Kyiv, March 19, 2014 – Not only Ukraine, but territorial integrity and safety of Europe are under threat now – such a concern was unanimously expressed by the international relations experts in the Ukrainian Crisis Media Center. «Previous assessments of the international community are coming true – Russian occupation of the Crimea is not only the act of aggression towards Ukraine. If all and every involved party does not conceive that the whole world is under attack, we would not be able find adequate means to stop the aggressor», – said Valeriy Chalyi, Deputy Director of Razumkov Ukrainian Centre for Economic and Political Studies, Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine (2009-2010).
Thus, experts suggested the principal steps for Ukraine and international organizations to take in order to establish secure environment and restore the peace.
First, Ukraine and the world must be strong and fearless in the face of a new threat. «Russia considers that Ukraine is weak and it could be treaded down; the world is frightened and prone to contempt. However, neither of these is true, we must demonstrate that Ukraine is strong, and the world is not afraid – and then the Russian aggression will be punished», – said Vasyl Filipchul, Ukrainian diplomat, spokesman of the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine (2005–2006).
Second, the immediate response from the international community, Russia’s exclusion from influential organizations and implementation of severe sanctions could be an efficient mechanism for curbing the Russian belligerence. In particular, the experts consider that suspension of Russia’s membership in the UN Security Council and the Council of Europe is a necessary measure to stop its aggression. Specifically, Vasyl Filipchuk is convinced «Russia forfeited its moral and other rights to continue its participation there. It’s time for the international community to put this fact straightforward», and calls on the CIS to condemn Russia’s actions. The Ukrainian diplomat emphasizes the necessity to implement those sanctions against Russia, as were once applied to Iran, which are not limited to visa restrictions for certain officials, but stipulate blocking of USD transactions and Russian oil and gas flows.
Third, «it would be a good time to talk about Ukraine and NATO military cooperation expansion, as NATO is already holding military exercises in the EU in connection with the threat posed against Poland and Lithuania», – Yuryi Shcherbak, Diplomat, former Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States and Canada.
Fourth, it is important to adhere to purely legal methods of struggle now.
Dmytro Kuleba, Chairman of the Foundation for Cultural Diplomacy UART considers that statements on international forums and engagement of different mechanisms enabling international community to keep track of the situation in order to compile proper grounds to prove illegality of Russia’s actions would efficiently contribute to the struggle. The UN General Assembly should send a claim to the International Court of Justice of United Nations regarding the legitimacy of announcing the independence of Crimea. He invoked the representatives of the Ukrainian government and the organizations involved in the conflict settlement to avoid any negotiations, otherwise the announcement of Crimea’s independence would be recognized as legitimate.
Meanwhile, the experts agree that international organizations in charge of ensuring peace in the world are now demonstrating that they are not ready to quickly respond to the situation. Yuryi Shcherbak: «We are today witnessing a ruin of OSCE and utterly contemptuous attitude of the Russian aggressor towards the UN, because a force has now emerged capable of wielding military methods and threatening with nuclear weapons».
Thus, fifth, in the current situation Ukraine should itself take efforts to resolve the situation. Experts called on the Ukrainian government to recognize that the country is de-facto at war, and act according to a clearly defined strategic plan. «The 3-rd act of the great drama is on stage since yesterday, this is the onset of war against Ukraine and the entire international security system which had been building so long after the end of the cold war», said Yuryi Shcherbak, Diplomat, former Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States and Canada. «Ukraine is drastically lacking the strategic action plan for internal and external development for the period of at least 1-2 years”.
Yu. Shcherbak suggested the following specific military actions: 1) it is necessary to strengthen the country’s military command, involving the persons with large military operations experience; 2) immediately create a single informational center to provide the people with compiled information during the wartime; 3) the state must be ready to a new type of warfare, that is cyberwar, when any communications with other countries can be interrupted at once and DDOS-attacks could affect the informational systems of Ukraine.