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Eugene Czolij: Enough already – NATO must do the right thing

June 27, 2022 11:11 pmby Eugene Czolij
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Eugene Czolij: Enough already – NATO must do the right thing

After the Second World War, the international community made a critical commitment to “never again” allow the atrocities committed during that war to be repeated.

Indeed, the web site of the United Nations articulates that commitment as follows: “The Genocide Convention was the first human rights treaty adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 9 December 1948 and signified the international community’s commitment to ‘never again’ after the atrocities committed during the Second World War.”

Since Russia unleashed its genocidal war against Ukraine on 24 February 2022, NATO and its member countries have failed to fully abide by this commitment to “never again.” 

Although the President of the United States declared that Russia is committing genocide in Ukraine and Poland, Canada, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Czech Republic and Ireland have all recognized this genocide with appropriate acts of their Parliaments, NATO and its member countries are still unwilling to effectively help Ukraine impose a no-fly zone and stop this genocide.

The fact that a no-fly zone would have prevented a great number of Ukrainian civilians, including children, from being killed or injured, and the massive destruction of property caused by Russia’s incessant bombardments is irrefutable.

During a press briefing held on 21 June 2022, the President of the European Investment Bank Werner Hoyer assessed that, in view of the level of destruction inflicted by Russia, Ukraine may need 1.1 trillion euros in foreign assistance to repair that damage.

This need for vast amounts of financial assistance is increasing daily, as Russia continues to viciously bombard Ukraine so as to inflict maximum destruction.

The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated on 26 June 2022, the first day of the G7 Summit in Germany, that on the day just before this Summit, Russian forces fired – in one single day – 62 missiles on Kyiv and across Ukraine. He added that: “Part of the missiles were shot down. But only part. We need a powerful air defense - modern, fully effective. Which can ensure complete protection against these missiles. We talk about this every day with our partners. There are already some agreements. And partners need to move faster if they are really partners, not observers. Delays in the transfer of weapons to our state, any restrictions are actually an invitation for Russia to strike again and again. The occupiers - these terrorists - must be beaten with all our might so that they do not think they can put pressure and outplay someone.”

The failure of NATO and its member countries to help Ukraine impose a nofly zone by providing it with a powerful modern air defense system is truly baffling as it would not only stop the bombardments, but also end Russia’s genocidal war against Ukraine and eliminate Russia’s current threat to the Eastern Flank.

NATO’s reasoning to explain the inexplicable, namely that it does not wish to get drawn into this war, defies logic as NATO member countries are openly supplying lethal weapons to Ukraine, but not those needed for Ukraine to impose a no-fly zone and stop Russia’s genocidal war. 

Unfortunately, NATO and its member countries can no longer undo the dreadful consequences of Russia’s bombardments and their failure to fully respect the “never again” commitment. 

However, NATO’s leadership has an opportunity to do the right thing at the upcoming NATO Summit, which will be held on 28-30 June 2022 in Spain, by agreeing to immediately supply Ukraine with the necessary weapons to allow it to impose a no-fly zone, regain the territories that are temporarily occupied by Russia and stop the genocidal war launched by Russia against Ukraine.

This is the only sure way to promote global peace, security and stability, which is obviously in the best interests of NATO and all its member countries.

Eugene Czolij
Author:  Eugene Czolij

Eugene Czolij is president of the Ukraine-2050 nongovernmental organization and served as president of the Ukrainian World Congress from 2008-2018. Ukraine-2050 was established to help implement within one generation – by 2050 – strategies for the sustainable development of Ukraine as a fully independent, territorially integral, democratic, reformed and economically competitive European state.

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