“RAMSTEIN” AND NATO WILL INCREASE THE SUPPORT OF UKRAINE
As Head of the Ukrainian delegation, I took part in:
- the sixth meeting of the Ukraine Defence Contact Group which is known in our country as the “Ramstein format”;
- an informal meeting of defence ministers of NATO countries;
- several meaningful bilateral negotiations, in particular with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and heads of defence agencies from the USA, Canada, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Denmark and Poland.
Based on the results of our negotiations, I would like to stress the following:
The topic of so-called “referendums” imitated by Russia in temporarily occupied territories was in fact absent. No one took this farce seriously; it was mentioned in passing a couple of times.
THOSE “REFERENDUMS” DID NOT IN ANY WAY SHAKE THE WILLINGNESS OF THE PARTNERS TO SUPPORT MEASURES FOR THE LIBERATION OF OUR LAND WITHIN INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNIZED BORDERS. THEY ONLY INCREASED THE PERCEPTION OF THE KREMLIN AS A GANG OF INTERNATIONAL CRIMINALS.
Since it was Ramstein-6, I invited my colleagues to evaluate the results we have achieved together in six months.
DURING THIS PERIOD, THE DEFENCE FORCES OF UKRAINE HAVE RECEIVED THE FOLLOWING WESTERN-TYPE WEAPONS:
The first one of four air defence systems IRIS-T that is already protecting our skies;
- Several dozen MLRS systems of three types (M142 HIMARS, M270, Mars II). Soon we are expecting replenishment both in quantity and weapon types.
- Hundreds of 155-mm (M777, FN70, PzH 2000, M109, Krab, Caesar, Zuzana) and 105-mm (M101, L119) artillery systems.
- Hundreds of APCs and IFVs (including M113, VAB, FV 103 Spartan).
- Hundreds of armored vehicles (including Bushmaster, Iveco, Mastiff, Husky, Ford, MRAP).
- Hundreds of mortars.
- Thousands of anti-tank missile systems (including JAVELIN, NLAW, MILAN, TOW, BILL, HELLFIRE).
- More than a thousand portable anti-aircraft missile systems (including Stinger, Piorun, Mistral, Martlet, Starstreak, Stormer).
- Dozens of radars of various types.
- Dozens of UAVs.
- HARM anti-radar missiles.
- Harpoon anti-ship systems.
- Thousands of different types of small arms and much more.
This is a huge and invaluable help.
SOON WE ARE EXPECTING THE DELIVERY OF FIRST NASAMS AIR DEFENCE SYSTEMS. OUR SOLDIERS ARE FINISHING THE MASTERY OF THE EQUIPMENT.
Moreover, thousands of our soldiers have undergone training, and tens of thou-sands are preparing for training in partner countries.
There are also other transformations.
WE ARE IMPLEMENTING THE NATO LOGFAS SYSTEM FOR ACCOUNTING AND LOGISTICS. AS PER MY DECISION, THE DEFENCE PROCUREMENT SYSTEM IS BEING REFORMED PURSUANT TO NATO PRINCIPLES. WE HAVE MASTERED OVER 300 NATO STANDARDS ETC. WE ARE CARRYING OUT ONE OF THE LARGEST TRANS-FORMATIONS OF DEFENCE FORCES SINCE THE WORLD WAR II. MOREOVER, WE ARE DOING IT DURING THE ACTIVE PHASE OF HOSTILITIES.
Therefore, when I say that Ukraine has joined NATO de facto, I have many arguments.
Given this background, there are less and less arguments not to provide Ukraine with planes and tanks. I am sure that these arguments will end soon. After all, Ukraine proved not only the ability to use the supplied weapons on the battlefield extremely effectively, but also demonstrated high responsibility and unwavering compliance with obligations.
WHEN I HAD THE HONOR TO ADDRESS THE DEFENCE MINISTERS OF NATO COUNTRIES, I EMPHASIZED THE FOLLOWING:
Ukraine will definitely not remain “neutral”. Kremlin lobbyists should not hope for that.
The course towards Euro-Atlantic integration is enshrined in the Constitution of Ukraine. The recent application for membership represents the position of over 70% of our citizens who definitely support and seek to realize Ukraine’s right for participation in the system of collective security.
Ukraine’s application for NATO membership is our clear message in response to Russia’s recent attempts to unlawfully annex the occupied territories of Ukraine.
Massive Russian shelling of peaceful cities was a gross mistake of the Kremlin which was worse than a crime.
The Alliance could decisively respond to these actions by demonstrating its readiness to implement without further delay the decision of the 2008 Bucharest Summit on Ukraine’s future membership. We believe that Ukraine is ready for such an accession process from the point of view of compliance with NATO standards and the level of interaction.
ONE MUST ADMIT THAT THE ONLY THING STILL MISSING TO INVITE UKRAINE TO THE ALLIANCE IS THE POLITICAL WILL OF NATO MEMBER STATES.
We understand that it will take time to achieve the unanimous agreement of all thirty allied states.
The brutal Russian attack on civilian infrastructure pushed for political changes which the Ukrainian team had been working on at the technical level since August. We raised the issue of organizing a three-tier air defence/anti-missile defence system in Ukraine in correspondence, during telephone conversations and at Ramstein-5. That is why the partners needed only a few days to formulate the specifics.
Immediately after Ramstein-6, Ukraine’s great friends – US SECRETARY OF DEFENSE LLOYD AUSTIN AND CHAIRMAN OF THE JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF, GENERAL MARK MILLEY – PUBLICLY IDENTIFIED THE ASSISTANCE IN THE CREATION OF AN INTEGRATED ANTI-AIRCRAFT AND ANTI-MISSILE DEFENCE SYSTEM FOR THE UKRAINIAN SKIES AS A TOP PRIORITY.
This is a strong message received by over 50 countries which are now considering options for participating in this work on a practical level.
I have already expressed my sincere gratitude to the Minister of Defence of Spain Margarita Robles Fernández for a very QUICK DECISION TO PROVIDE HAWK SYSTEMS. General Mark Milley mentioned these systems after “Ram-stein”. We sent the first inquiries about those systems about 2 months ago. So,“Ramstein” fixed the results that were preceded by a rather long work. The decisions were not spontaneous.
Great Britain and the Netherlands have already announced their intentions to provide additional missiles for the air defense/anti-missile systems. I thanked my colleagues Ben Wallace and Kajsa Ollongren for this.
INTENSIVE DIALOGUE WITH OUR FRENCH FRIENDS REGARDING THE “CROTALE” ANTI-AIRCRAFT DEFENCE SYSTEMS CONTINUES. WE ALSO HOPE FOR DECISIONS REGARDING SAMP-T COMPLEXES.
We have also particularly emphasized the danger of Iranian drones-“mopeds” which pose a threat not only to Ukraine.
ACCORDING TO OUR INTELLIGENCE, THERE WERE ABOUT 300 OF THEM A WEEK AGO, BUT THE ENTIRE CONTRACT WITH THE RUSSIANS IS FOR 2,400 ITEMS. IF THERE IS NO STRONG JOINT RESPONSE, THE PRACTICE OF TERRORIST ATTACKS WITH DRONES THAT CAN COVER HUNDREDS OF KILOMETERS MAY SPREAD AND POSE DIRECT DANGER TO ALL COUNTRIES OF THE FREE WORLD.
THEREFORE, WE EXPECT A MORE ACTIVE INVOLVEMENT IN COUNTERING THIS TYPE OF THREATS EVEN FROM THOSE COUNTRIES THAT HAVE SO FAR EVADED THE CLEAR SUPPORT FOR UKRAINE.
Our partners have emphasized their readiness to support Ukraine until its victory dozens of times.
A very clear message in this regard was put forward by the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who urged to look at the war in Ukraine from the perspective of risk-management for the whole Europe. After all, Ukrainians are now holding back the Russian invasion which has already been identified as the main security threat for Europe and the entire free world. Therefore, strengthening Ukraine in this fight is an absolutely logical decision from the point of view of security of the entire NATO.
In this context, supplying Ukraine with weapons and other resources (except for soldiers – we have enough motivated people) which were reserved to en-sure alliance obligations in NATO, is also completely logical. Because it is the Ukrainian soldiers that are now enhancing the security of Baltic and Central-Eastern European states every day. The more means we have, the better it is for everyone except Russian war criminals.
One of the practical expressions of readiness is the creation of tools for the long-term support of our state. This concerns the expansion of weapons production, repair and maintenance, training of our troops, inter alia at the level of companies, battalions and brigades.
In particular, back in March, Ben Wallace initiated a donors’ conference. As a result of it, a corresponding fund was created to accumulate resources.
In August this initiative was developed thanks to the leadership of the Danish Defence Minister Morten Bødskov. A separate fund which concentrates the re-sources primarily from countries of Northern Europe was established. Denmark is already providing us with systematic support. Among the important projects is the production for Ukraine of 16 units of Slovak Zuzana-2 as a joint initiative of Denmark, Norway and Germany.
We discussed the creation of a similar international project with Canadian Minister of National Defence Anita Anand. I expect good news.
And regarding the most recent events. On 13 October in Brussels, together with my French colleague Sébastien Lecornu on behalf of our Governments, we signed an intergovernmental agreement regarding the French defence and security grant. A fund will be established to purchase weapons and military equipment from French manufacturers for Ukrainian defence needs. This is the visible part of Ramstein-6.
THE RUSSIAN INVADERS WILL BE THE FIRST TO EXPERIENCE THE NON-PUBLIC DETAILS OF OUR DISCUSSIONS. WE HAVE REPEATEDLY SURPRISED THEM AND SHOULD PRESERVE THIS TRADITION.
The professionalism and heroism of our defenders have already changed the attitude towards Ukraine in the world. We still have a long and difficult way to victory. But even the most ardent sceptics that view things not through the prism of values, but through the principles of realpolitik, are losing their last doubts that Ukraine will succeed, and Russian leaders will bring their country to a disaster.
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