Press Release Ukraine

Yermak and Rasmussen launch new working group on Ukraine’s security and Euro-Atlantic integration.

At the request of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy, a new high-level working group on Ukraine’s security and Euro-Atlantic integration was launched yesterday afternoon in Kyiv.

The international group is co-chaired by the Head of the Ukrainian President’s Office Andriy Yermak, and former Danish Prime Minister and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. The co-chairs launched the group in-person, with other members joining online.

It is now almost two years since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Long-term peace and security in the Euro-Atlantic area rely on a Ukrainian victory but also putting the necessary security architecture in place to deter a militaristic and imperialistic Russia. This new working group will look in detail at both how to ensure Ukraine’s immediate security needs and its integration into the Euro-Atlantic political and security structures.

This new group build on the work of the previous chaired by Yermak and Rasmussen, which prepared the Kyiv Security Compact – a systemic vision of security commitments for Ukraine before it joins NATO. This document was the basis for the Vilnius G7 Joint Declaration of Support for Ukraine, and later for a number of bilateral security agreements, the first of which has already been signed with the United Kingdom.

Speaking at the kick off meeting of the new international group Co-Chair Andriy Yermak said:

“Russia’s unprovoked aggression against Ukraine has dealt a devastating blow to the rules-based global order. At the same time, it has undermined the foundations of the post-Cold War security architecture. Ukraine is the key to Europe. This means one thing: Russia must lose the war it started. We are very grateful to everyone who helps us on the path to victory.”

Andriy Yermak noted that in order to prevent the recurrence of aggression in Europe, Ukraine must become a full member of the Alliance.

“Going further on this successful path, Anders and I have decided to launch a new task force to focus on the most important issues: Ukraine’s security and integration into NATO.”

Co-Chair Anders Fogh Rasmussen said:

“If Vladimir Putin is allowed any success in Ukraine, he will not stop there. He will continue to threaten Europe’s security unless we put the structures in place to prevent him from doing so. First and foremost, that means ensuring Ukraine has all it needs to defeat Russia on the battlefield. But it also depends on us embedding Ukraine in the Euro-Atlantic political and security architecture, namely the European Union and NATO. That is the best way to ensure long-term peace and stability on our continent.”

Alongside the co-chairs, the working group includes:

Former President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė
Former President of Poland Aleksander Kwaśniewski
Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson
Former Prime Minister of Finland Sanna Marin
Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
Former Prime Minister of Poland Marek Belka
Former Prime Minister of Slovakia Mikuláš Dzurinda
Former Prime Minister of Sweden Carl Bildt
Former Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom Lord William Hague
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Interior and Defense of France Michèle Alliot-Marie
Co-Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense of the German Parliament Omid Nouripour
Former Minister of Defense, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada Peter MacKay
Former Supreme Allied Commander Europe Wesley Clark
Former U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker
Former NATO Assistant Secretary General Heinrich Brauss (Germany)
Former NATO Assistant Secretary General Giedrimas Jeglinskas (Lithuania).

Press Release

Rasmussen Global bolsters its team ahead of a uniquely geopolitical year

Rasmussen Global is expanding its advisory capabilities across its European offices with Rachel Samrén joining RG as a Scandinavia-based Senior Advisor. Rachel brings a vast amount of executive experience from the corporate world, and the telecoms and technology sector in particular. She has a unique breadth of skills and experience across government relations, regulatory affairs, communications, sustainability, governance and risk, ethics and compliance, and security and geopolitics. Rachel strengthens Rasmussen Global’s team in the Nordics while bringing decades of experience also working with developing markets in Sub-Saharan Africa and Central and South America.

In Brussels, Lena Björkholm joins Rasmussen Global as a policy advisor. Lena brings insights on European politics, the green transition, and sustainability. Lena has political consultancy experience, as well as in the public sector at the European External Action Service, Finnish diplomatic service, and the Finnish Prime Minister’s Office.  Lena will focus on RG’s work with both private and sovereign clients.

Dara Murphy has become Rasmussen Global Vice President. Dara has unparalleled experience of European public policy and politics, as a former Irish Minister and former Vice-President of the European People’s Party (EPP). Dara will continue leading Rasmussen Global’s client work around this year’s EU elections, leveraging his unique insight from his role as the campaign manager for the EPP’s successful 2019 EU election campaign.

Meanwhile, Arthur De Liedekerke has been promoted to Senior Director, European Affairs, Rasmus Grand Berthelsen to Senior Director, Nordics, Tim Allan to Senior Director, Communications, Helene Bille Albrechtsen to Director, Energy and Resources, and Celine Emma la Cour to Project Manager, Sovereign Clients.

Speaking Rasmussen Global’s continued growth, CEO Fabrice Pothier said:

“We continue to expand at a rapid pace while staying true to our democratic values. 2023 was a demanding but important year with the opening of our office in Kyiv and turning the Kyiv Security Compact into a G7 endorsed process. 2024 promises to be a league of its own: the year when politics and geopolitics collide, and the year when Rasmusen Global hits the 10-year mark. For that we are beefing up our pool of talents across Europe. So, Rasmussen Global can help companies and democratic governments navigate a uniquely geopolitical year.”

Article

How to ensure EU sanctions on Russia work effectively

Since Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014, the EU has progressively imposed sanctions against Russia. Following the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 these have been vastly scaled up.

The European Commission will soon announce its 12th sanctions package. This will likely involve an import ban on Russian diamonds and the targeting of Russian ICT companies, among other elements. However, the EU and its Member States still face serious challenges in enforcing previously agreed sanctions. Enforcement becomes increasingly complex with every new round of sanctions.

One major difficulty is the significant variation between the competent authorities in different member states, as well as in enforcement mechanisms and penalties.

In the latest paper by Rasmussen Global experts, we outline how the EU develops new packages of sanctions, what are the major issues with enforcement, and set out recommendations on how they can be made more effective.

 

 

Article Ukraine

How to help Ukraine win the drone war

Following Russia’s full-scale invasion, the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the Ukrainian defence industry have had to rapidly adapt. They have been forced to reconceptualise existing weapons as well as develop new ones, often utilising civilian systems for military purposes. The country has become both a laboratory and live testing ground for the deployment of evolving military technologies. Nowhere is this clearer than for drones and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

While more primitive and limited in the number of systems available, Russia has progressively gained an edge both in the production and deployment of reconnaissance and strike drones. Combined with a long-standing edge in electronic warfare, Ukraine faces the challenge of scaling up both the quality and quantity of its systems to respond to Russian superiority in drone warfare.

Read the latest paper from Rasmussen Global experts on how Ukraine, with help of its allies, can regain its edge and win the drone war.

 

Press Release

Anders Fogh Rasmussen launches high-level group to support democratic Armenia.

Former Danish Prime Minister and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has launched a new high-level group to galvanise support for democratic Armenia and promote peace in the South Caucasus.

The Friends of Armenia Network, which includes former prime ministers, parliamentarians, and diplomats, aims to bring Armenia closer to like-minded democracies in Europe and around the world.

The group met for the first time yesterday remotely and was briefed on the latest political developments by the Secretary of the Security Council of Armenia, Armen Grigoryan.

Speaking after the launch of the group, Anders Fogh Rasmussen said:

“In the last few days, Azerbaijan launched a major offensive against the ethnic-Armenian population in Nagorno Karabakh. There is a significant danger of ethnic cleansing occurring if the international community does not act.

“Azerbaijan’s actions make the work of this new group even more important. Armenia is a fledgling democracy in an incredibly difficult and dangerous neighbourhood. The Armenian government is making an active effort to improve relations with other democratic countries in Europe and beyond. Our group is committed to supporting Armenia in those efforts, and supporting a sustainable peace in the region.

“This was the inaugural meeting of our group, over the coming months, we will put forward new ideas and proposals to strengthen Armenia’s place in the democratic family of nations.”

Note to editors:

Anders Fogh Rasmussen is chairman of the Friends of Armenia Network. Other members include:

Mikuláš Dzurinda – Martens Centre President, Minister of Foreign affairs (2010-2012), Prime Minister of Slovakia (1998 -2006)

Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz – Member of the European Parliament (2009-…), Marshal of the Sejm (2005), Minister of Foreign affairs (2001 – 2005), Prime Minister of Poland (1996 – 1977)

Anne-Laurence Petel – Member of the French Assemblée nationale (2017-…), Chair of the parliamentary friendship group with Armenia (2022-…)

Raimundas Lopata – Member of the Lithuanian Seimas (2020-…), Chair of the parliamentary friendship group with Armenia (2020-…)

Štefan Füle – Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood policy (2010-2014), Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs (2009)

Dietmar Nietan – Member of the German Bundestag (1998-2002, 2005-…), Treasurer of the Social Democratic Party

Els Van Hoof – Member of Belgian Chambre des représentants (2014-2019, 2019-…), Head of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs (2019-…), Senator (2008, 2009-2014)

Charles Flanagan – Member of the Irish Oireachtas (2020-…), Chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence (2020-…), Minister of Justice (2017-2020), Minister of Foreign Affairs (2014-2017)

Since March 2023, Rasmussen Global has been working with the Armenian government to help improve connections with the European Union and the wider democratic world.

Press Release Ukraine

Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Vilnius Summit and G7 Security Pact for Ukraine

Statement by former NATO Secretary General and Danish Prime Minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen on the Vilnius NATO summit and G7 declaration on support for Ukraine:

“Today G7 members will adopt a wide-ranging security pact with Ukraine in Vilnius. This is an important moment and it is welcome that it happens on the sidelines of the NATO summit. It shows Ukraine’s partners are united in moving from the ad-hoc support provided to date to a long-term vision from Ukraine’s security.

This agreement is built on the Kyiv Security Compact that I authored with the President Zelenskyy’s Chief of Staff Andriy Yermak. It includes the four central elements that we proposed: transfer of NATO standard weapons, enhanced intelligence sharing, a major expansion of training and exercises with Ukrainian forces, and support to develop Ukraine’s military industrial base. Its purpose is clear, to ensure that Ukraine wins this war and make sure Russia is never able to do this again.

Despite welcome developments on security guarantees, the NATO summit has disappointed when it comes to outlining a clear path to Ukraine’s membership. Security guarantees are not an end destination for Ukraine – they are designed to provide stability while Ukraine moves towards NATO and EU membership. Vilnius was an opportunity to set out these next steps clearly, instead there was only a promise that Ukraine will be invited when unspecified “conditions are met.”

Since 2008, Ukraine has been left in NATO’s waiting room. This is a dangerous place to be. If we want to move on from the mistakes of the past, the new Ukraine-NATO Council must not be another talking shop. Instead, it must focus on practical questions to move Ukraine’s NATO aspirations forward, with a concrete timeline. By next year’s NATO summit in Washington, NATO leaders should be able to extend an invitation for Ukraine to join the alliance. Only when this happens will Vladimir Putin understand that Ukraine’s future is at the heart of NATO, and there is nothing he can do to prevent it.”

Speech

Extract of speech by Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Ukraine’s NATO membership

The following is an extract from a speech by Anders Fogh Rasmussen outlining the case for Ukraine’s NATO membership. The speech was given in Vilnius on 14 June 2023.

—————————————————————————————————————–

Next month, NATO leaders will meet in Vilnius,

Personally, I would be in favor of extending an invitation to Ukraine to join NATO. I have been reflecting carefully on this issue because it would be the first time that we invite into NATO a country that is at war. That requires careful consideration.

I have reached this conclusion for three reasons. First: In 2008 we decided that Ukraine will become a member of NATO. But we did not provide a roadmap. Now Ukraine has been in the waiting room for 15 years. It is not a safe place. The waiting room is surrounded by a gang of thugs, who are attacking those staying in the waiting room. Time has come to move Ukraine into a safe place – as we are doing with Finland and Sweden.

Second: It is often argued that the prospect of NATO enlargement incited Putin. The truth is the opposite. It was the failure to extend security guarantees to Ukraine that incited Putin. Grey zones are danger zones. Neutrality provides no security. Finland and Sweden realized that.

Third: Often I hear the argument that we cannot give Ukraine neither security guarantees, nor membership of NATO, while there is a war going on. That is an extremely dangerous argument. If you make security guarantees and NATO membership dependent on cessation of hostilities, you are giving Putin an incentive to continue the war to prevent Ukrainian membership of NATO.

By extending an invitation now, we are telling Putin: Ukraine will become a member of NATO. You cannot stop this process. Our door is open for Ukraine, and you are not the doorman.

If allies cannot find consensus on an invitation to Ukraine in Vilnius, the second-best option would be to outline the path towards NATO membership in two steps.

First step would be to remove a Membership Action Plan as a prerequisite for taking the next step towards NATO membership. We did not require a Membership Action Plan for Finland and Sweden. The same accelerated path should be offered to Ukraine. The Ukrainian army is probably the most combat ready army in Europe.

Next step could be a pledge in Vilnius to review the question of NATO enlargement at the NATO summit in Washington DC next year, where we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the establishment of NATO.

Let me stress: An invitation to Ukraine does not imply accession overnight. After the invitation, we will have to work out several practicalities regarding article 5 of the NATO treaty. Which area will be covered by article 5? How will we react if and when there will be new clashes between Ukraine and Russia in the occupied territories?

In the best case, those issues will be solved by the Ukrainians themselves, when they kick all Russian troops from Ukrainian soil. If not, we will have to find appropriate answers to these questions. They are serious topics for allies that take article 5 and the security guarantees seriously. We must find the right solution for commitments that could include the deployment of troops and military equipment to Ukraine.

Regardless, Ukraine will need security guarantees until the it is a full member of NATO. We need strong measures to deter any further Russian aggression.

That is the purpose of the Kyiv Security Compact that I co-authored with President Zelenskyy’s Chief of Staff Andrii Yermak. These security guarantees will not replace Ukrainian membership of NATO. But they will build the bridge and protect Ukraine until it is covered by NATO’s article 5.

Article

Former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen to visit Armenia

Rasmussen Global founder Anders Fogh Rasmussen arrives today in Yerevan for a two-day visit to Armenia. During the trip, he will meet with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and other leading public officials. The former NATO Secretary General will also meet with figures from civil society and visit the Armenian regions most affected by the ongoing incursions by neighbouring Azerbaijan.

The visit aims to raise awareness of the humanitarian crisis caused by the blockade of the Lachin corridor, the only road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia, and the outside world.

Speaking ahead of the visit to Armenia, Anders Fogh Rasmussen said:

“Europe cannot close its eyes to a humanitarian crisis happening on our doorstep. The ongoing blockade of the Lachin corridor by Azerbaijani actors is putting thousands of lives at risk. Since December, no civilian or commercial traffic has been able to reach Nagorno-Karabakh. This has left some 120,000 ethnic Armenian residents without access to essential goods and services, including life-saving medication and health care. Ongoing attacks on civil infrastructure, including gas an electricity supply, have also created far-reaching impacts on the economy, education and healthcare.”

“Unless Europe and the wider international community act, these risks becoming a humanitarian catastrophe. The EU must use its relationship with Azerbaijan, to push them to lift the blockade and fulfil their broader international commitments.

“I am also in Yerevan to show my support for Armenia’s burgeoning democracy. Since 2018, Armenia has made important steps forward. In a period when democratic rights have slipped globally, Armenia is the welcome exception. We must strengthen the relationship between the EU and Armenia, to secure peace in the region and support the Armenian people’s desire for a future based on stability, freedom, and democracy.”

For media requests during the visit, please contact Rasmussen Global Communications Director Tim Allan at tal@rasmussenglobal.com

Sign up

Receive Rasmussen Global's latest analysis