Kyiv Security Forum

Russia turns aggression against Ukraine into world war – Volodymyr Gorbulin

06 April 2017, 15:54

“Today, Ukraine lives in a constant state of war with Russia. Moreover, Ukraine is in the state of hybrid peace. It is the peace of permanent war. And the problem with the current situation is that Russia has no intention to satisfy with what it has already achieved, but constantly expands the geography of its aggression and turns it into a world war”, Volodymyr Gorbulin, Director of the National Institute for Strategic Studies, stated during the 10th Kyiv Security Forum held by the Arseniy Yatsenyuk Foundation Open Ukraine.

Volodymyr Gorbulin also noted that neither Ukraine nor Europe were not able to cope with Russian aggression alone. “In the third year of the war, I can say that Ukraine will not manage to overcome Russia alone. We can keep it at a distance, start a guerrilla war in case the aggression is expanded deep into Ukrainian territory, but unfortunately, we cannot talk about the victory right now. Europe is neither able to defeat Russia since it requires a consolidation of all European countries. Today, however, for many countries of Europe, the fact of Russian aggression is not obvious, they continue to be afraid to call a spade a spade and further hide head in the sand”, the Ukrainian expert said.

At the same time, he added that today Ukraine is an example to European countries of what they can expect if they continue to refuse the recognition of the new reality. “You should not trust the devil, who assures that he does not exist. Similarly, one should not trust Russia, which declares that it has no influence on the processes in Europe. Undoubtedly it has. And Ukraine, in this case, is an example to European countries of what they can expect if they continue to refuse the recognition of the new reality”, Volodymyr Gorbulin stressed.

As regards the new European plan for Ukraine, Volodymyr Gorbulin believes that such a plan is needed for the whole Europe. “It is not entirely correct that we are talking about a plan for Ukraine. Currently what is needed is a plan for the whole of Europe, which includes the EU countries, Ukraine, and other countries that have not yet become part of the European community. However, the countries that have no borders with Russia should also think in terms of war”, he noted.

Speaking about countering the Russian aggression, Volodymyr Gorbulin suggested, in particular, creating intergovernmental working groups which would include representatives of state and non-state analytical centers. The task of these groups would be the exchange of information, its analysis and the development of joint solutions to counter threats to Europe. Additionally, in his opinion, it is necessary to use the support of the biggest “friends” of Ukraine, for instance, of Canada and Poland, to fill the agreements with them with more specific content.

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Kyiv Security Forum was launched by the Arseniy Yatsenyuk Foundation Open Ukraine in 2007 is an annual international event to high-level discussions on the current issues in the Black Sea region and wider Europe. The Forum aims at increasing security cooperation between the EU and the Black Sea region, raising awareness about regional developments among key regional players, promoting the role of independent and non-governmental actors in setting the security agenda in Europe.