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Ukraine President on Europe's future

May 4, 2017 2:30 PM
By Carol Weaver

President Poroshenko on the future of Europe - Chatham House event 19 April

By Dr Carol Weaver

The President of Ukraine emphasised that the future of Ukraine goes hand in hand with the future of Europe when he talked at Chatham House on the 19 April. Both are at stake as well as the future of the free world that we have fought for over many decades. We need a world governed by the rule of law not the rule of force.

There is not a 'clash of civilizations', he added, but a clash between rules and force.

Many might think that the storm will pass if we just wait but the President fears this is not the case. Hoping that the crocodile will eat you last is not good.

At a recent 'Normandy format' (Ukraine, Russia, France, Germany) telephone meeting about the Minsk 2 agreement (see below) on Eastern Ukraine, Russia's attitude was that there would only be peace on Putin's terms. Nevertheless he hopes the Normandy discussions can continue after the French elections.

After the end of the USSR, Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons in return for guarantees from Russia, the US and the UK (also France and China to a lesser extent). This was documented in the Budapest Memorandum. What lessons will other countries learn with regard to nuclear proliferation given the violation of the guarantees?

The Ukrainians have built up their armies and defended their country but Russia does not want peace. The President believes in a strong NATO and the Americans agreed with him in recent discussions.

Mr Poroshenko says three things are necessary now in Europe:

  1. To be strong
  2. To be united
  3. To be strong and united

For more on Minsk 2 see DR Weaver's 2016 article in Vox Ukraine: