September 21, 2023

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‘Wagner to train Belarusian troops and get three bases’ • Pentagon denies decision to ‘close’ long-range missiles

‘Wagner to train Belarusian troops and get three bases’ • Pentagon denies decision to ‘close’ long-range missiles

Ukraine needs security guarantees to defend itself against Russian attacks and attempts at destabilization in the long term. This is what European leaders say. Now it is a matter of translating that commitment into concrete steps in principle. In this regard the EU mainly looks to NATO.

At a summit in Brussels on Thursday, leaders discussed the war in Ukraine at length against the backdrop of Russia’s failed Wagnerian insurgency. Ukrainian President Zelensky also addressed the gathering via video.

The 27 recognized that the war could go on for some time and that any commitment would have to last for several years. So military, financial and humanitarian support is not in question, providing security guarantees for Ukraine in the long term is now crucial. This is an issue that France has put on the table.

AP – French President Emmanuel Macron (front left) with German Chancellor Olaf Schaals (front right) at a European summit in Brussels today.

It is no coincidence that the EU now wants to enter the debate. A crucial NATO summit will be held in Vilnius in two weeks, and ultimately only this alliance can guarantee Ukraine’s security. However, this is not a simple discussion. “The only security guarantee NATO can offer is the use of Article 5 of its treaty,” says a diplomatic source, which states that an attack on one NATO member state is considered an attack against all members. But that is why there is no question that Ukraine will join NATO until the war with Russia breaks out.

Also, the provision of a nuclear umbrella is seen as the only credible guarantee. “Everything else is secondary,” he says. The US wants to keep formal debate away from NATO, while France is said to be not entirely comfortable with a new transatlantic alliance with the US, the United Kingdom and Germany (the ‘Quad’) dealing with current security issues.

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AFP – Residents of Kiev shelter from the rain.

But in addition to following NATO’s path, EU countries are also making efforts to guarantee Kiev’s security. The ultimate commitment is to grant union membership. The European Commission is expected to issue a black-and-white report after the summer that Ukraine has implemented its proposed reforms, so that the accession process can formally begin by the end of the year.

However, this would put the ball back in the leaders’ court as the EU would have to prepare to ‘absorb’ a country of over 40 million people. Also, an EU with Ukraine (and Moldova) would tilt the political balance towards Eastern Europe.