As I influence international policy to some extent I strive to participate in the creation of free and secure world for all nations, including my people by all means. Grounding on these principles, I comment on serious international problems hoping for positive result. In this article I’d like to dwell on Ukrainian issue, which is a serious problem to my view.
Today Ukraine is an independent, sovereign state, a member of UNO. But this is not enough for Ukrainians. Why? The reason is routed within the history of Ukraine and the history of the region, when more than a thousand years ago there was no Russia or Ukraine, but Kievan Rus. Glorifying its history, Ukrainians say that Ukraine was a cradle, but joint history makes it difficult to observe Ukraine as an independent from its Russian brothers, and within last 200 years Ukrainian language has practically vanished.
Ukrainians also say that the history of Ukraine comprises permanent longstanding struggle for independence, that till now they have gained independence for five times, but only for short periods. Why? Because there were no guarantees of independence. Ukrainians say that the first independence of Ukraine as a Republic lasted for six months, the second – for three months. Once their independence existed only for 18 hours.
Officially Russians don’t object to Ukrainian independence; they recognize it as an independent, sovereign state – neighboring brother republic.
What is the matter? Why is it a serious problem? The problem is that Ukraine needs guarantees, as it states, in order not to lose its independence as before. But these guarantees is a very difficult and dangerous case for Russia. This is what dangerous about the issue. The thing that Russia considers as a threat to its security and independence is a guarantee of security and independence for Ukraine. This is a route of the problem and severe contradictions in the policy of both states.
> Ukraine Map
It’s absolutely evident that Ukraine wants to join the EU and North Atlantic Alliance, considering this process as a firm guarantee of its independence. In reality, these guarantees operate against Russia, and no any other state. Russians say that guarantees demanded by Ukraine are a serious challenge for the security of Russia and they don’t think they are necessary as Russia recognizes the independence and sovereignty of Ukraine.
Regardless of viewpoints of both Parties the case is very serious and is a great problem. If NATO comes to Ukraine, it will mean that this organization will knock Moscow’s gates. And if an enemy knocks your door you will either open it or he will knock this door down.
This is a potential threat. From the other side, Ukraine calms its sister Russia saying that Ukrainian constitution prohibits the location of foreign military bases within Ukrainian lands, that is why Russia has nothing to worry about. Russia contravenes that the threat is not in bases, but in that NATO will present within Ukrainian territory even without permanent bases, and Ukrainian armed forces will become a part of forces of member-states of this Alliance.
This condition is unacceptable for Russia, as it directly affects its security. Ukrainians state that they need only international guarantees of its independence, that they won’t provoke any danger for Russia, that they are ready to sign any document with it specifying that Ukraine pledges that there will be no threats towards Russia. However many Russian people think that the joining of Ukraine to the North Atlantic hostile for Russia is already a threat.
There are other problems except these main one. They are secondary but still grave. They should be solved; otherwise there will be undesirable consequences. But even greater troubles can occur within the process of these problems solution. Ukrainians call these problems delicate. Among them: Tuzla Island, continental shelf, Sevastopol city and Russian naval base there, Holodomor of 1932-1933, that was a condemnation of a hateful past but not of Russia. There is a problem of the Crimea. It’s known that 20% of Ukrainian citizens are Russians!
This is a general view of Ukrainian problem. During the visit to Russia for the first time after the USSR collapse, and the visit to Ukraine for the first time after proclamation of its independence, I wanted to put and explain these questions to all Parties. Maybe, this will help to assess the situation and potential consequences correctly, before making a decision that could damage global peace. My country and all nations care of the destiny of this peace a lot. Even the Parties concerned can be harmed. These Parties are extremely important players within global arena. This is Russia, the European Union and North Atlantic Alliance. Their collision will endanger international security and peace.
Translated from www.vremya.ru