Ukrainian Defense Minister expresses distrust in G7 security guarantee
Reznikov requests “details and prices” of the proposed G7 package before issuing conclusions, as per The Telegraph.
After NATO vetoed Ukraine's application to join the bloc until "conditions are met," Ukrainian Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov expressed distrust and skepticism surrounding security guarantees vowed to be given by G7 nations to Ukraine.
The G7 is scheduled to issue a declaration of support for Ukraine on Wednesday, which will involve security assistance commitments, on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Lithuania.
Reznikov requested “details and prices” of the proposed G7 package before issuing conclusions, he told The Telegraph newspaper, adding, “After the Budapest Memorandum, we will not believe or not just trust paper without any cost."
Reznikov is part of the Ukrainian delegation headed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky who is attending the NATO event in Lithuania. Reznikov signed an agreement on training Ukrainian personnel to use Western-made fighter jets during the first day of the event.
The Budapest Memorandum is one of three signed in 1994 by the US, UK, and Russia with three newly independent former Soviet republics - Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine - which were former nuclear weapon hosts.
Security assurances and territorial integrity support were promised by the other signatories in exchange for maintaining non-nuclear status. The deal also required that Soviet atomic weapons inherited by the three countries be handed over to Russia.
However, Ukraine claimed that the UK, Russia, and the US did not uphold their part of the deal when Crimea voted to break away from Ukraine in 2014 and rejoined Russia.
Moscow stated that it was the Crimeans’ right to self-determination, while Ukraine and Western allies argued that the region was illegally occupied. Western signatories also argued that the memorandum was a political declaration and not a binding commitment.
At a NATO conference in Vilnius, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg emphasized that the alliance had never used "stronger language" to support Ukraine in its tough battle against Russia, although leaders vowed that "Ukraine's future is in NATO," vowing in a statement that they would extend an invitation to Kiev when conditions are met.
However, the refusal to move any further than a 2008 pledge on future membership proved to be a cruel blow to Zelensky.
Zelensky's tweet, calling the outcome "absurd" infuriated the US, according to sources cited by The Washington Post.
We value our allies. We value our shared security. And we always appreciate an open conversation.— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) July 11, 2023
Ukraine will be represented at the NATO summit in Vilnius. Because it is about respect.
But Ukraine also deserves respect. Now, on the way to Vilnius, we received signals that…
Chancellor Olaf Scholz of Germany said the G7 group of major industrialized nations will publish a declaration on long-term support that would kick in after "peace is obtained." This is anticipated to be confirmed on Wednesday, following the conclusion of the NATO meeting.
President Emmanuel Macron also said France will join the United Kingdom in sending long-range SCALP or Storm Shadow cruise missiles to Ukraine, allowing it to hit Russian targets far behind the front lines.
Furthermore, Denmark and the Netherlands announced that an 11-nation coalition will begin training Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16 fighter planes next month, with a new training base to be established in Romania.