TThe current international security system is almost dead. It’s rotted through. The world order has been buried beneath its remains. It’s futile to try and revive it.
The most striking thing about it is its appearance: It looks like an old automaton. While its limbs still work, the gears of its motors have become worn and its springs are stretched. Its movements are no longer perfected by the syncronicity it used to have.
Clockwork toys, robots’ mechanical ancestors, became fashionable with the European royal courts during the Thirty Years’ War in the 17th century. The first European conflict, which was a collection of interrelated wars that led to the creation of the first ever world order, proved even more significant.
The Peace of Westphalia 1648 was the basis of international relations. These core principles were: National sovereignty, Foreign and Domestic Policies Separation, Compromise as a way to reconcile competing national interests, Equal Rights of All States, and Negotiating Relations between them.
This order was intended to balance the interests of the leading states, which is what the Great Powers were.
The Congress of Vienna (1815) and the Potsdam Conference (1945) clearly showed this tendency. Any attempt to discredit any of these principles of Peace of Westphalia will lead to further conflicts. The Great Powers’ aspirations to impose their own will on the rest of the world by force brought the nightmare of two world wars. Or, as some historians rightly point out, the Second Thirty Years’ War of 1914-1945.
History repeats itself. Russia’s war on Ukraine is a rejection of all Westphalian principles. The right to sovereignity is denied. Under pressure, we are forced to alter our domestic policies. In the name of compromise we’re offered submission. We are not given subjectivity, and thus equality. Because they are Ukrainian citizens, civilians in Ukraine are routinely tortured or killed.
It is a crusade against Ukraine in the literal historical sense—it’s a sheer aggression, accompanied by sadism, raping, marauding, looting and systematic malicious destruction, under the guise of serving a greater purpose. The purpose that Russian propaganda, statesmen, and religious leaders define as a fundamentally false narrative of “protecting the spiritual ‘Third Rome’ from the spiritless and treacherous West breaches.” And the Patriarch of Moscow blesses with his own hand Russian soldiers to conquer Ukraine.
Zelensky (with his chief-of-staff Andriy Yaermak at center) speaks with journalists in Bucha, April 4,
Metin Aktas—Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Russia’s aggression towards Ukraine follows a series of conflict in which it was involved after the fall of the USSR. This is the decisive phase of the Third Thirty Years’ War. It is impossible to predict its duration.
We can all be certain that Moscow is on the right path towards international relations archaization. The Moscow regime has repeatedly denied international supremacy over national law. They have also committed systematic violations to agreements and withdrew from all rules which would be incompatible with their aggressive plans. It is has chose to disrupt the international bodies—these are all signs of the drive to replace the rule of law with the right of force. It is important to understand that this effort does not include only the Russian regime.
Russia leads the charge in the fight to undermine the international system of relations. What will their capabilities take them? This is the crucial question.
Prior 2014, an opinion was popular among some experts that Russia was counting on a second “Yalta” – in the sense of the world redistribution by blocs. However, Russia is currently unable to create influential international bodies, and all such efforts under Moscow’s auspices are purely instrumental. But, Russia is not willing to join international organisations as a minor partner.
Read More: Inside Zelensky’s World
Where does this go? The Vienna Congress pre-bloc period is where its goals take it. The European concert as a prototype of the world concert, playing the music chosen by the Great Powers—the concept is very tempting for Russia. After all, its leadership is still guided by the principles of the Holy Alliance (the League of the Three Emperors), and is using ‘legitimacy’ to deny the right of nations to self-determination and independent foreign policy. Similar to the Romanovs.
Current Russian government isn’t a restorer. It doesn’t need to recreate the USSR nor the Romanov Empire. The goal is to create a fictional world based on the truth, not restore the empire. It’s an attempt to replay historical turning points and cancel out or counter unsatisfactory results. This includes the Caribbean Crisis and the demise of the Soviet bloc.
This has been a successful strategy of the Kremlin for many years. The Kremlin has many accomplices. They are all known to us.
Many, including the Hungarian authorities are open to doing business with Russia under Kremlin conditions. The European elites know that they have repeatedly undermined European values to get Russian money or energy. It is clear that Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel ignored the needs of Europe in order to support France and Germany’s positions. They made the NATO Bucharest Summit look like a Congress of Vienna in 2008.
The refusal to let Ukraine and Georgia into NATO was a de facto consent to Russia’s aggression against both countries. In modern international relations, the era of hybridity began. Russia turned to realpolitik in order to conceal its pure ideological motivations. The West has used ideology to cover up its realpolitik. It is clear that conflict between values and interests only makes the crisis worse. That’s what is happening now.
The aggressor has been stopped by international organizations. E.U. National governments routinely weaken consensus decisions that are intended to deter and punish Russia. It is not possible for the U.N. to function effectively. The Security Council is in need of reform—a country resorting to annexation, aggressive wars, and genocide should definitely not be its permanent member.
NATO continues to allow Russia to influence the enlargement debate, through both direct and indirect means. NATO’s double-standard policy continues, as the current events demonstrate. Its readiness to accept Finland and Sweden against the uncertain signals and constant delays on Ukraine’s bid.
The two states’ drive to join the Alliance is a direct consequence of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which remained de facto neutral precisely because of NATO’s refusal to provide it with a clear path to membership. These are the results. Russian missiles have been destroying cities in Ukraine. Russian troops are massacring and murdering thousands of Ukrainian civilians, including children. Some of their allies continue to try to avoid conflict despite threats from the Russian leadership.
In the context of the impotent Budapest Memorandum it is clear that the message is clear: If invaded states with no weapons or mass destruction can expect unlimited worry. As such, humanitarian assistance and the acceptance of refugees is likely. However, these countries have a difficult time deciding how to punish the aggressor. When Russia took over the Ukrainian Crimea, Donbas and Donbas in 2014 this was also the case. Many Europeans would prefer to keep the status quo, even though it is difficult right now.
NATO still has the chance to be responsible and independent. Instead of talking about “the doors open for everyone,” it’s the right time to open them for Ukraine. Right now the Russian leadership is confident it’s got the right to destroy Ukraine.
But the Ukrainian people’s fierce resistance spoiled the game. The desire for freedom is stronger than ever. After the horrors of Mariupol (Buka, Gostomel), Chernihiv Kharkiv and many other locations, the international community began to grasp what was happening. Every day is filled with horrifying footage showing the horrific crimes committed by the Russian Army. These tragedies could be avoided if leaders were able to defend world order.
Otto von Bismarck said: “We live in a wondrous time, in which the strong is weak because of his scruples and the weak grows strong because of his audacity.” It’s now again. It’s the time for leaders that act quickly, make dreams come true and realize possibilities. Such people have been in business for a long time—those active visionaries like Steve Jobs and Elon Musk, bringing the future to humankind. These types of people have been rare until recently in politics because it is an obligation you accept voluntarily and everyone else avoids.
Learn More: Ukraine’s Past and Future
This burden fell on Volodymyr Zelensky. In bringing seemingly lost virtues to world politics, the Ukrainian President was a great example of what can be done. In the midst of terrible war, he was made the conduit of the Ukrainian philosophy to freedom throughout the entire world. Ukraine today isn’t just a nation near Russia. A strong and stable state that isn’t corrupt, and whose politicians used to take handshakes on the sidelines and have minute talks. Volodymyr Zelenskyy has a different approach. He is honest. He is courageous. He is beloved. It’s a politician of a new formation. Ukraine is an example of this new state. Ukrainians have shown courage in the democratic world.
Our loneliness has ended. Although I am unable to list everyone who has helped Ukraine, please know that Ukraine is extremely grateful.
Our history is full of martyrs. Every generation had its 300 Spartans, its Thermopylae. The time is now for the victorious heroes. Heroines who live happily and long in freedom. Our efforts have been well worth it. Like Israel in 1948. We need to have all the means to win over our outnumbered enemy, just like Israel. We would struggle to survive without the U.S.A., U.K. Poland, Poland and the Baltic States as well the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Slovakia. We struggled to gain support initially. It was the same as Israel. Apparently, over the years, the world’s democracies have forgotten that someone can be eager to destroy states and nations.
Mariupol has proven this to be true in Bucha, Irpin, as well as dozens of other areas. Ukraine requires reliable, complete, and binding security assurances. These guarantees are essential for the world. Any agreement with Russia without them will be only a temporary and fragile truce.
We must hold to get Russia to sign the agreement.
“Give us the tools, and we will finish the job,” said Winston Churchill, urging the United States to launch the lend-lease. They responded and defeated Nazism. Today, we repeat the same call—and we see that we are heard. Ukraine can survive by using lend-lease Restore the state’s integrity. Our people must be restored. The aggressor must be punished severely and decisively. This is our victory. There is a bigger issue to address.
It is important to see how the world will be after we have conquered it. The goal of conquering the world should not be too difficult or costly.
The key provisions of Peace of Westphalia are indisputable. It is therefore necessary to conceptually return to it, with our experience as well as the realization that reasoning with fanatics would be absurd.
Several years ago, Richard Haass put forward the concept of responsible sovereignty, providing a quantitative rather than absolute model of state sovereignty depending on the regime’s behavior. The sovereignty can be reduced if the government poses a threat.
But, there is a crucial question: How can we avoid the global order being transformed into equilibrium? The constant balance of interests of these old Great Powers that are untouchable due to their power will be necessary. This scenario is clearly wrong and has been proven by the Russian case.
Henry Kissinger explained why: “Any system of world order, to be sustainable, must be accepted as just—not only by leaders, but also by citizens. Two truths must be reflected in it: Order without freedom is not sustainable, even when sustained by temporary exaltation. But freedom can only be sustained and secured without an orderly framework to maintain peace. Order and freedom, sometimes described as opposite poles on the spectrum of experience, should instead be understood as interdependent”.
Following Mr. Kissinger, I’d like to ask: Can today’s leaders rise above the urgency of day-to-day events to achieve this balance?
Russia’s strength is waning. The atrocities the Russian soldiers commit are a sign of weakness, a sign of degradation, overstrain of the empire’s forces and its inevitable collapse. This is the time to implement such reforms. Now is the right time for a combination of interest and justice, values and realpolitik. Reform international institutions. To create an effective security format in the event that NATO does not dare to show determination—the determination that created it back in 1949. The determination of the Alliance member states’ citizens to support our Euro-Atlantic aspirations and our just struggle.
We propose a new collective agreement on security guarantees for Ukraine—as a basis for a collective response to global security challenges. This agreement cannot have neutrality as its key issue.
This agreement should ensure the status of Ukraine as a democratic, sovereign and integral state—without putting the issues of Donbas and Crimea in brackets. Although the conditions of such an agreement are still being discussed, it is evident that there is enough room to include both the East and West among the guarantors. Americas, Europe Asia Africa. For the U.N. Security Council members, Poland, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Canada, Israel… The club is open. Ukraine is one the most important guarantors for world food security. Therefore, securing it not only is a moral matter but is also practical.
Russian officials also claim Ukraine as the shield that protects Europe against invading forces. You may not believe them, as we did not believe until 2014—but history clearly shows that empires have two states only: expansion and disintegration.
Future, Ukraine’s security platform could be used as the base for U-24 and United for Peace multilateral formats. The countries that are in greatest need would be provided with assistance by a rescue service governed by the states. The service, which, despite the U.N. paralysis and the unbeatable vetos will be able within 24 hours to provide aid—humanitarian, financial, material and military-technical—to a state that suffered aggression. This service can impose sanctions within 24 hours of the aggressor.
After all, crushing exports is more sobering than freezing the aggressor state officials’ assets.
The leadership position of Ukraine in the system has cost it a lot. The Moscow-centric world’s inevitable collapse is a chance for new leadership. Democratic. Humane. Human-centered. A leader of a country whose people place liberty first.
Ukrainians have the ability to create and fight as well. It is certain that we will rebuild this beautiful nation. Our economy will be able to recover from the war. Today it is the right thing to invest in Ukraine’s defense. In the future, it will prove profitable to invest in their development. You can put your money on this.
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