Building Back the Broken European Security Order
The Ukrainian war is the topic of the reunion organized on the initiative of the Nizami Ganjavi International Center on 25 February 2022, to be attended by:
- Viktor Yushchenko, President of Ukraine 2005-2010
- Emil Constantinescu, President of Romania 1996-2000
- Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, President of Latvia 1999-2007, Co-Chair, NGIC
- Aleksander Kwasniewski, President of Poland 1995-2005
- Volkan Bozkir, 75thPresident of the United Nations General Assembly Minister for European Union Affairs of Turkey 2015-2016
- Susan Elliott, President, National Committee on American Foreign Policy
- Tzipi Livni, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Israel 2006-2009
- Rosen Plevneliev, President of Bulgaria 2012-2017
- Valdis Zatlers, President of Latvia 2007-2011
- Kateryna Yushchenko, First Lady of Ukraine 2005-2010, President Ukraine 3000 Foundation
- Andris Piebalgs, European Commissioner for Development 2010-2014 European Commissioner for Energy 2004-2010
- Amre Moussa, Secretary-General Arab League 2001-2011
- Petre Roman, Prime Minister of Romania 1989-1991, Minister of Foreign Affairs 1999-2000, former Special NATO Rapporteur for NATO Expansion and Consolidating Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe
- Hikmet Cetin, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey 1991-1994, Speaker of the Grand National Assembly 1997-1999, deputy Prime Minister 1995, NATO Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan 2003-2006
- Petar Stoyanov, President of Bulgaria 1997-2002
- Robert Cekuta, former Ambassador of USA to Azerbaijan
- Leonid Kuchma, President of Ukraine 1994-2005 (TBC)
- Ivo Josipović, President of Croatia 2010-2015
- Abdulaziz Altwaijri, former Director-General ISESCO
- Ameenah Gurib Fakim, President of Mauritius 2015-2018
- Dawn Nakagawa, Executive Vice-President, Berggruen Institute
Upon receiving yesterday’s invitation to this meeting, it seemed that diplomacy still had its purpose and I was preparing to talk about my contribution to the Treaties with Ukraine and Hungary, with the Eastern European countries and those of Central Asia, in whose negotiations Russia also participated in the 1990, and which provided a climate of peace and cooperation.
Since yesterday, we are facing a war of aggression which copies identically the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany and Communist Russia, 83 years ago.
In diplomatic practice, one appeals to the language of reason, in war – to the language of emotions. That is why I am telling you what I feel today, because maybe many do not know, and others have forgotten after 7 decades of peace.
I was born in 1939, when Poland was invaded by the Soviet Union that Putin praises today. I was with my family on the Dniester, on the border with the USSR. I lived through two refuges, the bombing that destroyed our house, the horrors of the Soviet army occupation, the hunger, the loss of freedom for some of my family members who were imprisoned by the Communists, and I witnessed the tortures and assassinations conducted by the political police, during the dictatorship regime.
Looking at the image of Putin’s meeting with the Russian Security Council, I realized that it resembles strikingly the summoning of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party by Ceausescu, on December 21st-22nd , 1989, in which he ordered troops to open fire against the peaceful protesters in Romania. An arrogant dictator and a gathering of cowards. One knows the ending to that.
It is obvious that Russia’s military actions in Ukraine are not justified by any historical, political, economic, military or humanitarian point. The dissolution of the USSR was not because of an outside attack, but on account of the peaceful manifestation of Eastern European peoples and of the Russian one. I have learnt that the expansion of the space of democracy can limit the space of war.
I believe that until the resolution of the current situation which engenders losses of human lives, any other talks on globalization, sustainable development, global warming become futile.
Those in Ukraine, who are currently defending freedom with their own lives, and those in Russia who defend their dignity with their own freedom, are the only ones that matter now.
One can say that after February 24th, 2022, the world will never be the same. It will not be built only depending on technological and financial indicators, but, in fact, on the manner in which people will or will not, from now onwards, make the difference between the price of oil and that of bread, on the one hand, and that of freedom and life on the other.