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  • Writer's pictureAnton Kuchuhidze

International Press Review dated 17-28 June, 2024

This week, international media most actively discussed the start of negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the EU and the use of frozen russian assets to restore and finance our country.


Thus, Le Monde notes that on June 25, the European Union began accession talks with Ukraine and Moldova. This historic step is aimed, in particular, at demonstrating a vote of confidence in Ukraine's future and making it clear that Ukraine is on the path to moving away from russian influence.


In addition, Reuters writes that a security agreement between the EU and Ukraine is expected to be signed soon, which will enshrine the EU's commitment to help Ukraine in nine areas of politics, security and defence, including arms supplies, military training, cooperation with the defence industry and demining.


Another important step agreed upon at the G-7 meeting was the decision to finance Ukraine using russian assets. President Biden and key European leaders reached an agreement to provide Ukraine with a tranche of up to $50 billion, which will be secured by the proceeds of frozen russian assets. The main details of the financial agreement are yet to be finalized.


President Biden said that this step would be a reminder to putin that "we stand together against this illegal aggression." This was reported in The Wall Street Journal.


An interesting article was published in The Economist about the purpose and scope of putin's war against Ukraine. Putin's war in Ukraine is not a goal in itself, but only part of his plan to fight the West.


The russian leader's goal is not just to break Ukraine and stop its aspirations for Western democracies, but also to dismantle the American-led security system that emerged after World War II. His vision of security calls for a Europe without NATO and without organizations that support the fundamental principles of freedom, democracy and the rule of law. This vision also envisions russia working with other countries to contain American power in the Arctic, Euro-Atlantic and Indo-Pacific regions.


The author argues that neither putin's revolution nor his war is coming to an end. The West should continue to support Ukraine's right to self-defence and strengthen collective security and defence in the Euro-Atlantic region and around the world as part of a strategic scheme to manage russia's pressure and attack on the global security system.


Despite signing important agreements, holding a peace summit, and taking the historic step of starting EU accession negotiations, Ukraine continues to fight the russian aggressor for its survival. Putin's destabilizing and aggressive policy against the entire collective West continues and can only be stopped by strengthening the position of Ukraine and the Euro-Atlantic security system.

 



A strong bipartisan majority in the House and Senate included the Rebuilding Economic Prosperity and Opportunity (REPO) for Ukrainians Act in the recently enacted foreign-aid package. This law authorizes the president to seize the immobilized Russian sovereign assets and place them in an international trust fund for the benefit of Ukraine. This offers the legal protection of possessing title to those assets, as placing the assets in trust provides sound legal assurance and oversight. Only in this structure are G-7 taxpayers assured that they don’t remain on the hook as contingent guarantors of a complex international loan.

 



President Biden and key European leaders reached an agreement to finance Ukraine with a loan of up to $50 billion, backed by the profits on frozen Russian assets.


Key details of the financing arrangement still need to be agreed on, but the leaders, meeting at a summit of the Group of Seven major advanced economies, hope it will shore up Ukraine’s finances as it fights against the two-year-old Russian invasion.

 


The United States will suspend the planned export of hundreds of air defense munitions to its allies and partners and redirect them to Ukraine, the White House said Thursday, as Russia continues its assault on the country’s power grid and other vital infrastructure.


Speaking to reporters, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby characterized the decision as “difficult but necessary,” and said it would affect deliveries of Patriot and NASAMS interceptor missiles, principally. Ukraine, he said, faces a “desperate” need.

 



The European Union launched accession negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova on Tuesday, June 25, setting the fragile ex-Soviet states on a long path towards membership that Russia has tried to block. The landmark move is aimed in particular at signaling a vote of confidence in Ukraine's future as Moscow has momentum on the battlefield almost two and a half years into the Kremlin's invasion.


Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky called it a "historic day" ahead of the start of talks between officials from Kyiv and the EU's 27 member states in Luxembourg.

 



NATO member Romania announced on Thursday, June 20, that it would send a Patriot missile system to Ukraine, which Kyiv has requested to help its fight against Russia's invasion.


"Considering the significant deterioration of the security situation in Ukraine... council members decided to donate a Patriot system to Ukraine in close coordination with allies," the Supreme Council of National Defence said in a statement. The donation was made "on the condition that our country continues negotiations with allies, in particular the US, with a view to obtaining a similar or equivalent system" to protect its own air space, it added.

 



Dozens of countries meeting for a landmark international summit on peace in Ukraine agreed on Sunday, June 16, that Kyiv should enter dialogue with Russia on ending the war, while strongly supporting Ukraine's independence and territorial integrity.


More than two years after Russia invaded, leaders and top officials from more than 90 states spent the weekend at a Swiss mountainside resort for a two-day summit dedicated to resolving the largest European conflict since World War II. "We believe that reaching peace requires the involvement of and dialogue between all parties," stated a final communique, supported by the vast majority of the countries that attended the summit at the Burgenstock complex overlooking Lake Lucerne.

 



The European Union is expected to sign a security agreement with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Thursday, pledging to keep delivering weapons, military training and other aid to Kyiv for years to come.


The agreement will lay out the EU's commitment to help Ukraine in nine areas of security and defence policy - including arms deliveries, military training, defence industry cooperation and demining, according to a draft seen by Reuters.

 



The European Union opened membership talks with Ukraine on Tuesday, giving the country a political boost in the midst of its war against Russia's invasion, although a long and tough road still lies ahead before it could join the bloc.


Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, addressing the meeting in Luxembourg by video link, said the start of the talks was a historic moment and a significant step for both Kyiv and the EU towards "our shared great victory".

 


When vladimir putin invaded Ukraine in 2022, many Western observers thought it a temporary regional crisis that ultimately would settle into a frozen conflict.  Two and a half years later, this view is challenged by a more consequential reality.


The Russian leader’s goal is not just to break Ukraine and stop its quest for a place in the family of Western democracies, but to dismantle the American-led security system that emerged after the second world war. In that sense Mr Putin is fomenting a revolution: using the strategy and tactics of revolution against the Western system. His war against Ukraine is inextricably linked to the strategic objective of his revolution.

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