Oleksiy Danylov, the secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, makes it clear who should provide security guarantees to whom and what sort of assurances Russia deserves from the civilized world.
“Agreement with Russia and a handshake instead of the Nürnberg [trials]? Will returning to “business as usual” be hampered by the blood of the Ukrainians on Putin’s hands? Danylov remarked, “It is a peculiar logic of backroom diplomatic dealings, which belong in the past.
It is difficult to think that anyone would even consider the possibility, much less utter something like that aloud, that Russia, the most significant current threat to international peace, needs any security guarantees. Who on earth could say something so absurd?” Danylov questioned, “Who wants to provide security guarantees to Russia, a terrorist and murderer state?”
French President Emmanuel Macron did state this. In an interview the day before, Macron stated that “the West should think about how to answer the demand for security guarantees raised by Russia if Vladimir Putin chooses to negotiate to stop the war with Ukraine.” The creation of a new security architecture for the continent must start in Europe and be thought out for the future.
The French President is correct, at least about the latter issue. Europe will need to reconsider its security strategy from now on. For some reason, the Kremlin was regarded as a stabilizing force before Russia’s full-scale invasion. That illusion ought to have been crushed on February 24.
Not the other way around, according to Danylov, the world needs security assurances from Russia. He continued that the best guarantee for Europe and the rest of the world “is a so-called Russia that is demilitarized and stripped of nuclear weapons.” He continued, “The only guarantee [for Russia] is that the European judiciary is humanitarian – there is no death penalty after the sentence in The Hague.”
The Ukrainian official also recalled that under the Budapest Memorandum of 1994, signed by the United States, United Kingdom, and Russia, Ukraine surrendered its nuclear arsenal inherited from the Soviet Union in exchange for security assurances and a promise that its sovereignty and borders would be respected.
In 2014, Russia unlawfully annexed Crimea and began a war in the Donbas. In February of this year, Russia again violated the Memorandum by invading Ukraine and launching an all-out war.
“The knowledge gained from ‘Budapest’ will be helpful. Danylov wrote, “When you are defenseless, you are not a threat. Unfortunately, we are all too familiar with it.