia attacked – acting as a strong discouragement.

However, for Ukraine, which is in its fifth month of war with Russia, Olaf Scholz’s remarks sound particularly discouraging: Germany and France denied the Eastern European country a clear path to NATO membership in 2008.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky claimed in March that Russia would not have attacked its country if it had been a NATO member.

Scholz’s comments seem to suggest that Ukraine will not be able to count on NATO’s direct military support in the future. NATO countries indirectly supported Kiev in its war with Russia by sending tanks, artillery and other weapons, but cautiously assured that it was not directly involved in the war.

Scholz acknowledges that process “is far from complete”

In the context of security, Olaf Scholz told lawmakers that security guarantees for Ukraine “must be adapted” to the “specific situation” of the country, but did not provide further details, arguing that “everything is a process that is far from complete. and, therefore, it cannot yet be materialized ”.

Chancellor Scholz also suggested that the West should use “its highly effective sanctions against Russia” – which could be lifted or mitigated if Russia accepts a reasonable peace agreement with Ukraine – and reinstate these restrictive measures “if there are violations ”of the peace agreement.

In this regard, Ukraine has had bad experiences with security guarantees without sufficient applicability. The country gave up its nuclear weapons in the 1990s in exchange for assurances from Russia, the United States and Britain, which promised in the 1994 Budapest Memorandum “to respect Ukraine’s independence and sovereignty” and to “refrain from threat or use of force ”against the country.

In fact, this guarantee was first violated by Russia in 2014, when it annexed Crimea and became involved in the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine, and then became completely null and void with this year’s invasion of Moscow.