No NATO Ally has Ukraine's battlefield experience with modern Russian army: Poroshenko
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in his op-ed for The Wall Street Journal titled “Ukraine and NATO, Complementary Allies Against Russia” has called on the Alliance to remember its origins as the Bloc was created to defend the peace and global order that emerged out of the chaos of World War II.
“Appeasement is not a solution,” the Ukrainian president wrote. “Russia has been deliberately inciting instability wherever it can, hoping to divide the West and advance its own geopolitical agenda."
The president goes on to say that in the two years since the last NATO summit, Ukraine has witnessed firsthand this agenda unfold. “We have suffered under the guns of Russian aggression in Crimea and Donbas,” he said.
President Poroshenko also boasts a “modern and tenable army, one that has destroyed Vladimir Putin’s dream of cutting Ukraine in half.”
Read alsoPoroshenko: Ukraine insists on int'l leverage to end Crimea occupation“We have created a brand new Special Operations Force. Fifteen new brigades have been established. Military training and education has been modernized. Military strategic documents, developed in collaboration with NATO experts, have been adopted. To enhance our defense capabilities, our military participates in training exercises such as Anaconda 2016, Sea Breeze and Rapid Trident, alongside NATO forces,” he wrote.
NATO’s collective security could likewise benefit from Ukraine’s experience and intelligence. Russia’s aggression on the Bloc’s eastern flank is an aggression not only against Ukraine, but the Western world. “Yet no NATO member state has actual battlefield experience engaging with the modern Russian army. Ukraine does,” Poroshenko said.
Read alsoWSJ: Merkel defends NATO plans for greater troop presence near Russian borderGrateful for the support the West has given Ukraine so far, the Ukrainian president has noted that the “reactive strategy, imposing sanctions after violations have taken place, has largely exhausted itself.”
Read alsoHuman rights activists collect evidence of Donbas shelling from Russian territoryHe emphasized that the Kremlin “persistently violates the terms of the cease-fire agreement signed in Minsk, not forcefully enough to trigger a serious response from the international community, but strong enough to maintain pressure on both Ukraine and the West.”
“So long as the Kremlin can continue to ignite minor conflagrations in certain areas such as the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, it will use them as leverage to bully other countries,” he wrote.
“Only a deeper partnership between NATO and Ukraine will foster stability in Ukraine, Eastern Europe, the Black Sea region and the transatlantic area as a whole. NATO’s support is a necessary part of the solution for defense and security threats in Ukraine,” Poroshenko said.
Stressing that Ukraine will “not settle for anything less than peace,” the president said: “But there is little value in talks with a negotiating partner who thinks in terms of geopolitical ambitions rather than saving human lives, and who shows no respect for legal commitments on his part.”
Petro Poroshenko called for intensification of pressure on the aggressor “until the Kremlin fulfills its obligations under the Minsk agreements, reverses the illegal and illegitimate self-declared annexation of Crimea, and comes back under the rule of law.”