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Are the EU and NATO Serious about Bringing Peace to Ukraine? You Wouldn’t Know It from Their Language.

четвер, 19 липня, 2018

Публікація на Atlantic Council

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg as they arrive for a family picture ahead of the opening ceremony of the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) summit, at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, July 11, 2018. Ludovic Marin/Pool via REUTERS

Two events that took place in Brussels this month—the NATO summit and the EU-Ukraine summit—have once again brought attention to the Western position on Russia’s unlawful war on Ukraine. Although very supportive of Ukraine, the final declarations of both summits fail to use clear language recognizing Russia’s responsibility for its ongoing multi-vector war on Ukraine.

Instead, the EU-Ukraine summit’s statement speaks of “external challenges” that Ukraine is facing, “acts of aggression by the Russian armed forces since February 2014,” “illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol,” and “violence in certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.” The language of NATO’s Brussels summit declaration is more direct, mentioning “Russia’s illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea and ongoing destabilization of eastern Ukraine,” and Russia’s “political, financial, and military support to militant groups,” “military interventions in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions,” and “troops, equipment, and mercenaries [stationed on] the territory of Ukraine.”

Both make two crucial mistakes. They treat Russia’s actions in Crimea and the Donbas as separate matters, not part of a coordinated, unitary war effort; and they do not unequivocally recognize Russia as the aggressor state that is directly responsible for waging an unlawful inter-state war against Ukraine, albeit an undeclared one.

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