18 лютого 2020, 14:15

Appeasement will not bring peace to Ukraine

Appeasement of the aggressor will not lead to peace in Ukraine. The peace can be restored only through the return of truth and international law

A group of former "Munich young leaders" from Ukraine reacted to the 'peace plan' of the Euro-Atlantic security Leadership group.

The new phenomenon of "Westlessness" was defined as a key global challenge by the Munich Security Conference 2020. It might be described as deficit of engagement and leadership by the Euro-Atlantic Community in confronting the world's most serious challenges.

The "Twelve steps toward greater security in Ukraine and the Euro-Atlantic region" that was disseminated at the Forum may serve as an illustration of this description.

The way to peace and long term security for Ukraine an Europe is not through the mirage of half truths, but through application of international law and upholding the UN Charter. Anything less is bound to fail.

1. Definitions matter: it is aggression and international war. Not 'conflict in and around Ukraine'

The plan "forgot" the real causes and circumstances of the war in Donbas and the annexation of Crimea. Instead, the paper describes the situation in Ukraine as a 'conflict in and around Ukraine'. A wrongful examination and diagnosis leads to the wrong prescription.

In fact, indirectly it suggests that we replace international law and our cherished legal mechanisms for resolving the international armed conflict with damaging concessions at the cost of the occupied state. Peace resting on the weakness of a victim of the aggression is hardly worthy of that name.

2. Peace in Ukraine can be built only under the leadership of the Government and strong support of the Ukrainian society

How can a plan that failed to take into account the views of the Ukrainian government and Ukrainian society be legitimate?

It is important to note that the President Zelenskyi rejected this plan during his speech at the Conference. And the Ministry for Foreign Affairs criticized it as not relevant.

To distribute it at the conference with no consideration for potential damage to Ukraine's negotiating positions with its partners and opponents was wrong.

3. The unspoken of the 'peace plan': neutrality of Ukraine will not work

It seems that the authors of the plan willfully ignored the strategic course of Ukraine's EU and NATO integration incorporated into our Constitution. The idea of neutrality is a non-starter in a country where a whole generation grew up with the notion of Ukraine eventually joining the EU and where the support of the NATO membership rose from 15% to around 50% over the last six years.

In fact, our EU and NATO integration is the best answer to the Russian aggression. The better Ukraine is integrated with EU and NATO – the stronger it is. The unspoken geopolitical neutrality of Ukraine is just an invitation for Russia to the old-new era of the "spheres of legitimate interests".

Eventually, Ukraine's EU and NATO integration is our answer to the "Westlessness". Between "the force of law" in the West and "the law of force" in Russia, Ukraine chooses the former. There can be no neutrality or middle ground in this matter.

4. Sanction relief must be contingent upon Russia's conduct: it must end the occupation of Ukrainian land and the imprisonment of Ukraine's citizens.

The Paris agreement of December'19 didn't bring any ceasefire. 13 Ukrainians – soldiers, medical workers – have been killed since the beginning of this year. In violation of the Minsk Agreement, we observe Moscow's continued 'passportization' in the occupied territories. Isn't it the acknowledgement and a clear formalization of the Donbas occupation?

Western sanctions were not sufficient but they were the most efficient instrument in counteracting Russian's aggression against Ukraine. There can be no lifting of sanctions whilst Russia continues to violate international law.

5. Ukraine's identity – its a cause for Ukrainians. Period

The recommendation of the 'peace plan' to launch a dialogue about Ukrainian identity that involves Russia rewards the aggressor. It rehearses the Russian narrative of the legitimacy of its dominance in the region and lays the ground of its 'right' to interfere (even militarily) in its neighbor's national life.

Ukraine has defined its identity and has chosen to be a democratic European country on its way to tackling corruption and the creation of a modern prosperous state with rule of law and respect to human rights. The notion that Ukraine's identity has to be discussed with Russia, whose authorities sanction the killing and torturing of Ukrainian soldiers, the unfair imprisonment of political prisoners, and the brutalization of Crimean Tatars, is in complete contradiction with those aims and aspirations.

Ukraine wants nothing more than to restore its internationally recognized borders by diplomatic and political means and has shown its willingness for dialogue, especially with those able to see the difference between truth and propaganda, peace and appeasement. If the price of sovereignty and territorial integrity is the forgiveness of aggression, then the price is unacceptable.


Alyona Getmanchuk

Founder and director

New Europe Center

Munich Young Leader 2010

Hanna Hopko

PhD in Social Communications

Chairwoman of National interests advocacy network "ANTS"

Сhairwoman of zero corruption conference (www.zerocc.org)

Munich Young Leader 2016

Daria Kaleniuk

Executive Director

Anticorruption Action Centre

Munich Young Leader 2019

Dr Oleksii Riabchyn

Deputy Minister of Energy and Environmental Protection of Ukraine

Member of Parliament (2014-2019)

Munich Young Leader 2018

Olexander Scherba,

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary

Munich Young Leader 2011

Svitlana Zalishchuk,

Foreign Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister of Ukraine

Member of Parliament (2014-2019)

Munich Young Leader 2017

Dr Igor Zhovkva

Deputy Chief of Staff to the President of Ukraine

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary

Munich Young Leader 2015

powered by lun.ua

Суд про MH17: російський експорт "настамнєт" буде девальвувати

Почався історичний суд для України про збитий літак MH17. Експорт російської мантри про "настамнєт" в різні західні столиці буде девальвувати так само, як сьогоднішня російська нафта...

Appeasement will not bring peace to Ukraine

Appeasement of the aggressor will not lead to peace in Ukraine. The peace can be restored only through the return of truth and international law A group of former "Munich young leaders" from Ukraine reacted to the 'peace plan' of the Euro-Atlantic security Leadership group...

В ЄС – як "вдома"

Трохи про результати першої Ради Асоціації в Брюсселі та перспективи Європейської інтеграції. Президентка Європейської комісії Урсула фон дер Ляєн на початку зустрічі запитала Прем'єра, "як вас тут приймають, як почувається українська делегація в Брюсселі?" І він відповів: "як вдома"...

Мажоритарка, так мажоритарка

Я наважилася і піду на парламентські вибори по мажоритарному округу. Самовисуванкою. Усвідомлюю, що це буде дуже не проста боротьба. Можливо, найскладніша за увесь мій професійний шлях – психологічно, фізично, ресурсно...

Війна на морі чи гра у виборчий ''Морський бій''

Боюся, що на головні питання парламент учора так і не отримав відповіді. Справа ж була не в тому, вводити воєнний стан чи не вводити. Справа в тому, на які загрози він відповідає, і що держава може вирішити за цей час...

Фейсбук і вибори

Після скандалу зі зловживанням мільйонами особистих даних користувачів Facebook компанією Кембридж Аналітика я написала листа керівництву соцмережі, щоб дізнатися скільки українських профілів потрапили в руки маніпуляторів виборами...