James Bezan: At the NATO Summit in Warsaw there will be a struggle between the supporters and the opponents of the confrontation with Russia
“At the NATO Summit in Warsaw there will be a tough struggle between states who recognize the aggressive ideology of Moscow and those who do not want to confront with it,” – said James Bezan, a shadow Defense Minister and a Member of Parliament of Canada, during the 9th Kyiv Security Forum, organized by the Arseniy Yatsenyuk Open Ukraine Foundation.
“Today some NATO-members do not want to see further expansion to the East and the opposition to Russian aggression. They do not want to strengthen the defense system, monitoring system, etc. Unfortunately, there are those who want to appease the aggressor. This, on the one hand, is our weakness, and on the other – a signal for Putin to continue aggression. With this in mind, in Warsaw there will be a tough struggle between countries who understand the aggressive ideology of Moscow and those who do not want to confront with it,” – said J. Bezan.
The Canadian official also touched on the problems of the implementation of the agreements reached within the framework of the 2014 Wales summit by the Alliance members.
“At the summit in Wales NATO has assumed certain obligations and now we see them in action. NATO is increasing its presence in the eastern and southern borders, developing the missile defense system, conducting training and more. At the same time we see Russia continuing its aggressive policy against its neighbors and constantly provoking the Alliance. And we take this into account when talking about curbing its’ aggressive actions,” – said Mr. James.
At the same time, he noted that some arrangements are not executed in a proper way. “One of the controversial issues at the Wales Summit was the increase of spending on the defense to 2% of GDP. Unfortunately, today only 5 NATO countries follow this principle, including Canada. So our task is to ensure its’ implementation in the future. I am particularly working with the new Government of Canada to bring our defense spending to at least 1.5% of GDP. I want to draw your attention to the fact that it is a very hard work: many believe that this is not necessary because Canada has no serious threats today and that we should make better use of peace dividends,” – said J. Bezan.
Returning to the question of the Warsaw Summit, J. Bezan said that his agenda would include the Ukrainian issue as well: “At the summit in Warsaw we will discuss the Ukrainian issue, including military assistance for Ukraine. We will have to think which defensive weapons we should provide for Ukraine in order to enable it to repel the attacks in the East. We will finally have to determine that Ukrainian red line, which will force the West to be more resolute in the issue of assistance for it”.
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The annual international event Kyiv Security Forum launched by Arseniy Yatsenyuk Foundation Open Ukraine in 2007 is a platform for debate on the most pressing security issues in Europe and the Black Sea Region.
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9th Kyiv Security Forum (Ukrainian):
9th KYIV SECURITY FORUM (ENGLISH)