Political scientist: NATO guarantee is a problem, an agreement like Budapest is ridiculous

The Ukrainian delegation presented a proposal for security guarantees to the Russian side during Tuesday’s meeting in Istanbul. These are intended to be stronger than those provided for in Article 5 of the Washington Treaty on NATO, such as the commitment to close the sky. Security must be guaranteed by several States. Who do you think it will be?

This is exactly the interesting question at stake, as the US, UK, Turkey, France, Germany are under consideration, but I’ve also read about Poland, Israel and Canada. It seems to me that the Ukrainian delegation most likely did not negotiate with any of these states the possibility of this security guarantee.

The question arises here: can a NATO state guarantee something to Ukraine and participate in a possible military conflict? Because the closing of the sky on a sovereign State automatically translates into a confrontation with the aggressor…

If I see anything problematic, it’s the NATO nations that have pledged to the Washington Convention to help any of the attacked nations (alliances) if they ask for it. But this is seen as something automatic, in President Biden’s words, a “sacred commitment.”

In other words, if a NATO state is attacked, all NATO countries should help it. The question arises here: can a NATO state guarantee something to Ukraine and participate in a possible military conflict? Because the closing of the sky on a sovereign State automatically translates into a confrontation with the aggressor…

So if I understand correctly, if, for example, Britain, which is most likely to become the guarantor, closed the skies over Ukraine in a hypothetical future conflict, it would come into conflict with the aggressor and the aggressor would then attack London, so right now we have a situation where NATO has to be involved.

I assume that NATO will negotiate this, because it will concern one of the member states. The same goes for Turkey, the United States, Germany, France. I don’t know if this permit will come.

As a guarantor, I find Israel very real, which is not a member of NATO. He has enough military equipment to do so. However, we know Israel’s policy towards Russia. He himself is quite a maneuvering agent, because he has enough problems in his region, Russia has helped him significantly and is helping in Syria against Iran, so Israel’s caution may play a role.

Any guarantee, again recalling the Budapest Memorandum – a thousand times overtaken by what has been happening in Ukraine for eight years – will be ridiculous for the Ukrainians.

What I’m trying to say is that the results of today’s negotiations are pretty much on the water. The Ukrainian delegation has offered something that is clearly not fully pre-negotiated, as the number of states varies from list to list. The question is whether these states are even aware of this.

So, in addition to the fact that any agreement will have to be approved in the Ukrainian referendum and in the individual parliaments of these guaranteed countries, it will also have to be discussed in NATO?

I think so. It is a powerful defense organization and these are exactly the issues that will be addressed.

If one of the member states takes part in a conflict, which almost automatically implies closing the skies over a sovereign state, then NATO is also in conflict. Or does the country somehow export it? So, are we going to talk about article 5 in the sense that the country must ask for collective security, or is this understood as automatic?

The North Atlantic Treaty therefore assumes in a way that the state will ask for help when it feels attacked.

It would make sense then, but it should probably be accompanied by a memorandum that clearly states that certain states beyond NATO will therefore participate in guaranteeing the territorial integrity of Ukraine, and NATO would not involved if no one explicitly asks for it.

Isn’t all this just a way around NATO membership?

It always seems like that to me. Ukraine says from the outset that it will approve the agreement by referendum. But what is the current mood of the Ukrainian nation? The Ukrainian nation, I guess, no longer trusts Russia or its nose between its eyes. Any guarantee, again recalling the Budapest Memorandum – a thousand times overtaken by what has been happening in Ukraine for eight years – will be ridiculous for the Ukrainians. I guess he can’t pass a possible referendum.

Just imagine how a referendum is currently going on in Ukraine. It’s a country on the move, a lot of people are abroad, a lot of people are moving within the country. I can’t imagine elections taking place in Ukraine today, much less a referendum.

Moreover, the configuration of Ukrainian society will be anti-Russian Polish, in short, largely Russian. Any agreement with Russia at the present time has no chance of succeeding, whatever it may be.

So you think the Ukrainians will take it as a concession and therefore reject it on principle?

I think there is a presumption that if peace talks are to take place, we will at least find that Russia will attack fewer cities, that Russian technology will not be used as much, which is happening now, but in largely because the Russians are losing brutally.

The fact that they have now promised not to attack kyiv and Chernihiv so much is mainly because they have nothing to attack. The Russians are most involved in Donbass and Mariupol, and now they will mainly want to save Donetsk and Luhansk – within the borders in which they have now been conquered.

There is another interesting thing about the Ukrainian proposal, and that is that the Russians would not prevent Ukraine from joining the EU. We will see how the Kremlin reacts to this, but a few weeks ago spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia does not see the EU as a military pact. That might make Emmanuel Macron forget his dream of a common EU army, right?

Many EU countries have an exception to common security and cooperation. Denmark, which only participates in peacekeeping missions, Ireland, Sweden.

It is difficult to persuade the current Member States to participate in the formation of a kind of common European army, and in this respect it therefore seems that we will once again reach the level of the euro zone, where some of the countries the most determined Member States will participate in such a policy. Moreover, it is very, very premature to speak of Ukraine as one of the member states of the European Union.

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