Image credit: G7 Hiroshima Summit
“The European Council demands that Russia immediately ceases its military actions, unconditionally withdraws all forces and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine and fully respects Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence within its internationally-recognized borders”.
European Council Conclusions, 24 February 2022
This second edition was prepared specifically for the European Parliament. It contains five elaborated proposals that have been worked up by members of The Alphen Group (TAG) since the first edition was published in February 2023. These proposals are: A Declaration for Ukraine; Mutual Commitments of Defence, Security and Solidarity; A Conference of Democracies on European Peace and Security; G7 plus Partners Ukraine Joint Plan of Action for the Russo-Ukraine War; and An Accelerated NATO Ukraine Membership Action Plan. I am grateful to all the many members of the TAG who have worked on the Strategy. I am particularly grateful to the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, The Hague Centre for Security Strategy, and the Norwegian Atlantic Committee for publishing this Strategy on their respective websites.
Professor Julian Lindley-French, Chairman of The Alphen Group and Project Director for the TAG Ukraine Strategy
Table of Contents
- Part One: Introduction
- Part Two: The Strategy
- Lessons From the War for NATO
- Consequences of a Partial Russian Victory
- Part Three: The Way Ahead
- Annex 1: A Declaration for Ukraine
- Annex 2: Mutual Commitments of Defence, Security and Sovereignty
- Annex 3: A Conference of Democracies on the Future of European Peace and Security
- Annex 4: G7 plus Partners Ukraine Joint Plan of Action for the Russo-Ukraine War
- Annex 5: Accelerated NATO Ukraine Membership Action Plan
Dr Franco Algieri
General (Ret.) John R. Allen
Anne C. Bader
LTG (Ret.) Arne Bard Dalhaug
Dr Jordan Becker
Dr James Bergeron
LTG (Ret.) Rob Bertholee
Dr Hans Binnendijk
BG (Ret) Robbie Boyd
Professor Yves Boyer
LTG (Ret.) Heinrich Brauss
Dr John Bruni
General (Ret.) Vincenzo Camporini
Professor Paul Cornish
Professor Marta Dassu
MG (Ret.) Gordon Davis
General (Ret.) Sir James Everard
Dr Camille Grand
Kate Hansen Bundt
Air Marshal (Ret.) Sir Christopher Harper
LTG (Ret) Giles Hill
LTG (Ret.) Ben Hodges
Dr Rich Hooker
Professor Jaap De Hoop Scheffer
Dr Karl-Heinz Kamp
Dr Sarah Kirchberger
Thomas Kleine Brockhoff
Professor Neil MacFarlane
Dr Claudia Major
Professor Holger Mey
Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Rainer Meyer zum Feld
Professor Andrew Michta
Amb (Ret.) Alessandro Minuto Rizzo
Professor Zaneta Ozolina
Admiral (Ret.) Giampaolo di Paola
Air Chief Marshal (Ret.) Lord Stuart Peach
General (Ret.) Lord David Richards
Professor Peter Roberts
Professor Sten Rynning
Professor Paul Schulte
Dr Alexandra Schwarzkopf
Dr Hanna Shelest
General (Ret.) Sir Richard Shirreff
Stanley R. Sloan
General (Ret.) Sir Rupert Smith
Ambassador (Ret.) Carsten Sondergaard
Professor Em. Georges Henri Soutou
Ambassador (Ret.) Stefano Stefanini
Dr Harlan Ullman
Ambassador (Ret.) Alexander Vershbow
Professor Rob De Wijk
Professor Tomonori Yoshizaki
With Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine into its second year, the Western definition of success must remain the re-establishment of Ukraine as a secure and sovereign European democracy with all the rights and responsibilities that entails. The critical issue the TAG Ukraine Strategy 2023 (the Strategy) thus addresses is the scope and extent of international support required to reinforce that goal across the diplomatic, informational, military and economic domains. For the purpose of the Strategy, “the West” encompasses the Euro-Atlantic Community and those members of the G7 and beyond, such as Australia, Japan and South Korea, the policies of which are largely aligned.
The specific aims are threefold:
- To bring the war to an end on terms acceptable to Kyiv that deny the Russians the fruits of aggression and ensure that Russia does not invade Ukraine again;
- To restore Ukraine as an independent state in full control of its internationally- recognized borders, with the capability to deter and defeat any further Russian aggression; and thereby
- To demonstrate to any potential aggressors that the democratic nations will defend the rules-based international order.
Western support for Ukraine could well decide if 2023 will be the decisive year of the Russian-Ukraine war. The prospect of a total Russian victory that would see the complete dismemberment of an independent Ukrainian state, although by no means impossible, seems remote. However, Ukraine will only prevail with sustained and extensive Western support.
Continued Ukrainian advances and recovery of still-occupied territory cannot be assumed and Russia may have sufficient capability to repel Ukrainian offensives and force a stalemate. Russia enjoys far more strategic depth and industrial capacity than Ukraine which is precisely the reason why Western support remains indispensable.
Beyond the future of Ukraine, what is also at stake in the war is the West’s capacity to shape its strategic environment and shape the European security order on its own terms in a way that upholds the principles of the rules-based international order established following World War Two. All and any collective action will involve risk.
A new European security system will be needed in order to restore respect for the principles of international law that Russia has violated and, over time, to lay the basis for a new relationship with Russia, whatever the outcome of the war. In the short term, the support of Western public opinion will also be indispensable.
- ISSUE A NEW DECLARATION OF EU AND NATO MEMBERS FOR UKRAINE TO MAXIMIZE WESTERN COHESION AND FURTHER DETER RUSSIA.
- PURSUE MORE VIGOROUS DIPLOMATIC MEASURES WITH CHINA TO SEEK THEIR INTERVENTION TO END THE WAR.
- CLARIFY FURTHER FOR RUSSIA THE CATASTROPHIC CONSEQUENCES OF NUCLEAR USE OR ANOTHER MASSIVE INVASION OF UKRAINE.
- CONVENE A CONFERENCE OF DEMOCRACIES TO BEGIN PLANNING THE POST-WAR ORDER.
- MAINTAIN DIPLOMATIC CONTACT WITH MOSCOW TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT POSSIBLE WHILST INSISTING ON FULL SUPPORT FOR UKRAINE’S SOVEREIGNTY AND TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY.
- PROVIDE ALL SUPPORT NECESSARY TO SUPPORT UKRAINIAN EFFORTS TO HOLD RUSSIANS ACCOUNTABLE FOR WAR CRIMES.
- PREPARE WESTERN PUBLICS FOR THE BROAD CONSEQUENCES OF A PROTRACTED WAR.
- ESCALATE THE INFORMATION CAMPAIGN IN RUSSIA TO COUNTERTHE KREMLIN’S NARRATIVE.
- MAINTAIN A HIGH LEVEL OF PUBLIC SUPPORT FOR ASSISTANCE TO UKRAINE.
- PUBLICLY DEFINE THE MEANING OF A UKRAINIAN VICTORY IN WHICH THE FULL RESTORATION OF UKRAINE’S TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY IS THE GOAL.
- STREAMLINE DECISION MAKING ON ASSISTANCE TO UKRAINE.
- INCREASE THE PACE AND VOLUME OF WEAPONS TRANSFERS TO UKRAINE DESIGNED TO ALLOW THEM TO RETAKE OCCUPIED TERRITORY, WHILE REFRAINING FROM ATTACKS ON RUSSIAN TERRITORY WITH WESTERN ARMS.
- SEEK TO DETER AND PREPARE TO DEAL WITH FURTHER RUSSIAN ESCALATION SHOULD IT COME.
- TAKE ADDITIONAL STEPS TO GUARANTEE UKRAINE’S LONG-TERM SECURITY, INCLUDING SECURITY GUARANTEES AND EVENTUAL NATO MEMBERSHIP.
- AVOID THE TEMPTATION TO SLOW EFFORTS TO FURTHER STRENGTHEN THE NATO ALLIANCE BECAUSE RUSSIA WILL REBUILD ITS FORCES IN ITS LONG-TERM STRUGGLE WITH THE ALLIANCE.
- MAINTAIN AND FURTHER STRENGTHEN SANCTIONS; THERE IS MUCH MORE THAT CAN BE DONE.
- CONTINUE TO PROVIDE SHORT-TERM ECONOMIC AID AND BUDGET SUPPORT TO UKRAINE TO COUNTER RUSSIA’S EFFORT TO UNDERCUT UKRAINE’S WILL TO FIGHT.
- PASS WESTERN LEGISLATION AS NEEDED TO ALLOW SEQUESTERED RUSSIAN FINANCIAL RESERVES TO BE USED FOR UKRAINIAN RECONSTRUCTION.
- PREPARE FOR A MASSIVE MARSHALL-STYLE PLAN FOR UKRAINE ONCE THE CONFLICT ENDS.
The Russia-Ukraine war is in its second and possibly decisive year with the outcome still uncertain. Now is the time to review western goals and consider the scope and parameters of a strategy sufficient to achieve them. That is the purpose of the TAG Ukraine Strategy 2023.
The Strategy concerns the scope and extent of Western support that will be needed along diplomatic, informational, military and economic lines of engagement to bring the war to an end on terms acceptable to Kyiv that deny the Russians the fruits of aggression and ensure that Russia does not invade Ukraine again. The primary strategic goal is Ukrainian victory that would restore Ukraine as a sovereign, independent and democratic state in full control of its internationally-recognized borders and with the military capability and capacity to deter and defeat any further Russian aggression. An equally important goal of the Strategy is for the West to demonstrate to other potential aggressors that the democratic nations are fully prepared to defend the rules-based international order established following the Second World War.
What is at stake over the medium-to-longer term is the West’s capacity to shape its strategic environment in a way that upholds the principles of the rules-based international order. There are two principal scenarios pertinent to contemporary Western strategy: a protracted conflict; or a cease-fire with negotiations. Both scenarios involve risk. A Ukrainian victory risks the threat of major escalation by Russia to avoid defeat. The risks posed by a frozen conflict or a long war are continued threats to Ukraine’s security or pressure to engage in negotiations which force unwanted concessions on Ukraine. Whilst the West is rightly working for a Ukrainian victory, it also needs to be prepared to manage both sets of risks.
The danger of a rapid escalation of the war remains very serious. Short of direct military intervention, the West’s ability to determine the outcome of the war will remain limited, even if the prospect of a total Russian victory which would see the complete occupation of Ukraine, although by no means impossible, seems remote. Another full-scale Russian offensive that threatened western Ukraine could still trigger an unprecedented western response, and with it the potential for direct conflict with Western forces and even nuclear escalation of the conflict.
Therefore, the West should adopt a dual-track strategy and apply sticks and offer carrots in pursuit of a legitimate and just peace. An effective Western strategy in direct support of Ukraine will need to be comprehensive and enacted across diplomatic, informational, military and economic (DIME) lines of engagement. It will also need to be applied consistently, cohesively, but above all, courageously. A political solution to the war will also need to be sought in parallel. Any such demarche will necessarily include conceiving of different possible outcomes and differing possible post-war security systems in and across Europe. A future European security architecture will be indispensable in the longer term if respect for the principles of international law that Russia has violated is to be restored. It will also be vital as the basis for a new relationship with Russia, whatever the outcome of the war.
Reform in Ukraine will also be vital and Western carrots and sticks must extend to Kyiv in its battle against corruption. The firing by Zelenskyy of several corrupt senior Ukrainians in early 2023 was a good start but must go far further. Much of the scope and timing of the reconstruction effort will also depend on different scenarios post-2023 depending on developments in the war. But central to any such strategy will be EU and NATO cooperation on Ukraine and that co-operation will be immediately at risk if there is a perception of corruption or war- profiteering within the Ukrainian government.
The Russian invasion constitutes the most serious act of aggression in the European security space since the Second World War. It is in direct violation of the UN Charter, the Helsinki Final Act, the Charter of Paris, and the NATO-Russia Founding Act, together with many other agreements guaranteeing Ukraine's sovereignty into which Russia entered voluntarily. The impact of Russian aggression has been world-wide, most significantly in the energy and food security sectors with deep ripple effects across the global economy. Long-standing security and economic arrangements have been altered, not least by Finland and Sweden’s abandonment of non-alignment, increased defence spending commitments in Europe, large-scale arms transfers to Ukraine, and major changes in public attitudes about security and Russia. And, in the aftermath of recent political trends in the United States, the war has reinforced the American bond with Europeans and within NATO to an extent not seen since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Such consequences directly contradict an essential Russian war aim in Ukraine: the weakening and possible decoupling of the U.S. from its European allies and the erosion of the Atlantic Alliance.
The danger to Europe is clear. There can be no certainty that if the war drags on into 2024 and 2025 Russian popular attitudes towards the West may become even more hostile. Although Moscow continues to seek to end Ukraine’s existence as a sovereign state, its narrative has shifted from the ‘denazification’ and ‘de-militarization’ of Ukraine, to emphasizing what Moscow calls an ‘existential threat’ to Russia posed by NATO and its support for Ukraine. Russia clearly considers itself to be in a broad confrontation with the Atlantic Alliance which could at some point justify direct Russian military action against NATO, even though this would be suicidal for the Putin regime.
The geopolitical landscape is also changing, although it is inchoate with China – the great strategic variable. No peace in Ukraine nowadays can be considered without taking into account the position of China. Beijing continues to emphasise its partnership with Russia. However, China has also placed limits on its ‘friendship without limits’ relationship with Russia as the conflict has unfolded. Moscow’s claim that both Crimea and the Donbas are part of the Russian Federation has been effectively ignored by Beijing. Chinese leaders have also repeatedly upheld the principle of territorial integrity and the inviolability of borders in meetings with other former Soviet states, much to Russia's irritation. And, on at least two occasions, Chinese leaders have warned Moscow not to use, or threaten to use, nuclear weapons in the conflict.
China’s military aid to Russia has also been notable by and large by its absence. This has forced the Kremlin to buy cheap Iranian drones and seek to re-purchase helicopters, missiles and missile defence weapons already sold to clients around the world. Moscow has even been forced to remove computer chips from domestic appliances to offset the impact of Western sanctions on such technologies. Finally, the threat of Western sanctions on Chinese state enterprises and banks operating in Russia has seen several of them withdraw lines of credit to the Russians, suspend joint ventures, and even withdraw from Russia.
Members of the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) have also been vocal, and in some cases openly hostile, to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. However, many states have taken no position, including an increasingly powerful group of major non-aligned states with India at its core, with some seemingly receptive to Russian propaganda about the West, and others simply happy to buy Russian oil and gas at a discount.
The TAG Ukraine Strategy is established on the following principles:
- A NATO-Russia war must be avoided;
- Russian aggression and attempts to change borders by force must not be rewarded nor legitimized in any way;
- Russia must pay reparations for the death, destruction and damage it has inflicted on Ukraine;
- There can be no de facto Russian veto over NATO’s support for Ukraine and no secret deals with Moscow that undercut Ukraine’s position;
- The lifting of sanctions on Russia will only come as a consequence of Russian action and only over time; and
- The West must be able to determine the European security order on its own terms,including Ukraine’s place in it.
A “Declaration for Ukraine” should be issued by Ukraine’s NATO and EU partners (joined by other like-minded democracies – the West) to reaffirm their collective commitment to the restoration of full Ukrainian sovereignty within its internationally-recognised borders backed by mutual security commitments to deter renewed Russian aggression and ensure Ukraine’s long-term future.
The Declaration would explicitly state that unless there is a cessation of aggression, the West will release to Ukraine additional capabilities that have thus far been withheld and make clear that Russia’s threat of possible use of nuclear weapons will not deter them.
The Declaration would reaffirm the critical importance of EU and NATO support for a secure, sovereign, and independent Ukraine. The Declaration, signed jointly by EU Member-States and NATO nations together with other coalition partners, will confirm the commitment to restore Ukraine’s pre-2014 borders in exchange for a full withdrawal of Russian forces and cessation of hostilities.
The West must also seek to isolate Russia within international organizations; remove Russia completely from the SWIFT financial messaging system; impose a full trade and financial embargo on Russia; and use seized Russian financial assets for Ukrainian reconstruction. The Declaration will state unequivocally that the door remains open for Ukraine’s eventual NATO membership, although any such membership will be linked to the outcomes of extensive security sector reform. In the near term, NATO will assist Ukraine to improve the resilience of its armed forces and help deter any further aggression, building on Ukraine's work with NATO under the Enhanced Opportunities Partnership (EOP) programme and its Annual National Programme (ANP). Work will also commence on an accelerated and tailored Ukraine Membership Action Plan (UMAP).
The West must insist on full integrity of Ukrainian sovereignty in return for assurances to Russia of sanctions relief if certain conditions are met and continue to be met, primarily the withdrawal of all Russian forces from Ukraine and binding pledges that Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity will henceforth be respected.
Immunity from prosecution for alleged war crimes by individuals should not, however, be extended, nor should efforts to afford justice be seen as distinct from internal peace and reconciliation processes. Experience in the North of Ireland and the Western Balkans suggests not only the need for parallel tracks, but a long-term commitment to justice in many forms.
The West will increase efforts to fully align Turkey with NATO, EU and coalition goals and approaches. In return, Ankara should be offered renewed security guarantees. Other possible steps might include the re-opening of all aspects of the EU-Turkey relationship.
Moscow must be under no illusions as to the gravity of the dangerous situation Russia would create should it resort to any use of weapons of mass destruction. The West has been, and must continue to be clear that such use would have “catastrophic consequences”. Any use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) could lead to direct NATO involvement and the imposition of the fullest range of harsh economic sanctions; offensive cyber-operations targeting critical Russian nodes and government operations; as well as focused retaliation such as the destruction of the Black Sea Fleet and Kerch Strait Bridge. While the emphasis would be on conventional responses, a nuclear response in kind should not be ruled out.
If Russia at any time prepares for another major ground offensive against Kyiv or advances west of the Dnipro River, the West will reserve the right to respond with more advanced and longer-range weapons for Ukraine and possibly the establishment of some form of air exclusionary measure, to include a NATO-imposed No Fly Zone. Such an attack must be deterred even at the risk of escalation.
Discussions on Russia’s place in the European security system will not take place in the foreseeable future. More likely is a period not unlike the Cold War in which Russia is contained, diplomacy is reduced to a minimum, and nuclear deterrence prevents further escalation.
A specially convened Conference of Democracies (a modern version of the Congress of Vienna) should be held in a major European capital to consider a new post-war European security order in light of Russia’s aggression. The goal of the conference would be to restore respect for, and compliance with, the founding principles of the Helsinki Final Act, Paris Charter, and NATO-Russia Founding Act.
To that end, Future Planning Groups (FPG) should be established and charged to discuss and agree on concrete confidence and security-building measures along four traditional lines of strategy: diplomatic, informational, military and economic.
Leadership will be critical. There are two possible vehicles for such leadership in declining order of likely effectiveness, but rising in terms of likelihood: the Alliance and the European Union working in lock-step, or an ad hoc leadership group of willing and able powers outside of formal institutional structures. If the latter, Ukraine’s future security would also need to be guaranteed by a series of bilateral and multilateral security commitments and instruments.
The war will continue to have severe economic, social and humanitarian consequences for Ukraine. Mitigation of such consequences will require finance, expertise and human resources. In such circumstances, process is as important as outcome and the EU is best placed to generate such change. Therefore, for all the many self-evident challenges, an accelerated track towards eventual Ukrainian membership of the EU should be put on the table, albeit subject to a range of caveats. The reforms required by the accession process would themselves contribute immensely to security and stability in the country and wider Europe.
The EU and NATO should together launch a new regional strategy towards the Black Sea Region and the Caspian Sea Region. Any such strategy would need to include measures to end Russia’s illegitimate occupation of Moldovan and Georgian territories (Transnistria, Abkhazia, South Ossetia) and to resolve these and other so-called frozen conflicts.
A much greater Western effort is needed to convince the likes of China and India to further withhold support from Russia. At this year’s G7 Summit in Hiroshima, Japan, China and India should be invited to join a G7-Plus Partners Contact Group charged with both preventing nuclear escalation and returning the conflict to an institutional framework. A major diplomatic demarche is also needed towards other important democracies, such as Brazil, Indonesia, Nigeria, the Philippines, and South Africa.
Extra-European membership of any such Contact Group would set a precedent for the involvement of such powers in European affairs, and thus balance European involvement in Asian affairs. One aim of such concentrated diplomatic efforts would be to induce India, China, and as many other states as possible to warn Russian elites of the lasting risks to Russia’s reputation and national interests if Putin decides to escalate the war with weapons of mass destruction.
The scope of a Ukrainian victory must be publicly declared: the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity is the goal and to that end, effective Western leadership is critical.
The West must also demonstrably and publicly plan to deal with Russian escalation across the spectrum of political, military, cyber, hybrid and other grey-zone capabilities. This will include preparing Western publics for a protracted struggle in which they are targets.
Russian attacks could take manifold forms from a complete cut-off of energy supplies to Europe (including attacks on Norway and its energy exporting infrastructure); attacks on undersea communications networks, seriously disruptive cyber-attacks; targeting of military supply convoys; as well as greater restrictions on both Russian and Ukrainian exports of grain and other commodities such as fertilizer and sunflower oil.
Moscow must understand that any such attacks will be met with a response in kind. Attacks on critical energy and communications infrastructure would be especially dangerous, particularly undersea pipelines and telecommunications cables on which the West is deeply dependent. Short of general war with Russia, the West must be prepared for attacks on its commercial orbital constellations as well.
Effective strategic communications will be vital if Western public support for Ukraine in the West is to be sustained. All parties to the conflict, including Western publics, need to recognise that the war in Ukraine is one in which they too are involved and that they have a stake in an outcome that denies Moscow the fruits of its aggression. To that end, messaging should be along several lines of communication with the overarching message being that whilst the West is not at war with Russia what happens in Ukraine is vital for European and global security.
Specific messaging would be thus:
- Increased military support for Ukraine is the best way to guarantee Kyiv’s ability to ultimately expel Russian forces from occupied territories; support at current levels could see the eventual ejection of Russian forces, but will likely take longer and come at a far higher cost;
- If the war turns into a protracted conflict, many thousands more will die and the threat of a wider war in Europe will be increased;
- If Western support for Ukraine is reduced, the Ukrainians will not be able to recover occupied territories and face the very real possibility over time of renewed Russian aggression that could also escalate to include EU and NATO nations;
- Sanctions must remain in effect until Russia ends its aggression, withdraws its forces from Ukraine and demonstrates in practice that it will respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all of its neighbours;
- Over the longer-term the West would seek to return to the path of cooperation that was so catastrophically interrupted by Russian aggression; but
- There is no possibility of a return to business as usual until Russia quits Ukraine and accepts its right to exist as an independent democratic nation.
The information space is also a strategic battlespace for which the West needs a consistent and coherent strategy over the medium-to-longer-term commensurate with realistic and legitimate strategic ambitions. The core message must be thus: Western support for Ukraine is vital to the upholding of international law and preventing Russian efforts to take Europe back to the law of the jungle which led to two world wars and millions of dead.
A multi-platform information campaign should also be undertaken against Russia to counter the propaganda of the regime with the narrative that whilst the West stands firm against Russian aggression, it does not seek to punish ordinary Russians. The West will also need to counter the growing narrative within Ukraine and its displaced people that the West has betrayed Ukraine by offering too little support, too late.
The strategic communications narrative would emphasise several points: Russia is already engaged in a hybrid war with the West; Ukraine is now an EU accession candidate and the investment Europeans are making must be protected; and, if Ukraine is lost to the West this would embolden not only Putin, but other autocrats to attack their neighbours and annex their territories.
There are two principal military-strategic scenarios for 2023: 1) a successful Ukrainian counter-offensive that recovers further occupied territory; or 2) the Russia line holds and the conflict descends into a mutually deleterious and prolonged stalemate.
Ukraine needs combined arms capabilities and in sufficient numbers to prevail. Therefore, the policy focus should be on rapid implementation of the first three phases. Specifically, and at the very least, Ukraine will require continued, comprehensive military assistance including artillery ammunition, Western armoured fighting vehicles, advanced air defence systems, anti-tank munitions, training, intelligence support, and unmanned aircraft.
To realise such a strategy it is vital that Western decision-making structures are streamlined and weapons transfers markedly accelerated. Thus far, the West has conducted ‘just in time’ decision-making with regards to weapons transfers, which is no longer adequate as hostilities accelerate in 2023. Any such streamlining must be matched by an improved capacity to move weapons to Ukraine securely, with ‘off-shore’ training programmes for Ukrainian troops in Europe and North America markedly expanded.
There have been three phases of Western arms transfers. Phase one saw transfers of weapons devoted to stopping Russia’s initial advance, such as Next-generation Light Anti-tank Weapons (NLAWs), Javelins and Stingers. It was successful. Phase two led to transfers of weapons that enabled Ukraine to reverse the large asymmetry in artillery and take the fight to Russia in the Donbas and southern Ukraine. Phase two was also successful.
Phase three has just begun and must be tailored specifically to enable Ukraine to break out of the current attrition-dominated stalemate and take the offensive to regain occupied territory with strength and at speed. Phase three will thus require additional mobility assets, most notably armour, air and missile defence, and possibly advanced strike aircraft. Additional training of Ukrainian personnel on the command and control of complex combined operations must also be undertaken. If Phase three is implemented vigorously, Ukraine should be able to recover its capacity for large-scale manoeuvres and regain more of its lost territory without escalating the conflict.
Specific phase three weapons systems now needed quickly and in sufficient quantity are:
- Modernised main battle tanks and armoured infantry fighting vehicles with reactive armour and thermal sights (such as Challenger 2, M1A1 Abrams and Leopard 2 variants) together with their requisite logistics and supply;
- Increased transfers of ammunition, more advanced rocket systems (i.e. HIMARS/MLRS, ground-launched small diameter bombs, and ATACMS), as well as standing up the ‘Jet Coalition’ and acting on a green-light from Washington to supply F-16s;
- There should also be consideration of a phase four should it be needed with the focus on continued military and equipment assistance for as long as it takes to achieve victory and build a sufficiently capable Ukrainian military to deter Russia post-aggression; and
- This phase would include F-16s and long-range ATACMS, together with the Tactical Air Operations Centres (TAOC), and would be directly linked to Russian Other practical support will include enhanced intelligence provision by the West, above all the U.S., which has been essential to date. Military training outside of Ukraine has contributed significantly to the reinforcement of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and will need to be markedly accelerated and intensified.
NATO must also plan for the worst case, including the use of tactical nuclear weapons. At present, a very significant element of Russia’s military forces are engaged in Ukraine and any attack on NATO territory would draw the Alliance into the conflict. This is unlikely. However, desperate regimes sometimes take desperate measures, especially if domestic support begins to falter and the Putin regime becomes threatened from within. Putin’s nuclear options are thus:
- A tactical nuclear strike using a very low-yield weapon against one or several targets, depending on what Putin believes is required to force Kyiv’s capitulation; and
- A strike against a city in Western Ukraine or a demonstration strike in the High North/Arctic aimed at scaring European, and especially German public The aim would be to exert public pressure on Western leaders to end their support for Ukraine and thus convince President Zelenskyy to settle on Russian terms.
NATO must also reconceive deterrence in light of the nuclear threat. Whilst responding in kind should remain an option, a range of sub-nuclear responses should be designed, including a massive cyber-attack on Russian forces and/or the Russian Government or the possible destruction by conventional means of Russia’s ability to conduct the war.
There is now no justification for continuing to abide by the security assurances in the NATO- Russia Founding Act with regard to no permanent stationing of substantial combat forces on the territory of NATO members admitted after 1997. NATO must now move quickly to deploy conventional Allied forces, resources and infrastructure anywhere in its area of responsibility in support of Forward Defence. Any such commitment must include Finland and Sweden. The West has already taken a big step forward to strengthen the Euro-Atlantic Area with the accession of Finland and prospective accession of Sweden.
A Mutual Commitment to Security, Defence and Sovereignty should also be established. Under the Commitment, the allies would commit themselves over the medium-to-longer-term to do all they can to assist Ukraine to defend itself, dissuade Russia from launching further aggression, and thus increase Kyiv’s leverage in any eventual political settlement to the war.
The Commitment would also build on the ongoing provision of military equipment and training, and be tailored to enhance Ukraine’s resilience against cyber-attacks, disinformation, economic warfare, and political subversion over the long term. The Commitment would also reinforce a function-driven form of partnership for Ukraine with NATO, making it a formal Alliance responsibility to help train and equip Ukrainian armed forces, and to facilitate their acquisition of modern defensive weapons, backed by common funding.
Continued heavy economic sanctions will be critical to maintaining pressure on the Russian Federation. Economic sanctions against Russia, whilst severe, should be strengthened further in the event of Russian escalation. Measures should include:
- Total exclusion from the SWIFT bank transfer system;
- Exclusion from S., UK and EU financial and other markets (including a ban on the sale of Russian sovereign debt);
- Further travel bans and confiscation of Russian assets and property held abroad;
- Initiate legislation to authorize impoundment and use of Russian assets held in U.S. and partner financial institutions to pay for Ukrainian reconstruction; and
- Strict control over sanctions implementation and prevention of sanctions bypassing, including via third states.
Ukraine has already received extensive Western aid and should also be offered large-scale financial support, including access to low and no-interest loans and grants. However, a powerful oversight body composed of officials from the Bank of England, the European Central Bank and the U.S. Federal Reserve must be quickly stepped up to ensure Western money is not lost to the large-scale corruption from which Ukraine continues to suffer.
The West should avoid helping Ukraine to prevail in the war, only to falter in sustaining the peace. Rebuilding Ukraine will be as much of a geopolitical challenge for the West as supporting Ukraine in the war. If the challenge is not met by Americans and Europeans, there is every chance Beijing would step in.
The initial reform effort will take the form of security sector reform and the reinforcement of democratic control over armed forces, in parallel with active and discernible measures with regard to government transparency and prevention of corruption. This is particularly important for future EU and/or NATO membership.
Six primary and sequenced elements/phases of reconstruction would also be needed. These principles would be based on the Ukraine Reform Conference, the Lugano Principles and a major 2022 study by the German Marshall Fund of the United States thus underpinning the long- term commitment the West is now entering into with Ukraine:
- Need: Assistance efforts will need to be carefully and consistently co-ordinated with Ukraine to establish precisely the needs of the country. Over the medium term, stabilisation and reconstruction will be required to rebuild Ukraine’s economy and infrastructure;
- Structure: Use existing frameworks reinforced by a “G7 plus Partners” construct to foster an equitable sharing of burdens;
- Sequence: The S. will pay for 75 per cent of the security assistance, whilst the rest of the G7 pays 25 per cent. The G7, with European members (France, Germany, Italy and the UK) to the fore, would then pay for 75 per cent of the recovery assistance whilst the U.S. pays 25 per cent offset by Russian funds frozen in foreign banks;
- Finance: Financing would begin with public funding, but over time foreign direct investment from the private sector would take over. To assist with the transfer of funding from public to private investment some form of “war insurance” is also envisaged at the interface between security, stabilisation and reconstruction; and
- Accountability and rule of law: Long-term funding must be linked to structural law reform and anti-corruption Transparency will be vital with all recovery- related documents published.
War is a giant black hole into which people and materiel vanish at an alarming rate far beyond that envisaged by peacetime establishments. Consequently, there are two overarching lessons for the Alliance from the Russian-Ukraine War. First, NATO’s Deterrence and Defence Posture across Central and Eastern Europe must be reinforced to frustrate possible future Russian territorial ambitions. Second, whilst NATO’s missions and tasks were stated clearly in the 2019 Military Strategy, the 2021 NATO Agenda and NATO Strategic Concept 2022 the Alliance must also learn the military-technical lessons already apparent.
The initial military-technical lessons for the Alliance are thus:
- Vulnerability of armour unsupported by infantry and helicopters in the battlespace;
- The vital need to dominate both fires and counter-fires;
- Vulnerability of deployed ground forces to expendable drones, strike drones and loitering systems armed with precision-guided munitions;
- More robust logistics forward deployed, with enhanced and far more secure military supply chains;
- More ready-action materiel, most notably small arms and tube and rocket artillery ammunition;
- Increased defence of the coast and riverine areas from sea-launched drones;
- Build more and rebuild infrastructure to accelerate military mobility in scale;
- Remove all legal impediments to rapid cross-border movements in a pre-war emergency;
- Improve force protection of deployed forces, with a particular need to reduce the detectability and thus digital footprint of force concentrations; and
- Robust, interoperable and integrated air and missile defences.
The longer the conflict continues, the greater the chance that support for Ukraine and for the sanctions imposed on Russia will degrade.
A stalemate, and thus a partial victory for Russia, would be comparable to the situation in the Korean Peninsula between North and South Korea. At best, it would be a cease-fire, followed by an armistice. However, there would be no peace agreement and no formal recognition of the status quo. In such circumstances the likelihood would be increased that Ukraine’s partners would become increasingly open to a negotiated settlement that left Russia in possession of at least some occupied territories in exchange for “peace.” Any such outcome would simply be a temporary way-station on the road to renewed Russian aggression, while the strategic and economic viability of a truncated Ukrainian state would be greatly reduced. Thereafter, the West would be forced into a major effort to protect and defend the remainder of Ukraine, turning an independent country into a de facto Western protectorate.
It is precisely for these reasons why the Ukrainian government has repeatedly and publicly stated that Kyiv will not negotiate while Russian forces occupy Ukrainian territory. And, as long as military operations continue to show progress, President Zelenskyy is unlikely to alter his stance. Any attempt to force Ukraine to the table by withdrawing Western financial and military support would reward Russian aggression. It would also be opposed by an overwhelming majority of the Ukrainian population, as well as by NATO and EU members such as Poland, the UK, the Baltic States, and the Nordic States. The Russian/Ukrainian border and Belarusian/Ukrainian border areas would also likely become an ever more dangerous zone of militarized tension and a conduit for enforced mass migration into the EU.
Failure by the West to support Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity would also ‘normalise’ Russia’s conduct of the war and the war itself. At the very least, such weakness would allow Russia to keep some of its ill-gotten gains in flagrant violation of the UN charter and Helsinki principles. It could also encourage similar aggression on the part of a future Russia, not to mention accelerating Chinese ambitions to return Taiwan to the motherland by force. Even a partial Russian victory would undermine NATO and EU cohesion as member nations/states differed over accommodating or confronting Russia.
The core aim of Western strategy must remain, and must continue to remain, the complete and irreversible withdrawal of Russian forces from all of Ukraine’s sovereign territory, an end to all shelling and rocket attacks on the Ukrainian people, and the restoration of normal democratic governance across Ukraine’s sovereign territory.
However, a wider strategy must also be embraced by the West that would require the sustained and consistent application of a balanced array of instruments, both coercion and incentives. Russia is seeking to tear down the rules-based order with the massive use of Russian power and illegitimate coercion using all possible means. It is precisely such coercion that Ukrainians and their Western supporters are confronting in Ukraine and which must be contained and then ended. History suggests that only when Russia has acknowledged the West’s countervailing power will rules and all-important institutional structures be re-established. Restoring such structure is particularly and always important in Europe.
When negotiations for an enduring and equitable peace agreement do eventually begin, the West must support Ukraine’s insistence that there must be no territorial compromise. The West, in consultation with Kyiv, must also consider its minimum conditions for a peace settlement beyond a mere cease-fire precisely so that serious negotiations may begin. Any eventual peace agreement would be linked to Russia's future behaviour, and not just to ending its use of force in Ukraine. The following actions would also be needed:
- Effective security guarantees for Ukraine, as part of which the West excludes nothing in advance, including NATO membership, and with no repeat of the failed 1994 Budapest Memorandum;
- The implementation of all OSCE rights so as to prevent impunity for violations and crimes, including as outlined in the 13thApril 2022 OSCE Report on Violations of International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law, War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity;
- The return of all Ukrainian citizens deported to Russia and the establishment of a special war tribunal for the crime of aggression;
- Negotiations over the possible demilitarisation of the Black Sea together with the complete de-militarization of Crimea;
- Reparations by Russia to Ukraine; and
- An immediate and expanded relationship with the European Union and Ukrainian membership of both the EU and NATO by a certain date.
Given the aims any strategy will require at least two phases implemented over time with the following actions de rigeur:
Phase 1 - ending the war:
- De-escalation of the war leading to a gradual, conditions-based reduction in the sanctions imposed on Russia;
- No new sanctions during a stable ceasefire and as long as the negotiations lasted;
- The suspension of an agreed package of initial sanctions in the event of an agreement (in conjunction with the verified withdrawal of Russian forces); and
- The lifting of further sanctions upon the withdrawal of Russian troops and subsequent compliance with said agreement, with a snap-back clause in the event Russia reneges on its commitments.
Phase 2 - longer-term NATO-Russia relationship:
Phase 2 would inevitably demand the continued containment of Russia, whose revisionist ambitions will likely remain even in the event of an agreement or ceasefire. There could certainly be no immediate return to a normal relationship between Russia and the West for a very significant period unless there is leadership change in the Kremlin. Equally, it should also be communicated to Russia that subject to Moscow’s compliance over an extended period and with the agreed de-escalation measures in place, NATO would be willing to renew dialogue and cooperation in accordance with the principles of the NATO-Russia Founding Act. This would include the resumption of negotiations on arms control and confidence-and security-building measures, and the resumption of normal trade relations. Eventual inclusion of Russia in a new security order would also be subject to Moscow’s full-compliance with and acceptance of the institutionalised rules-based order.
Should Russia break agreements, or fail to comply with the agreed programme, sanctions and other measures would be immediately re-imposed.
It is for Ukraine to decide whether to continue to pursue the restoration of its territorial integrity by military means or whether to pursue a political solution through negotiations. We, the united democratic nations of the world, agree that Russia’s unprovoked and illegal armed attack against Ukraine is a threat to our own security and to the fundamental principles of the rules-based international order. Consequently, we agree that each of us, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist Ukraine by continuing to provide adequate military and security assistance to ensure Ukraine’s ultimate victory over Russia.
GUIDING STRATEGIC PRINCIPLES
We, the united democratic nations of the world, do therefore solemnly endorse the following principles:
- War between NATO and Russia must be avoided;
- Ukraine’s pre-2014 borders should be restored in conjunction with the full withdrawal of Russian forces and cessation of hostilities;
- Russian aggression and attempts to change borders by force must not be rewarded or legitimized in any way;
- Russia must pay reparations for the death, destruction and damage it has inflicted on Ukraine.
- There can be no de facto Russian veto over NATO’s support for Ukraine and no secret deals with Moscow that undercut Ukraine’s interests;
- Lifting of sanctions on Russia will only come as a consequence of Russian action and only over time, with snap-back provisions in the event of Russian non-compliance;
- Free countries must be able to determine the European security order on their own terms, including Ukraine’s place in it;
- Russia’s war against Ukraine must be brought to an end on terms acceptable to Kyiv that deny the Russians the fruits of aggression and ensure that Russia does not invade Ukraine again;
- Ukraine must be restored as an independent state in full control of its internationally recognized borders, with the capability to deter and defeat any further Russian aggression;
- Demonstrate to any potential aggressors that the democratic nations will defend the rules-based international order; and
- The International Criminal Court and the relevant international tribunal should prosecute those charged with alleged war crimes. Justice must not be seen as distinct from internal peace and reconciliation processes.
IMMEDIATE MEASURES FOR UKRAINE
Ukraine will also be offered an immediate, accelerated and tailored Membership Action Plan with the aim of fast-track NATO membership and ad interim invited to participate in a deep bespoke Partnership enabling Ukraine to participate in Alliance activities in a 31+1 format (or 32+1 upon Sweden’s accession to the Alliance). Ukrainian membership of the Alliance will be contingent on an agreement by the parties to end hostilities, and fulfilment of MAP requirements, including extensive security sector reform. In the near term, NATO will further assist Ukraine improve the resilience of its armed forces and help deter any further aggression with particular efforts made to further strengthen the Enhanced Opportunities Partnership Programme.
MESSAGES FOR RUSSIA
- If Russia fails to engage in serious negotiations, the West will further enhance the offensive military capabilities, including long-range strike systems, provided to Ukraine to enable the recovery of Russian-occupied territories while making clear that Russia’s threatened use of nuclear weapons would have catastrophic consequences;
- Remove all Russia banks from the SWIFT financial messaging system, impose a full trade and financial embargo on Russia and seek to use seized Russian financial assets for Ukrainian reconstruction;
- Sanctions relief for Russia will be dependent on the restoration of full integrity of Ukrainian sovereignty and only if certain conditions are met and continue to be met, first and foremost the withdrawal of all Russian forces from Ukraine together with binding pledges that Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity will henceforth be respected;
- There must be no illusions as to the gravity of the situation Russia will create should Moscow resort to any use of weapons of mass destruction which would have catastrophic consequences and could lead to direct NATO involvement;
- Should Russia again attempt to invade Ukraine across its territory, seize and occupy Kiev, or cross the Dnipro River to the west, we reserve the right to respond with more advanced and longer-range weapons for Ukraine and possibly the establishment of some form of air exclusionary measure to include a NATO-imposed No Fly Zone. Such an attack will be deterred even at the risk of escalation;
- A path for the normalisation of relations with the democracies remains open to Russia but Moscow must demonstrate a commitment to return to the rules-based order; and
- If any such commitment is established sanctions and other instruments under which Russia currently labours would be lifted over time and in stages, with a snap-back provision should Russia renege.
MUTUAL COMMITMENTS OF DEFENCE, SECURITY AND SOVEREIGNTY
We, the UNDERSIGNED together with the PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE, confirm our shared desire for closer, stronger defence and security cooperation, to reinforce our key strategic partnership, including mutual commitments to future security, mutual defence and respect for the sovereignty of all Parties to this agreement in line with Article 51 of the United Nations Charter.
A Shared View on Challenges and Threats
We share the same values and understanding of security challenges, both in Europe and globally. All Parties are committed to working together to address these challenges and strengthen defence, security cooperation and sovereignty in Europe. In order to maintain the status and integrity of the European security order, we are firmly resolved to defend its principles, reject attempts to undermine or reshape it by force, and demand accountability for violations against it.
We will never accept military aggression to change the borders of Europe. Likewise, attempts to challenge the norms, and undermine cooperative fora and institutions that constitute the foundation of European security will also be firmly resisted. We will consider peaceful suggestions for change where appropriate.
We also recognise that regional and global challenges are best addressed by acting together. In an era of heightened geopolitical competition on a global scale, not only in terms of military power but also of political influence, strategic technologies and economic relations, we intend to defend common interests and a rules-based international order.
We further recognise that the global security environment is affected by hybrid threats, cyber-attacks, organised crime and cross-border terrorism, as well as the effects of climate change on peace and security. We will act together to meet such challenges and threats. We share the same security environment in Europe and face common challenges particularly as they relate to the deteriorating security situation, due to Russia’s aggressive actions.
We share a joint interest in a close political dialogue and practical cooperation between NATO and Ukraine and recognise that unity of purpose and action remain our greatest asset in relation to Russia. The coordinated responses of the international community have shown Russia that malign action comes at a cost. Going forward we will uphold and coordinate our principled positions related to Russia’s aggressive behaviour and, together, address the challenges arising from Russia’s actions, wherever they occur.
Security and Defence Cooperation with Ukraine
On the basis of solidarity, values and geographical proximity, we will meet challenges in peace, crisis and conflict together. To that end, we reaffirm with Ukraine our mutual determination to co-operate to address common challenges in Europe and globally. This includes hybrid threats and cyber security as well as working together in international crisis management operations. We will further extend to Ukraine defence materiel cooperation, access to exercises, training and integrated test and evaluation activities and assist Ukraine to modernise and develop its defence and technological industrial base. Existing defence cooperation will be deepened across an extensive range of activities, from international operations to defence research. We will also cooperate extensively in multilateral formats including the UN, the Council of Europe and the OSCE, and NATO.
We further recognise the need to continuously develop our defence and security cooperation. In these efforts, we should build on current cooperation and work together to further develop our capabilities. New initiatives to improve our interoperability and further strengthen our partnership will be explored. Should either party to this agreement suffer a disaster, coercion, or armed attack, we will, upon request from the affected country, assist each other in a variety of ways, which may include military means. Such an intensified cooperation will remain fully in line with each country’s security and defence policy and is designed to complement not replace existing European and Euro-Atlantic cooperation.
Future security policy dialogue will be held as part of permanent consultations on security policy issues. The Parties to the agreement will meet regularly in a 31+1 (or 32+1 upon Sweden’s accession to the Alliance) format at the level of Political Director (MFA) and Defence Policy Director (MOD) to discuss security policy issues. This document is a legally binding commitment under international law.
A CONFERENCE OF DEMOCRACIES ON THE FUTURE OF EUROPEAN PEACE AND SECURITY
A Conference of European Democracies will be convened to restore post-war European security in light of Russia’s aggression. All members of NATO, the European Union, and other European democracies currently supporting Ukraine will be invited to attend. The goal of the conference will be to restore respect for and updating of the founding principles of the Helsinki Final Act, Paris Charter, and the NATO-Russia Founding Act. The conference will explore two lines of reflection with the aim of establishing a new Framework for Peace in Europe that restores the institutional basis of said peace.
The first line of reflection will consider the legal aspects of peace in Europe based on the Decalogue of the Helsinki Final Act and the right of nations to choose their security arrangements, including treaties of alliance. The Decalogue specifically calls for sovereign equality, respect for the rights inherent in sovereignty; refraining from the threat or use of force; inviolability of frontiers; territorial integrity of states; the peaceful settlement of disputes; non-intervention in internal affairs; respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief; equal rights and self-determination of peoples; co-operation among States; and fulfilment in good faith of obligations under international law.
The second line of reflection will consider legitimate deterrence and defence and the balance of forces in Europe to that end. The focus will be on maintaining a strong NATO deterrent posture. It would also update the arms control framework critical to stability in Europe. Confidence and security building measures will be established and offered as an agenda for future co-operation with Russia as soon as Moscow has ceased armed aggression in Ukraine. If Russia complies with these measures over an agreed period of time the possibility of becoming a member of the new European security architecture will be considered.
Future Planning Groups will also be established and charged with agreeing specific and concrete proposals for reinforcing the European security order along four lines of strategy: diplomatic, informational, military and economic. The aim will be the completion of a New Paris Charter no later than December 2024 which will be adopted as soon as possible following the end of armed hostilities in Ukraine.
G7 PLUS PARTNERS UKRAINE JOINT PLAN OF ACTION (UJPOA) ON THE RUSSO-UKRAINE WAR
The Group of Seven (G7) nations in partnership with the European Union (EU) and NATO believes the rights of Ukraine as a sovereign state are inviolable. It is up to Ukraine, as the victim of aggression, to decide whether to continue to pursue the restoration of its territorial integrity by military means or whether to pursue a political solution through negotiations.
If Ukraine chooses the latter course, the G7 plus Partners stand ready to lead international efforts to promote a just and lasting peace in Ukraine and, to that end, help draft a Ukraine Joint Plan of Action (UJPOA).
The purpose of the UJPOA would be to secure an interim agreement between all the engaged Parties to respect the sovereignty of all the Parties to the conflict. A successful outcome will lead to the progressive lifting of sanctions of said Parties to the conflict in return for verification of compliance with the Agreement.
The UJPOA would also establish a framework for an enduring peace that would respect the Decalogue of the Helsinki Final Act which is as follows: sovereign equality, respect for the rights inherent in sovereignty; refraining from the threat or use of force; respecting the principles of the January 2022 statement on the inadmissibility of the use of nuclear weapons; inviolability of frontiers; territorial integrity of states; the peaceful settlement of disputes; non-intervention in internal affairs; respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief; equal rights and self-determination of peoples; co-operation among States; and fulfilment in good faith of obligations under international law.
Under the umbrella of the framework negotiations the following issues will be elaborated: medium to longer-term verification of compliance; security guarantees for the Parties to the conflict; implementation of all OSCE rights so as to prevent impunity for violations and crimes, including as outlined in the 13th April 2022 OSCE Report on Violations of International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law, War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity; the return of all deported citizens to their respective countries; the establishment of a special war tribunal; negotiations over the possible demilitarisation of current zones of conflict; and the rebuilding of Ukraine including reparations by Russia to Ukraine.
In support of any interim agreement Future Planning Groups will also be established as a G7-Plus sub-committee and charged with discussing and agreeing on concrete confidence and security-building measures along four lines of strategy: diplomatic, informational, military, and economic.
In pursuing the goals of this effort, the G-7 should work as closely as possible with the People’s Republic of China. China has taken several potentially useful steps including the Global Security Initiative and the February 2023 peace plan both of which call for the sovereignty of all states to be respected.
ACCELERATED AND STREAMLINED
NATO UKRAINE MEMBERSHIP ACTION PLAN
As a direct consequence of the Russian invasion, Ukraine will be offered an accelerated and streamlined Ukraine Membership Action Plan (UMAP) under Article 10 of the North Atlantic Treaty. The UMAP will go hand-in-hand with a new NATO-Ukraine Defence and Deterrence Partnership (DDP) that Ukraine will be offered with immediate effect.
Building on Ukraine’s status as a member of the Enhanced Opportunities Partnership (EOP) programme, the DDP would be aimed at building up Ukraine’s long-term capacity to defend itself and deter any future Russian aggression. Allies’ commitment to arm, train and equip Ukrainian forces – backed, if possible, by NATO common funding – would help to underpin Ukrainian security until Allies are ready to admit Ukraine as a full-fledged NATO member with the protection of an Article 5 guarantee.
Taken together, the UMAP and DDP would go beyond that of a traditional Membership Action Plan, opening the way to direct accession by Ukraine as was offered to Finland and Sweden when hostilities have come to an end. The aim will be to complete all formalities expeditiously, as soon as the parties have agreed to end or suspend armed hostilities, and Ukraine has fully met NATO Membership Action Plan criteria.
The Ukraine Membership Action Plan (UMAP):
The UMAP will establish an intensified, individual dialogue on all membership questions, and establish an accelerated programme of activities to assist Ukraine to prepare for future membership of the Alliance. Taking into account the war in which Ukraine is currently engaged, the UMAP will establish a list of activities which the Alliance believes Kyiv must undertake to prepare for accelerated membership of the Alliance. These activities will be focused, although not exclusively so, on the alignment of Ukraine with the political and military work of the Alliance.
Meetings will take place in a 32+1 format (assuming Swedish membership) in the NATO-Ukraine Commission (at the level of Ministers and Ambassadors, and in bespoke NATO IS/NMA Team formats and at other levels as appropriate). Feedback and advice to Ukraine on UMAP issues will be provided through streamlined mechanisms based on those currently in use for Partners, 32+1 meetings and NATO Team workshops. These workshops will be held to discuss particular issues drawn from the UMAP.
The NATO Team will be headed by a Special Assistant Secretary General for Ukraine (SASGU), working with the Assistant Director of the International Military Staff, Head of Office or his/her representative. The bespoke NATO Team will liaise closely with the appropriate NATO bodies regarding advice to Ukraine. Relevant procedures will be refined over time as experience is gained, with timely implementation of the Ukraine Membership Action Plan with the scheduling of meetings under the overall direction and coordination of the SASGU.
Every month the Alliance will draw up a report providing feedback to Ukraine focused on progress made in the areas covered in the tailored Ukraine Annual National Programme (ANP). This document would form the basis of discussion at meetings of the North Atlantic Council with Ukraine. The report will help identify areas for further action and Ukraine will commit to taking such action as required.
Political and Economic Issues
Ukraine will be offered the opportunity to discuss and substantiate its willingness and ability to assume the obligations and commitments under the Washington Treaty. Ukraine must conform to basic principles embodied in the Washington Treaty such as democracy, individual liberty, and other relevant provisions set out in its Preamble.
Ukraine will also be expected: to settle all remaining international disputes by peaceful means; to demonstrate a commitment to the rule of law and human rights; to settle ethnic disputes or external territorial disputes including irredentist claims or internal jurisdictional disputes by peaceful means in accordance with OSCE principles and to pursue good neighbourly relations; to establish appropriate democratic and civilian control of its armed forces; to refrain from the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the UN; to contribute to the development of peaceful and friendly international relations by strengthening its free institutions and by promoting stability and well-being; to show a commitment to promoting stability and well-being through economic liberty, social justice and environmental responsibility; and to agree an anti-corruption plan including agreed benchmarks and a review process.
Within the context of Ukraine’s special circumstances the ability of Ukraine to contribute militarily to collective defence and to the Alliance's new missions and their willingness to commit to gradual improvements in their military capabilities will be carefully assessed in determining Ukraine’s suitability for NATO membership. Ukraine must be prepared to share the roles, risks, responsibilities, benefits and burdens of common security and collective defence. Ukraine should also be expected to subscribe to Alliance strategy as set out in the Strategic Concept and as laid out in other Ministerial statements.
Ukraine will be expected to commit sufficient budget resources to ensure it meets the commitments entailed by possible membership. The Annual National Programme must also put in place the necessary structures to plan and implement defence budgets that meet established defence priorities and make provision for training schemes to familiarise staff with NATO practices and procedures in order to prepare for future participation in Alliance structures.
Through existing mechanisms, including those within PfP and NATO Team workshops, Ukraine will be provided with further advice on the development of national structures, procedures and mechanisms to deal with the above issues and to ensure the most efficient use of their defence spending and assist in training the staff needed to man those structures and work in and with NATO.
Ukraine will be expected upon accession to have in place sufficient safeguards and procedures to ensure the security of the most sensitive information as laid down in NATO security policy. Parallel courses will be made available on request to Ukraine on Personnel, Physical, Document, Industrial Security and INFOSEC. An individual programme will be developed as warranted and the NATO Security and Special Committees will meet with Ukraine whenever they judge it necessary or useful.
In order to be able to undertake the commitments of membership, Ukraine must examine and adopt the appropriate legal arrangements and agreements which govern cooperation within NATO. This should enable Ukraine to scrutinize domestic law for compatibility with those NATO rules and regulations. Ukrainian domestic legislation, as much as possible, must be compatible with the other arrangements and implementation practices which govern NATO-wide cooperation.
The Alphen Group,