Ukraine's Ruling Party Proposes New Security Guarantees Assuming Russian Recognition of Statehood
14:37 GMT 08.03.2022 (Updated: 19:54 GMT 08.03.2022)
On Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov called on Kiev to guarantee the country's non-bloc status, recognize Crimea as part of Russia and recognize the independence of the Donbass republics. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky responded by saying he would be prepared to "discuss and find the compromise" on these issues.
Ukraine's ruling party has proposed replacing the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances with a new document containing guarantees from the United States, Turkey and Ukraine's neighbours, including Russia.
In a statement
on its Telegram page Tuesday, the Zelensky-allied Sluha Narodu ('Servant of the People') party indicated that the new proposal for security guarantees would assume a legal recognition by Russia of Ukrainian statehood, but suggested that this would be "absurd" to expect today in light of current realities and the ongoing Russian military operation in the country.
"But our armed forces will repel the enemy, and the further peaceful development of Ukraine will need to be guaranteed. Then it will be important for Russia to sign its guarantee of our sovereignty along with other guarantors," the party said.
The party also indicated that joining NATO would be ruled out for the time being.
"We cannot use the mere presence of lines in the Constitution about setting a course toward the [NATO] alliance to defend our country. The course in this direction is politics. It is not a weapon. It's not planes, it's not protection for the state. We must speak about specific matters - about a treaty that can provide Ukraine with complete security so long as NATO is not ready to accept us. It should differ from the Budapest Memorandum, and provide specific political, economic and military steps of the guarantor states regarding Ukraine's security," the statement said.
Sluha Narodu rejected comments
made by Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov Monday regarding the need for Kiev to recognise Crimea's status as part of Russia and the independence of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics.
"We do not accept ultimatums! The territorial integrity of Ukraine is beyond doubt. We will not even theoretically consider the possibility of reviewing our territory or abandoning any pieces of our territory. This is unacceptable. Our Ukraine is Donetsk, Lugansk and Crimea," the party said.
The party went on to call for a complete embargo against Russian oil and gas in Europe.
Sluha Narodu controls 241 of 450 seats in Ukraine's parliament, and is supported by the Za Maybutne ('For the Future') party, funded by oligarch Ihor Kolomoyskyi, which has 21 seats, and the Dovira ('Trust') parliamentary group, which has 20 members.
The party's statement comes following remarks by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to US media saying he would be ready to "discuss and find the compromise" with Russia regarding Crimea and the Donbass. Stating that Ukraine was "not prepared for ultimatums," Zelensky nonetheless expressed readiness to engage in dialogue with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Russia began a military operation in Ukraine on 24 February aimed at "demilitarizing" the country in the wake of escalating shelling, sniper and sabotage attacks against the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics by Kiev forces in the preceding weeks. Russia recognized the Donbass republics as independent states on 21 February after spending the previous seven years exhausting the possibility of convincing Kiev to implement the 2015 Minsk Agreements -which would have granted the Donbass constitutionally-guaranteeed autonomy in exchange for its return to Ukrainian jurisdiction.
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