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  • Writer's pictureAnton Kuchuhidze

International Press Review dated 10 – 21 April 2023

This week, the Western media actively emphasize the need to return all temporarily occupied territories under Ukrainian control, and Ukraine's membership in Euro-Atlantic structures is gradually becoming a necessity to guarantee the peace in the world.

Foreign Policy published a very interesting article about the fact that Ukraine, like Finland, requires the greatest security guarantees and full integration into Euro-Atlantic structures in order to be able to develop as a free and democratic country.

The author notes that earlier there were doubts about Ukraine's readiness and ability to defend itself, and therefore about NATO's ability to defend Ukraine. However, any such doubts should have disappeared by now, as Ukraine has demonstrated impressive resolve and ability to repel russian aggression. The Ukrainian military has become the most experienced army in Europe. Ukraine is constantly moving closer to NATO standards through the supply of Western weapons and the deepening of defence cooperation with NATO allies.

In the near future, the West should focus on further supply of weapons to ensure that Ukraine can succeed in its planned counteroffensive and liberate at least some of the occupied territories in the coming months.

An editorial in The Washington Post argues that any settlement that does not return Crimea under control of Kyiv would establish a dangerous precedent and signal to other authoritarian countries that military land grabs are possible in the 21st century.

The author is convinced that if russia retains control over Crimea, the russian military bases located there will be able to attack the rest of Ukraine at any moment. Therefore, the continuation of the russian occupation of Crimea will prevent international investors from participating in the reconstruction of Ukraine, since there will always be a possibility of a resumption of hostilities, which will especially threaten the Ukrainian economy. That is, the West clearly sees that the further occupation of Crimea will affect the strategic and economic security of the entire region.

The information that the Ministry of Defence of Germany approved Warsaw's request for the transfer of five Soviet-designed fighter jets to Ukraine was quite expected, according to the article in The Washington Post.

This week's review of the international press indicates that Western partners no longer view Ukraine's fight with russia as a war or a territorial dispute. For the collective West, it means major changes in the world order, an opportunity to make the world safer and ensure democracy and peace for future generations. Full support of Ukraine is crucial both for Europe's stability and for restraining aggressive ambitions of other countries.

Any settlement that doesn’t return Crimea to Kyiv’s control signals to other belligerent powers that military land grabs will be tolerated—setting a dangerous precedent for the 21st century.

If Moscow keeps control of Crimea, Russia’s military bases there could launch attacks against the rest of Ukraine while also using the peninsula as a convenient place to refit and refurbish damaged military vehicles for future use. In this way, a continued Russian occupation of Crimea would deter international investors from taking part in Ukraine’s reconstruction efforts because there would always be the possibility of renewed fighting, which would particularly threaten the Ukrainian economy. From the peninsula Moscow can assault Ukraine’s otherwise lucrative global commercial shipping, including the export of grain to Africa and the Middle East.

A short-term focus on the battlefield shouldn’t stop us from seeing the unique opportunity Ukraine provides to reset the balance of power in favor of supporters of democracy and freedom worldwide and to sideline the emergent autocratic alliances between Russia, China, Iran and North Korea. The way to do it is to defeat Vladimir Putin and then make friends with Russia.

This time we should seize the extraordinary opening that would flow from Ukrainian victory. With our continued and full support for Kyiv, Mr. Putin’s ambition to conquer the country seems certain to fail. That would make it far harder for him to hold power for long. A post-Putin Russia predictably would desire stability and be less belligerent toward the West, which would offer economic prosperity and political opportunity.

Germany has approved Warsaw’s request for Poland to transfer five Soviet-designed fighter jets to Ukraine, the German Defense Ministry said Thursday.

The permission was needed because Germany used to own the Soviet-designed MiG-29 planes, which were part of communist East Germany’s military fleet.

“I welcome the fact that we in the federal government have reached this decision together,” Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said in a statement. “This shows you can rely on Germany!”

The sequence of joining the two organizations should be different for Ukraine, but the logic is the same. Just like Finland, Ukraine will need the strongest possible security guarantees and a firm anchor to the European political and economic order in order to be able to develop as a free and democratic country.

First, there used to be doubts about Ukraine’s readiness and ability to defend itself—and hence about NATO’s ability to defend Ukraine. Any such doubts should have vanished by now, as Ukraine has shown impressive resolve and capability to push back Russian aggression. The Ukrainian military has become the most combat-experienced army in Europe. Also, it has embarked on the path of becoming NATO-compatible through Western arms deliveries and deepening defense cooperation with NATO allies.

The Group of Seven nations vowed to support Ukraine for “as long as it takes” in its fight against Russian forces, while also calling for greater engagement with China to stabilize relations with the world’s second-biggest economy.

In a communique released Tuesday after top G-7 diplomats met in Japan, the bloc condemned Russia’s war against Ukraine “in the strongest possible terms.”

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