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  • Writer's pictureAnton Kuchuhidze

International Press Review for the Period dated 17 - 28 July 2023

The review of the international press this week shows that after the NATO summit in Vilnius, discussions are spreading about the provision of security guarantees to Ukraine and about the correct formalization of such guarantees at the legislative level.

An editorial in The Washington Post is very neat in this sense. It emphasizes that in the early 1990s, the government in Kyiv, under pressure from Washington and London, agreed to give up its post-Soviet nuclear arsenal that was the third largest in the world at that time, and to hand it over to russia. Instead, Ukraine received shaky assurances that do not correspond to real guarantees that the United States, Great Britain, and russia itself will respect Ukraine's sovereignty and current borders.

That is, there is a fairly clear understanding in the West that if Kyiv had kept its nuclear weapons at that time, it would not be waging an existential war against the ruscist federation today. Ukrainians know that when it comes to security assistance from friends, assurances are good, but legally binding guarantees are better. The article notes that long-standing military support of Washington for Israel, enshrined in a memorandum of understanding between the two countries, can serve as a template for security guarantees. This model can be reproduced in Ukraine and reinforced by legislation on the Capitol Hill.

The law on relations with Taiwan can serve as another model. This law does not provide for US military intervention in the event of a Chinese invasion. However, it obliges Washington "to provide Taiwan with such defence products and defence services in such quantities as may be necessary to enable Taiwan to maintain an adequate self-defence capability." However, under any circumstances, the West will have to satisfy Kyiv's great need for weapons.

The Wall Street Journal published a surprise news that France will supply cruise missiles to Ukraine, becoming the second country to increase Kyiv's effectiveness on the battlefield with long-range strikes. French Scalp missiles, manufactured by MBDA conglomerate, are almost identical to the Storm Shadow cruise missiles that the UK began supplying to Ukraine in May.

An interesting article was published in The Wall Street Journal. The British Foreign Minister claimed in an interview that russia's withdrawal from the UN-backed agreement on the permission for the export of Ukrainian grain demonstrates why moscow must lose the war. Otherwise the world will face even greater economic destruction, which will fall disproportionately on the poorest strata of the population. The Minister also added: "Ukrainians deserve our constant support, as they make the most of the help we provide."

Le Monde wrote that the EU will allocate 20 billion euros for the defence of Ukraine. Within the European Peace Facility, European countries will allocate 5 billion euros per year for the next four years for Ukraine's defence needs.

In general, the trend of supporting Ukraine remains stable. Obviously, the Western partners are becoming more and more aware every day that it was the soft position in relations with russia and the indecision of NATO that led to the full-scale invasion of russia to Ukraine. I am sure that the Western countries will find a consensus on clear security guarantees for Ukraine, fixed at the legislative level.

French President Emmanuel Macron said Tuesday that France will supply Ukraine with cruise missiles, becoming the second nation to improve Kyiv’s battlefield odds with long-range strike capabilities.

The French Scalp missiles, manufactured by the MBDA conglomerate, are nearly identical to the Storm Shadow cruise missiles that the U.K. started providing to Ukraine in May. Their range of more than 300 miles is significantly longer than that of any weapon supplied to Ukraine by Washington so far.

Russia’s withdrawal from a United Nations-backed deal to allow Ukrainian grain exports shows why Moscow must be defeated in the war—otherwise, the world will face even greater economic disruption that will fall disproportionately on the poorest, the U.K.’s foreign secretary said in an interview.

“We’ve got to recognize that if we drop the ball on this, if we allow [Russian President Vladimir] Putin to win, the pain that we’re experiencing at the moment economically will pale into insignificance,” James Cleverly told The Wall Street Journal during a visit to New York, where the U.K. holds the monthlong presidency of the United Nations Security Council.

The European Union is drawing up plans for a €20-billion fund to be spent over four years to help Ukraine resist Russia's invasion, officials said on Thursday, July 20.

After a Brussels ministerial meeting, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said the bloc would "transform existing support into a long-term commitment to Ukraine security and resilience."

"We propose the creation of a dedicated section on the European Peace Facility to provide up to 5 €billion a year for the next four years for the defense needs of Ukraine," he said.

That history is pertinent in the aftermath of what the world’s leading industrialized democracies called an “enduring” pledge this month to provide Ukraine with advanced weapons and enhanced training and intelligence sharing. The idea, said the Group of Seven — which consists of the United States, Britain, Canada, Germany, France, Italy and Japan — is that each country would reach a bilateral deal with Kyiv, ensuring it has “a sustainable force capable of defending Ukraine now and deterring Russian aggression in the future.”

The statement is a critical element in the West’s strategy in Ukraine — to show that the West has the political will to outlast Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, who is bent on a long war in Ukraine in the hope it will erode allies’ resolve and unity. Even if Ukraine remains in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s waiting room, where it has been for 15 years, the West will need to meet Kyiv’s heavy requirement for arms.

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