Why not secure the borders of Ukraine?

Over the last few years we have witnessed the change of the main paradigm in security that has led to devastating consequences for international peace and for the lives of people. Almost every day Ukraine is losing its soldiers and civilians during the war in the Donbass. Despite the Minsk agreements, we are constantly confronted with violent attacks on our cities from the Russian militants, and the recent attack on the plant with the application of the Minsk agreements prohibited weapons led to the formation of an emergency situation that threatens to escalate into a humanitarian catastrophe.


Who would have predicted a few years ago, that Ukraine will become a victim of aggression and part of its territory will be annexed? After 2013 in Ukraine, much has changed: she became stronger, from scratch recreated his army, had in a short period of numerous reforms, and — more importantly — the mentality of its people changed and became European.

© AP Photo Evgeniy MaloletkaЧеловек waiting for humanitarian aid in Avdeevka

Despite significant challenges in the area of security, my country has come closer to Europe. We are in the final stages of obtaining a visa-free regime with the European Union, as well as our Association Agreement with the EU; we are a member of the Energy community Treaty and fulfill the so-called Third energy package; we signed the Paris agreement on climate change; we have joined the West European Association of nuclear regulators (Western European Nuclear Regulators Association). Ukraine is a member of the UN, the WTO, the Organization for democracy and economic development GUAM; she works closely with the International monetary Fund (IMF), the world Bank, the European atomic energy community; we are part of the NATO program “Partnership for peace” and participate in most of the ongoing NATO-led activities.


Even more important is that Ukraine is close to Western values and the Western way of life. For the first time in 25 years, educated in the West, the professionals, including me, became part of the government. Although they do not yet constitute a critical mass, like the reformers, together with civil society are key drivers of what is happening in Ukraine changes.


However, despite the protection of the country, the promise of which is contained in the Budapest Memorandum, Ukraine continues to bleed because of the war in the Donbass.

In 1994, signed the Budapest Memorandum, Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons in exchange for assurances of security in case of threat of force or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence. However, the international paradigm of security to a considerable extent is influenced by the Russian illegal annexation of Crimea and its increasingly aggressive military position on a global scale. Ukraine’s security is no longer guaranteed. Budapest Memorandum is just not working.


How can we ensure world order, if the agreements and traditional means are not working? We have a guarantee from NATO, from regional alliances in security, energy alliances, we have sanctions against the aggressor — and what else? Ukraine needs to receive assurances from those who guarantee Western order from the United States, France, the United Kingdom and Germany assurances that the country will not remain alone in fight against external aggressors.


Ukrainians rhyme suffered and continue to suffer in order to give up now, they suffer, including from deep recession and social disaster. Since the Russian aggression in 2014 10 thousand people were killed, 1.5 million people became refugees inside the country, 10% of our territory is occupied, and our economy has shrunk by 16%. Every day Ukraine becomes the object of an undeclared hybrid war, the war against the aggressor, who uses all means possible — troops, cyber attacks, propaganda, diplomacy, and even energy.


A well-developed energy infrastructure, especially its powerful gas pipeline system, makes Ukraine an important player in regional energy security. It is a key gas transit country for the EU. The input power of this system exceeds 228 billion cubic meters per year, and senior capacity in the European direction exceeds 151 billion cubic meters, which puts it on a par with the largest gas pipeline systems in the world. In addition, Ukraine has a powerful nuclear power and still untapped potential in the field of renewable energy. We have great opportunities in agriculture, it, metallurgy and other industries that make our country unique in Europe.

Ukrainians give their lives for European values, for the values of peace, dignity and human rights. Not only our politics and Economics, but also our civil society has undergone significant transformation. There is a group of highly motivated young activists and leaders who were intolerant towards corruption. One result of this is the anti-corruption Agency created in order to destroy the post-Soviet heritage, which has become a cancer for our nation.


Despite the slow pace of changes in Ukraine are real. Reformers and civil society are fighting. With the support of Europe and the United States, they will be able to make the changes irreversible. We reformed our armed forces and we are ready to become part of the international agenda in the field of security. Ukraine is ready to start negotiations about binding guarantees of security for all non-nuclear States. A small investment in Ukraine will provide high returns for Europe!


The Budapest Memorandum showed the willingness of the Ukrainian leadership to subordinate restored the state to international law and to strengthen the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. We refused-thirds of the world’s nuclear Arsenal, thereby setting a precedent of voluntary nuclear disarmament in exchange for peace and territorial security. Today the sanctions against our aggressor are useful, but they are not sufficient.


The world must understand that it is not a single process and not a regional event. No nation can feel safe in a world where rules can be violated so easily and so cynically. Our case is part of a broader agenda in security. Ukraine asks its international partners have fulfilled their legal obligations to prevent any new aggression against its national security, thus strengthening mutual confidence and maintaining peace and order.


Natalia Katser-Buckovski member of the Ukrainian Parliament, she is also the head of the Subcommittee for sustainable development, the strategy and investment Committee of the fuel and energy complex, nuclear policy and security.