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Defense Minister: Foreign military bases should be allowed to operate in Ukraine

by Abbey Fenbert July 19, 2023 1:09 AM 2 min read
Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov amid foreign leaders at the NATO summit in Vilnius on July 12, 2023. (Photo by Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images)
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The Constitution should be amended to permit foreign military bases to operate within Ukraine, Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov wrote in a column for Liga.net on July 17.

Reznikov said the prohibition of foreign bases was "outdated" and had "lost relevance."

"It is clear that, if necessary, a legal formula can be found to not call a base a base, but rather a 'center for interaction and exchange of experience' or something like that," Reznikov said. "But why? We need to remove this restriction."

Article 17 of the Ukrainian Constitution states that "foreign military bases shall not be permitted on the territory of Ukraine."

In addition to removing the prohibition, Reznikov proposed amending Article 17 to include the provision that "Ukraine independently chooses mechanisms to guarantee its security." This would grant Ukraine greater freedom to enter into international organizations and treaties without violating its obligations to sovereignty as laid out in the current Constitution.

Reznikov's proposals were put forth on the eve of the July 18 Ramstein summit, a recurring meeting at which the U.S. and other allies coordinate Ukrainian defense strategies, held  at NATO's Ramstein Air Base in Germany. It also comes days after the NATO summit in Vilnius, at which Ukraine lobbied hard for a path to NATO accession.

Ukraine war latest: Russia attacks Odesa, claims ‘retaliation’ for Crimean Bridge incident
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