Andriy Yermak: Ukraine's victory is only way to avoid Russian aggression against other countries
Andriy Yermak at Brookings Institution roundtable
The head of the President's Office, Andriy Yermak, called on the world community to increase pressure on the Russian Federation and increase the amount of aid to Ukraine, because only the defeat of the aggressor will make it impossible to wage similar wars against other countries of the world. He stated this participating online in a roundtable organized by the U.S. Brookings Institution.
About 50 scientists, public figures and opinion leaders took part in the event. The meeting was moderated by Vice President, Director of Foreign Policy program of the Brookings Institution, Suzanne Maloney.
Yermak said that the Ukrainian army is liberating our land from the occupiers step by step, while the Russian troops are losing the initiative in the war. Being aware of the inevitability of defeat, the aggressor attacks peaceful Ukrainian cities, hits civilian objects (houses, hospitals, schools), tries to destroy the power grid so that Ukrainians are left without electricity and heat.
"But it must be understood: what is happening between Russia and Ukraine is not a conflict over territory. For Russia, this is a war of destruction. For us, this is a war for survival. And while they are trying to abolish us as a state and a nation, any agreements with Russia will be doomed. They will allow Moscow to regroup and accumulate resources to start al again. This has already happened many times," the head of the President's Office said.
He emphasized the need to enhance pressure on the aggressor and increase aid to Ukraine.
"It is in the interests of the whole world to minimize the Russian threat as much as possible. After all, Ukraine is not the only target of Russian aggression. This aggression is directed against the whole part of the world, which is used to living freely, comfortably and peacefully. Russia has blurred the line between peace and war. Russia has used everything as a weapon – from its own diasporas to mass media," Yermak said.
According to him, artificial crises are also part of Russia's efforts in the war against the entire free world.
"The Kremlin's blackmail – both nuclear and manmade – is another attempt to get what it wants through negotiations. The response of the democratic world must be tough. And it should fully support Ukraine," the head of the President's Office added.
Yermak named five steps that should be taken to support our state and defeat the aggressor. First of all, he called on the world to help Ukraine in creating a reliable air and missile defense system to defend critical infrastructure and residential areas.
"Our children should go to school. Our people cannot listen to sirens in Kyiv and other cities of Ukraine all the time," the head of the President's Office said.
He said: Ukrainians overcome difficulties every day with cooking, heating their homes, ensuring their safety during missile attacks both day and night. Having comfortable and well-furnished homes, people are forced to cook food on a stove, spend the night in sleeping bags in corridors or basements, and not in their own beds, Yermak said.
The head of the Office of the President also called for providing conventional weapons for Ukraine without politically determined restrictions.
"Give us what we need and as much as we need. The timing of Ukraine's restoration of control over its entire territory depends on this," Yermak said.
In addition, he called for a faster completion of the process of recognizing the Russian regime as a terrorist and for further strengthening of sanctions pressure on Russia, introduction of effective secondary sanctions against those states and bodies that help it.
It is also necessary to restart the entire complex of international humanitarian organizations to fix their algorithms, which Russia has hacked. They should become an effective mechanism for the protection and return home of thousands of Ukrainian hostages of the Kremlin, the head of the President's Office is convinced.
Considering the foregoing, Yermak called for the provision of reliable security guarantees to Ukraine.
"Ukraine aspires to join NATO. But, unfortunately, it will not happen tomorrow. Therefore, for the transition period, we need our partners and allies to make every effort to help Ukraine realize its right to self-defense," the head of the Office of the President said, adding that the mechanism, which can ensure this, is the prepared initiative of the Kyiv Security Compact.
"It was often said that Russia should not win this war. It must be understood that the only way to avoid its repetition is to ensure Ukraine's victory. Any other option will encourage the Russian regime to continue," Yermak said.