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).