Ukraine has the right to request the NATO’s assistance in the protection of critical infrastructure, including nuclear power plants, gas transmission system, and ammonia pipeline, due to the Russian military aggression launched against the Ukrainian state, the former secretary of the national security and defense council (NSDC) in 1999 and former defense minister in 2003-04 Yevhen Marchuk maintained.
Assessing on one of the Ukrainian TV channels Russian military actions on the territory of Ukraine, primarily in Crimea, over the past few days, as well as statements and decisions of the Russian leadership made public against that background, the expert stated: ‘Under international law, these actions are classified as military aggression.”
The former NSDC secretary’s assessment of analytical and operational information suggests that Russia is conducting a complex political and military operation in Ukraine aiming at “creation of a security belt on Russia’s border with NATO.”
“This is an expensive operation employing their military-technical and electronic intelligence assets,” he stressed.
According to the expert, this operation was preceded by military lawyers’ assessment which determined what treaties and laws the Russian Federation would violate should it go ahead with it. In addition to the Budapest Memorandum, it had also violated the foundational Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation between Ukraine and the Russian Federation of 1997, he said.
The former NSDC secretary noted that having cooperated for more than 20 years in the NATO programs Partnership for Peace and Trust Fund and taken an active part in peacekeeping missions in 10 hot spots, Ukraine in its current circumstances had not only legal but also moral right to demand convening of a special session of the NATO.
“We are asking for help in the protection of nuclear facilities, gas and ammonia pipelines,” Marchuk said, stressing that “it must be urgent, non-bureaucratic solution, as Ukraine screams: SOS! ALARM! This is not a routine situation.”
“The UN Security Council may decide [on assistance to Ukraine. – IF.], but the Russian Federation, as its permanent member, would veto any such decision,” the expert explained.
As recalled by the former NSDC secretary, Ukraine has 15 nuclear power units.
The military and political leadership of Ukraine faces a significant challenge to ensure all necessary measures to repel aggression and to ensure security of the state, he said.