Ukraine Monitor presents the latest news concerning internal and external matters of Ukraine – a unique country where the interests of the East and the West clash almost every day.
Date: 20 February 2023 Author: Grzegorz Kuczyński
War In Ukraine Dominates Munich Security Conference
The Russian invasion of Ukraine topped the agenda of the Munich Security Conference this year. The summit gathered top leaders including Polish President Andrzej Duda, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron, and U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the conference via a video link.
In his plea for more Western weapons, Zelensky compared Ukraine’s struggle against the Russian invasion to the biblical fight between David and Goliath. The Ukrainian leader again urged Western allies to hurry up with the delivery of military equipment. Zelensky reiterated that victory against Russia means restoring Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders, including part of Donbas and Crimea that Russia unlawfully seized back in 2014. The president stressed Ukraine should not be expected to compromise with Moscow. French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz told attendees of the conference that there could be no peace in Ukraine until Russia is defeated. They urged fellow Western countries to help Ukraine until Kyiv brought Moscow to the negotiating table on its own terms. The leaders of France and Germany believe that there is not only a military solution to the conflict while being against a full defeat of Russia. Yet but for such a defeat, Russia will never see any reforms as did Germany after 1945 when it was fully disarmed. “The only durable peace in the Euro-Atlantic space will become possible after Russia poses no threat to the Euro-Atlantic space. And to achieve that, we need Russia to change,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told the conference. All Western leaders seem to speak with the same voice on Ukraine. “If President Putin wins in Ukraine, it will be a tragedy for Ukrainians. But it will be also dangerous for all of us, because then the message to him and other authoritarian leaders is that when they use military force they can achieve their goals,” NATO Secretary General was quoted as saying. Ukraine has to get what it needs to safeguard its statehood and simply survive. The U.S. has formally determined that Russia had committed crimes against humanity in Ukraine, US Vice-President Kamala Harris has said. “But if Putin thinks he can wait us out, he is badly mistaken. Time is not on his side,” the U.S. official added. Russian government officials were not invited to this year’s Munich Security Conference––for the second consecutive year. Back in 2007, Vladimir Putin delivered a speech in which he criticized what he referred to as anti-Western expansion.
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