Wednesday

21st Feb 2024

Opinion

A UK, Poland, Ukraine alliance could ensure European security

  • Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky at last week's G7 summit in Japan, with EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, and UK prime minister Rishi Sunak (Photo: Downing Street)
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War does not change you; it shows who you truly are. The full-scale invasion of Ukraine has shown the true nature of all alliances and coalitions within Europe. It also demonstrates the importance of allies fully committing to their relationships.

There are still no guarantees on whether Ukraine will become a part of Nato. No matter how often Nato leadership says that the doors to Nato 'are open', Ukraine still has no Membership Action Plan.

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Some commentators still say it is more beneficial for Nato to have Ukraine as a buffer nation between Nato's weaker central European countries and Russia.

The UK has always been a huge navy power, Ukraine has 10 years of combat experience, and Poland is a major power in Europe. Ukraine has proved itself to be the strongest power on the continent by beating up 'the second-best army in the world'.

Ukraine has been successfully fighting against not terrorists and separatist groups but the regular army of the largest country in the world. The UK has not only been a tremendous support to Ukrainians who had to flee the country and seek for a safe place to stay, but has been at the forefront of military support to Ukraine.

Many Ukrainians see the UK as our greatest ally in this time of need. In only the latest show of support, last week the UK announced Storm Shadow cruise missiles would be given to Ukraine.

At the same time, Poland has been advocating for support of Ukraine since day one of the invasion. It has been a huge supporter of the country in military terms, and it has been actively advocating for Ukraine's EU and Nato membership. Poland has been Ukraine's strongest supporter within the EU. The UK's navy power combined with Poland and Ukraine's land forces will form a great alliance that would ensure security in Europe.

Warsaw-London-Kyiv axis could become a huge power on the continent with strategic implications that could reverberate across the world. The UK is a huge maritime power that through Ukraine and Poland could have guaranteed safe access to the Black and Baltic Seas to project its influence.

There has been a major shift in Ukrainians' mentality and mindset from when the war started in 2014 and even more so with the full-scale invasion in 2022.

As Dmytro Kuleba says in his book The War for Reality: "Only those who have experienced the horrors and brutality of the war can truly understand its ugliness."

Ukrainians have been experiencing this ugliness every day, therefore, we see it as our global mission not to let this horror happen to other countries and nations. Once we beat Russia, I have no doubt that we will do all we can to prevent other nations from facing what we have done.

Here it would be necessary to mention how partners' military aid to Ukraine has been extremely helpful. During the recent missile attacks, Ukraine's air defence shot down 18 out of 18 Russian attempts on 16 May. This included six Kinzhal air-launched ballistic missiles which previously had never been destroyed.

Ukraine was isolated from the world in the past, the world did not know and understand us. Ukraine held itself apart from the world after the fall of the USSR, we declared neutrality in the face of developing power dynamics.

However, neutrality has failed to protect us. We have had to learn this lesson the hard way as we are facing the results of our neutrality.

Post-USSR neutrality

When the USSR collapsed, Ukraine was the only country that voluntarily gave up its nuclear arms. This makes Ukraine one of the biggest contributors to nuclear non-proliferation in the world's history. In doing so, Ukraine gave up a huge part of its military potential in return for security guarantees. Today, it is obvious that self-isolation is not an option and that some nations' guarantees are not worth the paper they are written on.

The world has become more sensitive to the issue of upholding human rights since the fall of the USSR. It does not tolerate human rights violations anymore. Countries are taking note of the war crimes that Russia has perpetrated against our nation.

Despite previous inactivity, more and more countries are moving their factories and production out of China to avoid being associated with a murderously oppressive regime that commits genocide against its own people. This means that Europe has undergone a huge mindset shift.

The world is currently entering a phase marked by global wars and conflicts. It is crucial that we possess the capacity to defend ourselves, as this will determine whether we can effectively cooperate and stand united. Without true unity of purpose, these conflicts will only result in chaos and, ultimately, the collapse of civilisation.

I urge you to unite not for the sake of today and tomorrow but for the future of democracy. Helping Ukraine is not charity, it is your contribution to the strategic security of Europe. There will be no more beneficial and helpful partner than a nation that stopped Putin's Russia and a society that is united in the face of global threats.

Author bio

Oleksii Goncharenko is a Ukrainian MP for Odessa.

Disclaimer

The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author's, not those of EUobserver.

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