Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday welcomed a proposal drawn up by senior Ukrainian officials and a former NATO chief that outlined a plan for security guarantees Kyiv would seek from Western countries.
The proposal emphasizes Ukraine’s desire to become a NATO member and says that until Kyiv joins the Western military alliance, it needs security guarantees from other countries.
The document says that the “strongest security guarantee for Ukraine lies in its capability to defend itself.” It says building up a sufficient defensive force requires “a multi-decade effort of sustained investment in Ukraine’s defense industrial base, scalable weapons transfers and intelligence support from allies, intensive training missions and joint exercises under the European Union and NATO flags.”
The security guarantees Ukraine seeks from other countries is a commitment for them to support Ukraine’s ability to create this force to deter future attacks through military aid, funding of reconstruction, training, intelligence sharing, and joint exercises.
According to the document, the countries Ukraine wants security guarantees from include but are not limited to “the US, UK, Canada, Poland, Italy, Germany, France, Australia, Turkey, and Nordic, Baltic, and Central European countries.”
As part of this arrangement, Ukraine seeks a “massive training and joint maneuver program of Ukrainian forces and partners on Ukrainian territory with international trainers and advisors.”
Zelensky on Wednesday welcomed the plan, which was drawn up with the help of Anders Fogh Rasmussen, a former NATO secretary-general. Zelensky said that the report “should become the basis of the future security compact.”
Russia condemned the document as the threat of NATO expansion into Ukraine was one of its main motivations for launching the invasion. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova pointed out that many of the proposals are already being implemented as Ukraine is receiving billions in aid from Western countries.
“Weapons have been supplied to Ukraine non-stop,” Zakharova said, according to the Russian news agency TASS. “The financial assistance being channeled to Ukraine in all of its forms, be it money transfers, or loans and so on, is unprecedented in recent history.”