Kyiv Security Forum

Arseniy Yatsenyuk: NATO should station military units in Ukraine. We need to be become part of a joint anti-missile and anti-aircraft defense.

11 April 2019, 14:06

“We stand on the frontline. Our men and women in military uniform have proven that they are unbreakable. Help a 42-million-person nation prove to the entire world that democracy — isn’t just a word, that the West — is an ally, and that Putin — an aggressor. In this fight, everyone from the democratic world must stand behind Ukraine and every Ukrainian,” founder of the “Open Ukraine” Foundation and Ukrainian Prime Minister (2014-2016), Arseniy Yatsenyuk, appealed to Ukraine’s NATO partners during the Kyiv Security Forum on April 11.

Arseniy Yatsenyuk stated that Ukraine needs to receive real defensive weaponry from the Alliance member states. He appealed to the members of NATO: “We protect you, and you, as a result, protect yourself. Give us the ability to protect our freedom, our state, our country.”

Founder of the “Open Ukraine” Foundation emphasized that the Alliance needs to include Ukraine in the collective security system: “First step — NATO military units need to be stationed on Ukrainian’s territory.”

“This means joint training, this means joint collaboration and a clear military, political, and diplomatic signal that Ukraine is on the path towards NATO membership.”

“We need Ukraine to become a part of an anti-missile and anti-aircraft defense. We will continue to defend your border. Give us the ability to defend ours,” said Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

There is no way to guarantee Ukraine’s security, except to join NATO,” emphasized Arseniy Yatsenyuk: “We will make NATO stronger. We will make Europe safer. And you, our western friends and partners, will only further strengthen the Alliance and ensure your own security.”

Arseniy Yatsenyuk emphasized that he is “completely against any discussion about the current stateof the Alliance needing reform, that the Alliance needs to be left in the past, or some bizarre story about forming a European army that can protect Europe without NATO”: “This is fiction. This is nonsense.”

“NATO has no alternatives. There is no alternative for direct communication between the EU and the USA. And not just communication, but a powerful partnership that Europe and the USA have always demonstrated, during and after the Second World War,” he stressed.

“The stronger you are, the stronger we are. So let’s be stronger together. To make this a reality, concrete political decisions need to be made,” noted Arseniy Yatsenyuk, reminding us that in 2008, as Head of Parliament, he and the then-President and Prime Minister signed an appeal to NATOabout providing Ukraine with a membership action plan: “It has been 11 years. The appeal exists, the plan doesn’t.”

Arseniy Yatsenyuk turned to the Alliance member states: “Show political desire. Show decisiveness.

Show the entire world that we stand together. Demonstrate this by providing Ukraine with a NATOmembership action plan. So one more country — a strong, resilient country, that has proven it can fight — can become a member of the most powerful military-political Alliance, an Alliance that protects democracy and freedom. Don’t be afraid.”

This year Kyiv Security Forum, which takes place on April 11-12, gathered a record number of participants — over 1000. Among them are high-ranking representatives of Ukrainian state and statehood, diplomats, and experts from over 20 countries.

The annual “Kyiv Security Forum” was initiated by the Arseniy Yatsenyuk “Open Ukraine” Foundation in 2007. Since then, the Forum has become a platform for high-level, international discussions about relevant matters of national security, as well as the security of the Black Sea region, Europe, and the world.