“Brothers in Arms”
Ukraine, despite its defending itself from Russia’s military and other intrusions, continues to be an international good citizen playing an active role in U.N. and NATO operations.
Ukraine in 1945 – then as the Soviet Socialist Republic of Ukraine – was a charter member of the United Nations.
From 1945 until Ukraine’s independence and the demise of the Soviet Union the Kremlin essentially was strangely allowed three votes in the United Nations by the United States and other charter members – the Soviet Union, the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, and the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, all controlled by the Kremlin.
However, upon independence the Permanent Representative of the Ukrainian SSR advised the Secretary General he would henceforth represent Ukraine and the change was immediately accepted.
Since then Ukraine has consistently supported peaceful, negotiated settlements to disputes. It has participated in the quadripartite talks on the conflict in Moldova and promoted a peaceful resolution to conflict in the post-Soviet state of Georgia. Significantly Ukraine also has made a substantial contribution to UN peacekeeping operations, even while defending itself against Russia’s outrageous and on-going war against Ukraine.
In response to Russia’s illegal occupation of Crimea the UN adopted Resolution 68/262 on March 27, 2014 entitled Territorial integrity of Ukraine by the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly. The non-binding resolution, which was supported by 100 United Nation member states, affirmed the General Assembly’s commitment to the territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders and underscored the gross invalidity of the so-called 2014 Crimean referendum – more accurately described as Putin’s Kalashnikov referendum.
On September 25, 2019, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the 74th United Nations General Assembly. Appropriately Zelenskyy dedicated his 15-minute speech to Russia’s war against Ukraine, “No one can feel safe when there is a war in Ukraine, a war in Europe.”
Ukraine is not a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
However, relations between Ukraine and NATO started in 1994. Ukraine applied to begin a NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP) in 2008. Plans for NATO membership were shelved by Ukraine following the 2010 election of Viktor Yanukovych who wanted to have the country officially non-aligned. However, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its parliamentary elections in 2014 in Crimea, the support of the people of Ukraine for joining NATO has increased dramatically and Ukraine made joining NATO a priority.
Of course Russia, whose military aggression caused the people of Ukraine to want NATO membership, opposes such a membership. The Kremlin professes an incomprehensible and totally unbelievable lack of understanding of cause and effect.
Ukraine, in its own best security interests and as a good international citizen has long been an active contributor to Euro-Atlantic security by deploying troops that work with peacekeepers from NATO and other partner countries. (This, even while Putin’s military is occupying Crimea, making the peninsula into a Russian military stronghold and occupying portions of Ukraine’s Donbas region where it daily costs Ukrainian lives and casualties) Ukraine continues to contribute to NATO-led operations and missions.
Ukraine has supported NATO-led peace-support operations in the Balkans – both Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo. It continues to contribute to the Kosovo Force (KFOR), currently with a heavy engineering unit with counter-improvised explosive devices capabilities.
In support of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, Ukraine allowed for over-flight clearance and the transit of supplies for forces deployed there. Ukraine also contributed medical personnel to support Provincial Reconstruction Teams in Afghanistan and instructors to the NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan. Following the completion of ISAF’s mission at the end of 2014, Ukraine is currently supporting the NATO-led mission to train, advise and assist Afghan security forces, known as the Resolute Support mission.
From March 2005, Ukraine contributed officers to the NATO Training Mission in Iraq, which terminated in December 2011.
Ukraine has deployed ships in support of Operation Active Endeavour – NATO’s maritime operation in the Mediterranean aiming to helping deter, disrupt and protect against terrorism – six times since 2007, most recently in November 2010. At the end of 2013, it also contributed a frigate to NATO’s Operation Ocean Shield, which fought piracy off the coast of Somalia. Since the creation of maritime operation Sea Guardian in 2016, Ukraine continues to provide information in support of NATO’s maritime situational awareness in and around the Black Sea.
Ukraine is also the first partner country to have participated in the NATO Response Force (NRF), contributing a platoon specialized in nuclear, biological and chemical threats in 2011 and strategic airlift capabilities in 2011. In 2015 and 2016, Ukraine provided strategic airlift, naval and medical capabilities. Currently, Ukraine is contributing with strategic airlift capabilities. (Much of the above six paragraphs has been taken directly from a NATO website.)