With Taras Shevchenko Kyiv State University lecturer, Doctor of Political Science, who researches in terms of political communications, Petro Oleschuk in an interview for Front News Ukraine discussed possible future political alliances in Ukraine and what is behind Borys Johnson's resignation.
Petro, what is going on in Kyiv now, how is the city living?
I am in Kyiv now. The city is basically stable. Since May, life has been more or less restored, despite periodic shelling. Many residents have returned to Kyiv, although, of course, probably not all yet. But in general, Kyiv has adapted to the situation.
Do you think the world is beginning to adapt to the situation? Is the topic of the war in Ukraine still the main topic or is it dropping off the agenda?
Yes, in many ways the war is beginning to be replaced by other topics, which is logical, of course. When there is no one topic, even from the point of view of the world, it cannot be dominant for a long time. But if we talk not about world public opinion, but from the position of the elites of the modern world, I think for them the problem of the war in Ukraine remains the main problem.
The fact is that this war, it essentially destroyed in many ways the world order that had been developing for years, destroyed the principles on which this world order was built. And besides, it dealt a blow not only to Ukraine, to stability in Europe, to predictability of the situation in Europe. And, for example, on such issues as food and energy security. Because of the war, Ukraine is not supplying its food to the market, which is a serious threat to peace.
Again, because the world was forced to impose more and more sanctions on Russia, this forces countries to look for new directions of energy supplies. And all of this ultimately forms a situation of instability that will continue for a long time, and the world has faced and will face the need for a global restructuring of the entire world order. Both in terms of energy, politics, the international security system, alliances.
In fact, we see how the world is changing and will change before our eyes very seriously in the near future. And we see, even obviously already after this war is over.
It turns out that unfortunately the situation in Ukraine was a catalyst for all this?
Yes, unfortunately it was a catalyst. Probably because Ukraine is too big a state, too important for such a large-scale attack on this state not to affect the world order.
We wanted to talk to you about Ukraine's future partners, about future security guarantees. But given the resignation of Boris Johnson and the G20 summit, where countries were actively demonstrating their attitude towards Russia, what do you think is in store for Ukraine?
Of course, we will face serious changes in the foreign policy of Ukraine. But this will all come to an end after the war is over. Because as long as the war continues, we are unlikely to get any finalization, final fixing of new alliances, new relations, in which Ukraine will be included. We know that the issue of security guarantees that Ukraine must receive after the war is over is now being actively worked out. Because the guarantees that Ukraine allegedly received under the Budapest Memorandum, giving up nuclear weapons, in fact they are not guarantees and do not give Ukraine any security. At the same time Ukraine does not give up its intentions, which are clearly stated in the Constitution of Ukraine about joining NATO. But, obviously, this may take years. And Ukraine needs security guarantees now.
Now the Commission, created with the participation of the head of the President's office Andrey Yermak and the former head, NATO Secretary General Rasmussen, is working in this direction. It should work out the corresponding concepts, Ukraine's proposals, how these guarantees can be formalized.
We already know that a number of Western countries have agreed to act as security guarantors for Ukraine in the future. And it is obvious that there will be further movement in this direction. At the same time, as Ukraine has repeatedly declared, so has the Ukrainian president, that our country is interested in building a world security system. There was an initiative, for example, United - 24. The idea was to restructure the world security system so that any state would feel protected in case of attack. So that there would be effective international response mechanisms. Not the ones that have been created now. Because the UN and other international response mechanisms are now de facto dysfunctional.
That there would be mechanisms allowing states to react in the context of assistance to victims of aggression. Moreover, to react in the shortest possible time. I think this would be a subject for a more distant discussion. And now, for example, we know Boris Johnson's initiative of an alliance between Ukraine, Great Britain, Poland, and Turkey. We know that a similar initiative has already been supported by the U.S. State Department. So far, we cannot say what this will develop into. Especially in the context of the resignation of Boris Johnson himself. But we must understand that the Baltic States, Poland and Great Britain are important allies for Ukraine. They have shown themselves to be such in this war, providing important support for Ukraine.
And obviously, close political, military cooperation with these countries will be a priority for Ukraine. Although we do not forget about the launch of the European integration process, about granting Ukraine the status of candidate country to the European Union. This is also a very important milestone. Although the European Union is not a military-political bloc. However, it is an important element of Ukraine's integration into European society and European civilization, which is opposite to Russia's ambitions to include Ukraine in its integration project.
This will determine the foreign policy pattern for Ukraine after the end of the war.
Petro, why do you think this system of world security, which has existed for some time, is not working now. The UN was created after World War II, and now it's not working. Why is that?
You rightly pointed out that the UN was created after World War II.
Accordingly, it largely reflects the realities of the world after that war. When a number of states acted as victors. And they took on the functions of guarantors of world stability.
Then it was stabilized to a certain extent during the Cold War, when the UN functioned primarily as a platform for reconciling the various contradictions between the two blocs, the capitalist and the socialist.
Now the UN looks more than archaic, all the more so because Russia, which openly opposed the whole world order, continues to retain the right to veto any decision in the UN Security Council. So, de facto, any action that does not satisfy Russia, they will be in the UN Security Council - the only body that can issue binding decisions - will be blocked there. And accordingly, since Russia is the aggressor, trying to stop the war through the UN is a futile endeavor.
Therefore, it is obvious that a world security system in which such regimes, and Putin's regime, it already frankly resembles a Nazi regime, has the decisive right to vote, will not be a priori capable.
Therefore, it is more likely that some new formats will await us. For example, a meeting of a number of civilized countries at the Ramstein base (Germany), represented by defense ministers, where, in particular, support for Ukraine was declared, including arms. All this, I think, can be a prototype of the new declaration of the United Nations.
On the basis of this, I think a new global security architecture can be built. But the fact that the UN can hardly be resuscitated anymore is becoming more and more evident.
And yet I would like to return to the political situation - Boris Johnson's recent resignation as prime minister of Great Britain - what do you think it could mean for Ukraine?
Globally, I think nothing. Of course, Boris Johnson has shown himself to be a great friend of Ukraine.
He is very popular in Ukraine and streets are named after him. And at the most critical moment for Ukraine, he showed determination, real leadership and became the leader of the civilized world in opposing Putin. So, of course, he is a very important figure. He's already made history, he's taken an important place there. but we have to understand that in Britain, the prime minister is a leader, not a one-man leader. And he demonstrates leadership, but he is in any case guided by the mood in society, the mood in the ruling party and most importantly, in the political elite. And the political elite of Great Britain is almost entirely anti-Russian, anti-Putin. This applies not only to the ruling Conservative Party, but also to the opposition Labour Party. Therefore, in reality, British policy will not change globally.
Britain will continue to support Ukraine. Although there may not be the beautiful gestures that Boris Johnson was so fond of making in the form of spontaneous unexpected visits to Kiev and similar statements. Perhaps all this will be less expressive and less presentable in terms of political communication. But globally, the course will not change.
The direction of British support for Ukraine has been determined globally. And it will continue for the next few years, not even decades.