NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg have recently claimed that the Alliance is ready for enlargement, Inter TV channel. However, before a new member is adopted, it should enhance its army. During the conflict in Donbas, relations between NATO and Ukraine have significantly changed: several funds for support of Ukrainian army were established, material and technical assistance was provided by the Alliance. Was it enough to improve the defense capability of Ukrainian military forces? And are NATO and Ukraine ready for further rapprochement? The president of European Association for Security, prof., Doctor of Sc. (Poland) Leszek Fryderyk Korzeniowski spoke about it in an interview to 112.ua.
Recently Ukraine and NATO have signed an agreement concerning 5 Trust Funds launching in support of Ukrainian army. How efficient, on your opinion, would be these funds?
This matter shall be structured in an accurate way. Firstly, what are modern dangers for Ukraine? Secondly, where do they come from? The origin cause of them is some internal, political challenges namely the lack of social and economic reforms in the 90s.
Ukraine received its independence but nothing has changed in its structure. Long years the tendency of soviet model of state administration was being kept. The second reason was external threats came from Moscow. For a pretty long time here in Ukraine there was a myth about “fraternal people” Ukraine and Russia. The only way of Ukraine being safe is the European Union. Ukraine should reform its economics in accordance with EU standards. NATO is the only political and military organization that keeps its treaties. Therefore, Ukraine’s entry into the NATO alliance would be effective for all European safety. However, at the same time Ukraine shall have to reform the army under the NATO standards and here it can face with huge problems since in Ukraine there are still Soviet-Russian standards in army functioning.
Shall we wait for the increasing of a financial support to promote defense capacity of Ukraine from the side of member countries of NATO?
Financial aspect is EU and economic part of Ukraine. NATO doesn’t assure budgeting but it gives guarantees and procedures to its members. Financial support and the issue of promoting defense capacity of Ukraine lie in the frame of politics of each member country of NATO. If Ukraine meets NATO standards then funding and security assurances would be available. This demands specific program of socio-economic and military reforms.
What is your assessment of whether Ukrainian side effectively uses financial aid that has already came from the countries that support Ukraine in fighting with Russian aggression?
It’s hard for me to esteem the efficiency of Ukraine to spend this monetary aid from the side of countries that support your country in combating with Russian aggression since in Ukraine there is no turnover of financial resources monitoring indicators. I subjectively think that Ukrainian government should do a lot of work to meet EU and NATO standards as well. There are still double standards here in Ukraine but we can see a big progress towards the resurrection of military potential. Neither EU nor NATO wouldn’t provide any financial assistance without a clear guarantee that it won’t be used in favor of Russia. Crimea’s blockade is effective because, actually, Ukrainian business feeds Russian soldiers in Crimea. Everyone knows that the Crimea was taken without firing a shot thus I have a question if some changes were made in the structure of Joint Staff of Ukrainian army. With what quality did the military administration recreate?
How did the Ukraine-NATO relations change during Donbas conflict, partially Ukraine’s chances to enter the Alliance?
I think, Ukraine’s entry into the NATO depends on the will of Ukrainians and not on the Donbas conflict. Entry into EU is obligatory but a lot of changes must be done before Ukraine becomes a full member of European community.
What do you think, did Ukrainian society change its opinion concerning the NATO membership and if the Ukraine’s entry into NATO referendum is held would there be a duly support?
I don’t have any investigation results concerning Ukrainians’ attitude to NATO entry. The most essential is to choose how to do it. We shall remember that to make Ukrainians’ attitude to NATO entry positive, we should account that NATO is not only EU but mostly it’s the USA. I believe that Ukrainians have better attitude to the USA and NATO policy insomuch as your state conducts universal military trainings on a regular basis.
How efficient, as of today, do you think are measures of informational security and actions against Russian propaganda in Ukraine, Poland and the Baltics?
We should clearly understand the definition of informational security. In the broad sense, this definition embraces both external and internal intelligence, mechanisms for information handling, its confidentiality and access to the national security information. In Russia there is quite powerful intelligence system. Often some insider information appears in Russian mass media and is used in “hybrid war” against Ukraine. Europeans can feel it as in the case of Russia Today TV channel. The next and main reason is the absence of Anti-Russian propaganda in Ukraine, Poland and Europe as a whole. And at the same time in Russia and in EU Anti-Ukrainian propaganda is actively spreading where Ukrainians are described as fascists, “banderas”; agitation is being spread that this is Ukraine who attacked Russia. Thus, in St. Petersburg they tell negative information concerning cooperation between Ukraine and Poland. Putin conducts an effective policy towards propaganda of hate similar as Helbes that Hitler had. This is all what contains in a whole web informational scope. Currently, there are no tools of how to protect from Russian propaganda.
Currently Poland has a new President, what changes, modifications in external policy, in safety policy and in Ukrainian-Poland relations shall we expect?
Soon Poland will have some changes in its parliament. But I don’t expect sizable changes in security policy and in Ukraine-Poland relations. Despite political changes Polish strategy is always directed for a support of Ukraine within the frames of its integration into EU. But at the same time the situation that is currently emerging in the world makes European politicians and mass media to shift their emphasis from Crimea and Donbas crisis to the problem of Syria refugees. But I hope for positive changes both in Ukraine and in Europe as well.
European Association for Security (EAS) includes scientists from 24 European countries dealing with problems of a whole range of modern European security architecture. The cooperation within a framework of EAS embraces a rank of leading Ukrainian universities. This year the 104th international conference under the aegis of EAS and with guidance of Leszek Korzeniowski took place. In terms of this cooperation on 24 September 2015 in Pereyaslav Khmelnytskyi Hruhorii Skovoroda State Pedagogical University the 5th international research and practice conference called “Child and Youth’s Health and Life Safety of XXI: challenges and perspectives” was held.