Ukraine insists on a new role in European security

31.05.2015711

1432835011_28054228-29 May. — Four hundred politicians, business people and NGO representatives attended the 8th Kiev Security Forum. The Ukrainian government staged it to show national unity and to pose to foreign guests as the only barrier to the “aggressive” Russia.
The Kiev Security Forum was established by Arseny Yatsenyuk in 2007. It is an annual event where European and the Black Sea security issues are discussed.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko delivered a keynote speech at the Forum. He underlined the importance of effective implementation of the Minsk agreements and was the first to introduce a Messianic vision of his country’s role in European security. “Ukraine now defends not only its own sovereignty but the security of the entire Europe,” he claimed. The President said that there is no internal conflict, on the contrary – “an aggressor has made Ukraine unified as never before”.
Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk followed his President in expanding further on Ukraine’s ‘special mission’. “We understand perfectly that it is unacceptable to regain Lugansk and Donetsk with military means. But we must defend Ukraine. And if you support Ukraine, support its modernised Army, we will defend your borders as well, the borders of the European Union because Russia is a threat to the security of the EU and to the entire Free World,” he said. It is worth noting that the Free World idea – a Cold-War term – was repeatedly used by many Forum speakers.
Like Poroshenko, Yatsenyuk also stressed national unity. Though, his example was about the unity between the President and Prime Minister. “Me and the President are well aware of all challenges that we face and we are ready to overcome them. But we need support of the Free World – don’t go back to business as usual with Russia,” he vowed.
Olexandr Turchynov, chairman of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine, also sounded Messianic. He noted that Russian nuclear weapon is a threat not only to Ukraine but, mainly, to Europe. “It is a serious threat that breaks the balance of power in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean regions,” he said and added that war in Ukraine could go Europe-wide. Turchynov also called for tougher economic sanctions against Russia and for re-equipment of Ukrainian Army with allies’ help.
Deputy head of the expert group EuroTemp Artem Samokhin says the Forum was strategically important to provide ideological explanation of the Ukrainian-Russian rift. “The idea of Ukraine defending Europe and the entire Free World from Russia established firmly at the Forum. It was endorsed by powerful representatives of twenty countries. This is a real success in the perspective of future conflict,” he concluded.

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