Ukraine and China, article by Joan Tapia

Javier Solana He was one of the important ministers of Felipe González. Later, one of the most influential Spaniards in world politics, first as Secretary General of NATO (1995-1999) and then as High Representative for Foreign Policy of the European Union from 1999 to 2009.

Solana was in Barcelona over the weekend and in his detailed presentation at the Barcelona Society for Economic Studies he highlighted some facts that frame the Ukraine conflict. One, the invasion has violated not only international law but also the 1994 Budapest treaty signed by Ukraine with Russia itself, the United States and Great Britain. When the USSR dissolved in 1991 and Ukraine became an independent country, a thorny issue arose because, ‘de facto’, it became the third nuclear power, even ahead of Great Britain.

The non-proliferation of nuclear weapons was buried and Russia, the United States and Great Britain sought a solution. Was the budapest treatysigned among others by Yeltsin and Clinton. Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons (about 5,000 bombs) and handed them over to Russia. In exchange, the other signatories guaranteed him two things: his borders and that would never be attacked. It is clear that Putin already violated that treaty in 2014, when he annexed Crimea. And now it has relapsed.

A second issue is that of NATO enlargement. There are analysts who maintain that expanding NATO to the East was forgetting what was promised to Gorbachev and also a mistake, which can help to understand (not justify) the invasion. But Solana made it clear that he negotiated and agreed with Primakov on the first expansion of NATO to the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. Then other countries such as the Baltics entered and these revenues were requested by their legitimate governments that distrusted Russia. It is possible that the invitation to Ukraine in 2008, at the American initiative, was a mistake. But 14 years later and despite the invasion of Crimea, Ukraine was still outside NATO.

For Solana, the origin of the problem comes from the fact that in the much-discussed elections of 2004 (which had to be repeated) Ukraine elected Viktor Yushchenko as president, contrary to the candidate supported by Moscow. That Ukraine chose a pro-western president It was a thorn in his side. It is not NATO, where Ukraine is not, but leaving the factual Russian domain that Putin believes is inadmissible. And the truth is that Poland and the Balts only feel relatively safe precisely because they have joined NATO. Given what is happening in kyiv, was it a mistake to admit Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania?

How can the war end? solana thinks that China could influence Russia, mediate, and reinforce its international role. What will he do? He has not condemned the invasion, but neither has he supported it. And Solana cited with concern the joint statement by Xi Jinping and Putin, signed in Beijing during the recent Olympics, which proclaims a collaboration “without limits & rdquor; between the two countries.

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