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West not ready to give security guarantees to Ukraine, alternatives considered - Politico

West not ready to give security guarantees to Ukraine, alternatives considered - Politico Photo: The West is not ready to give security guarantees to Ukraine (Getty Images)
Author: RBC Ukraine

Ukraine seeks long-term security guarantees from NATO or individual partners. However, according to Politico, the West is not yet ready to provide them.

Five European diplomats interviewed by the publication stated that Western countries have not reached an agreement on how to respond to Ukraine's calls for security guarantees. Some European officials do not understand the essence of such guarantees.

"Sometimes it's difficult to understand what we are talking about," a senior Eastern European diplomat said.

What Ukraine wants

Ukrainian authorities have repeatedly stated their desire for the country to join NATO. During the war and before official membership, Ukraine wants to receive security guarantees, including military and other forms of support.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has emphasized that Ukraine expects clear statements on membership or a roadmap to accession at the NATO summit in Vilnius in July.

Views spectrum

Politico's intervewees claim that allies and partners have not yet agreed on who should provide security guarantees to Ukraine. It is evident that Ukrainian authorities expect a political decision from the alliance, but discussions are also underway with specific countries.

For instance, French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak have expressed their long-term support for Ukraine. Macron said that Paris sees it as "something between Israel-style security guarantees and fully-fledged [NATO] membership".

Camille Grand, a former NATO assistant secretary general, noted that full membership and "ironclad Article 5 guarantees" would be the best option for Ukraine. He added that there are many other options under consideration, ranging from bilateral agreements to practical political commitments.

One proposal is a security agreement developed by Zelenskyy and former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. It involves the core group of allies committing to strengthening Ukraine's defense over the years and providing both military and non-military aid.

Other Options

A separate group of Western officials believes it is better to support Ukraine in the long term in order to expand its own defense industry. NATO states that this would be similar to the relationship between the United States and Israel and serve as an "interim agreement" prior to membership.

Officials cited note that discussions often focus not on security guarantees, but rather on "commitment" to support Ukraine, which means "long-term provision of means for defense".

Recently Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that Ukraine wants to receive "paper" security guarantees from NATO.

Furthermore, the President emphasized that some NATO countries still fear Russia and are therefore not ready to see Ukraine as part of the Alliance.