Ukraine made a series of proposals at talks held Tuesday in Turkey with Russia to resolve the month-long conflict, including abandoning long-held ambitions to join NATO.
The following is a summary of key recommendations:
Ukraine wants legally binding security guarantees from Western countries, which are said to be equal to or better than NATO’s collective security guarantees.
“We want an international security guarantee mechanism in which the guarantor states will act in the same way as NATO article number five – and even more emphatically,” David Arakhamia, a Ukrainian consultant, told reporters after talks with the Russian delegation.
Article 5 of the NATO agreement requires member states to come to the aid of other members in the event of an attack.
Arahamia said Ukraine wanted as a guarantor state the United States, China, France and Britain-all members of the United Nations Security Council-as well as Canada, Germany, Israel, Italy, Poland and Turkey.
All these countries except China and Israel are members of NATO.
Neutral, not NATO
With such security guarantees, Ukraine could be neutral, which in fact means it will drop its aspirations to join NATO.
“Ukraine will receive neutral status if security guarantees work,” Arahamia said.
Ukraine will not join “any military-political alliance”, said another Ukrainian negotiator at the talks, Oleksandr Chaly.
Moscow has cited the growing NATO threat to include Ukraine as one of the reasons for invading the country last month.
No foreign military bases
With foreign security guarantees created, Ukraine “will not host on its territory any foreign military bases”, Chaly said.
Nevertheless, military exercises with guarantor states can be held in Ukraine, he added.
Kyiv stressed that international agreements on national security do not preclude the possibility of Ukraine’s membership in the EU.
Furthermore, it wants security guarantors to promise to help Ukraine’s EU accession process.
Ukraine intends to set aside the question of Crimea and the secluded territories in the eastern Donbas region.
In order for security guarantees to take effect quickly, the agreement would “temporarily exclude” the area, Arahamia said.
As for Crimea, which was invaded by Russia and then annexed in 2014, Kyiv proposed 15 -year negotiations to resolve its status, according to consultant Mykhailo Podolyak.
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