Ukrainian defense minister says international security organizations have failed

The Ukrainian defense minister said in an op-ed published Thursday that multiple international security organizations that count Russia among their members have failed as the Russian invasion in Ukraine rages on. 

“Among the casualties of Russia’s war on Ukraine has been the postwar system of global order and security. Russia has done everything that the international security institutions were created to prevent. How can the United Nations Security Council, on which Moscow has a permanent seat, live up to its mission to maintain peace?” Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov wrote in The Wall Street Journal. 

“What kind of security and cooperation is possible on the Continent when one participating state of the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe has attacked another and killed thousands of civilians? These organizations have failed,” he continued.

The Ukrainian official argued that the institutions needed to be replaced, arguing that they were only serving the interests of “the great powers” and not those of all countries.

Ukraine is not currently a member of the U.N. Security Council, which is composed of 15 members, but it is a member of the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe (OCSE).  

The U.N. Security Council, which was created after World War II, is intended to maintain global security and peace in addition to investigating situations or disagreements that could create friction internationally, among other other functions.

The activities of the OSCE, whose origins date back to the 1970s, delve into three aspects of security, “politico-military; the economic and environmental; and the human,” according to the organization’s website.

“The OSCE’s activities cover all three of these areas, from ‘hard’ security issues such as conflict prevention to fostering economic development, ensuring the sustainable use of natural resources, and promoting the full respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms,” the organization’s website notes.

Reznikov asserted in his op-ed that the response from the West toward the situation in Ukraine had been “too slow.” 

“As President Volodymyr Zelensky has said, the global response to a crisis of this sort should be immediate, within 24 hours, not after weeks or months,” he wrote. “Any aggressor must face irreversible punishment through a mechanism of preventive measures—so called deferred sanctions that can be approved in peacetime and take effect automatically.”

The Ukrainian defense minister reiterated Ukraine’s calls for heavy weapons and a “total global embargo” on Russia’s imports of gas and oil. 

“A Ukrainian victory is the only outcome that will force Russia to rethink its strategy of aggression. We can do it. We have already proved our bravery. We just need the tools,” he said. 

Tags Oleksii Reznikov Oleksii Reznikov Russia-Ukraine conflict Ukraine United Nations Security Council Volodymyr Zelensky

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