Ukraine is asking for security guarantees from the United States, European countries and Moscow as part of a possible settlement following the Russian invasion, a government adviser has said.
Kiev admits its long-term goal of joining the NATO military alliance is distant due to Kremlin opposition, and is instead seeking a separate short-term security deal, an adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Friday. .
Mykhailo Podolyak’s comments follow the breakdown of peace talks between Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers in the southern Turkish city of Antalya.
Thursday’s meeting was their first since Russia invaded its neighbor on February 24, but it yielded few results, with sticking points including Moscow’s territorial claims over parts of Ukraine.
NATO “is still not ready to accept Ukraine as an unconditional partner,” Podolyak told the Financial Times. “This uncertainty, as we understand it, will last for a long time.”
He added that Ukraine was discussing “new European security formats” with Russia and the West that could give Ukraine “comparable guarantees” to Article 5 of the NATO treaty.
Podolyak made it clear that Ukraine would not agree to another deal with weak assurances, such as the 1994 Budapest Memorandum signed by Kyiv, Moscow, the United States and the United Kingdom.
The deal meant that Ukraine handed over its Soviet-era nuclear arsenal, which was the third largest in the world at the time, to Russia in return for security guarantees from the other signatories.
“The main problem with the Budapest Memorandum is the lack of clear legal obligations for the guarantor parties in the event of aggression,” Podolyak said.
“Now when we talk about security guarantees for Ukraine, we are only talking about clear legal obligations,” he added. “Specific logistical actions. Thus, in the event of aggression against Ukraine, specific states are legally bound to take specific measures to protect Ukraine,” he added.