Poland’s ex-Minister of Defence: West should develop a new policy towards the Russian Federation and Ukraine
Mr Bogdan Klich, Poland’s Minister of Defence in 2007-2011, addressing the 7th Kyiv Security Forum, suggested that the European Union and the Alliance should develop new programmes of cooperation with Russia and Ukraine.
‘After the lessons we all learned in the past months, one could say that security of the West without a stable and sovereign Ukraine in impossible. Not only are you fighting for your own security, freedom, and sovereignty, but you have also assumed responsibility for the security of the West,’ noted the ex-Minister of Defense, adding that the West is, for him, the EU member states and the NATO.
According to Mr Klich, the West can now observe a clear re-orientation of Ukraine. He believes that the unfolding events ‘should lead us to raising the issue of our current and future relations with Russia, and, second, of our relations with Ukraine in the security sector.’
‘What is found in some documents, on paper, is of lesser importance than the current policy capable of withstanding the Russian aggression in the international arena,’ he said. In particular, the ex-minister believes, the plans of Kremlin to regain its influence on post-Soviet states must be curbed. ‘We have to develop a new policy of checking Russia’s ambitions in at least three regions, namely East Europe, Central Asia, and Southern Caucasus,’ he explained.
Within the context of enhancing the Alliance’s cooperation with Kyiv, Mr Klich recalled of the functioning Ukraine-NATO Commission, as well as the signed Charter on a Distinctive Partnership. ‘These mechanisms have to be further developed,’ he added. Also, in the opinion of the Polish representative, the EU Association Agreement will create an opportunity for Ukraine to develop a broad range of relations, including with the Alliance.
Mr Klich also admitted that initially, the EU must have underestimated the role of the Association Agreement. ‘The European approach was for less strategic, more technical, operational relations. There was a gap between your expectations related to the Agreement and our approach to this instrument’. According to the Polish representative, nowadays, however, the EU is increasingly more aware of the significance of the Agreement.
‘The Ukrainian nation is a great nation. It is a nation that decided to stand in the battlefield for European values. We are so excited with what you have managed to achieve in these months,’ Mr Klich stated.
The 2-day agenda of Kyiv Security Forum offers six panels, all open to the media. Any changes to the agenda will be posted on the Forum’s web-site.
Media professionals can make use of the press centre with work stations, Wi-Fi access, and live broadcast of all the panels. In addition, there is a special media corner in the conference room.
Organizers are ready to facilitate individual interviews with and comments from the Forum speakers on advance notice.
The annual international event, Kyiv Security Forum, was initiated by Arseniy Yatsenyuk Foundation Open Ukraine in 2007. It is a platform for debates on the hottest European and Black Sea security issues. The purpose of the Forum is to enhance cooperation in the security sector between the EU and the Black Sea region, raise awareness on security developments among key players, and increasing the role of independent and non-government actors in identifying solutions to security challenges in Europe.
The event is supported by Victor Pinchuk Foundation, NATO Information and Documentation Centre in Ukraine and the Chatham House, UK.
Visit http://ksf.openukraine.org/ for more information on the project
Open Ukraine Foundation is an international charity created on Arseniy Yatseniuk’s initiative for the purpose of strengthening public diplomacy and building up Ukraine’s image globally. The Foundation achieves its goals through implementation of its key programs, e.g.: International Dialogue, Cultural Horizons, Young Leaders. The Foundation brings together a broad range of donors and individuals that care about Ukraine’s image and its future.
For additional info on the Foundation please visit: http://openukraine.org.