The United States and its allies are weighing security guarantees for Ukraine

(CNN) – There is the United States and its allies Evaluated how Western countries can deliver Ukraine Alternative Security Guarantees It should drop its attempt to join NATO as a concession to Russia To end the warSeveral sources familiar with the matter told CNN.

Discussions involving Ukrainians directly are at a very early stage. Because it is not clear to US, Western and Ukrainian officials that there are no Russian talks More than a smoke screen.

But they stressed that it was not possible for the United States and its allies to provide Ukraine with legally binding protections in the way it would eventually ask.

During peace talks with Russia in Istanbul this week, Ukrainian negotiators suggested that their government might be prepared to maintain neutrality when it comes to NATO. But at the same time, they want Western nations, including the United States and Britain, to guarantee that if Russia invades Ukraine again in the future, they will be guaranteed agreements to protect Ukraine.

Will reflect such an agreement NATO Article Vs., Says an attack on a coalition member is an attack on all members. The main impetus for Russia’s invasion was the desire to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO. It is unclear whether another collective security agreement will be more acceptable to Moscow.

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The Ukrainians suggested that such security guarantees would not apply to separatist areas in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine, as a way of protecting Russia’s face in the negotiations.

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“We urge this to be an agreement on security guarantees (signatures) that they will sign and ratify (parliaments) so that the error of the Budapest Memorandum does not recur,” said Ukraine’s Vice President David Arakamiya, the country’s chief negotiator, this week. Russia.

The memorandum was signed in 1994 between the United States, Great Britain and Russia, and forced Ukraine to abandon its nuclear weapons in exchange for the protection of its signatories. Ukrainian officials have said the deal is meaningless and harmful.

Security guarantees for Ukraine

A Western official told CNN that “nothing less than a full commitment to the defense of Ukraine will be enough for the Ukrainians.” Some officials in the Biden administration agree that another Budapest memorandum-type deal would not be helpful.

Many U.S. and Western officials are skeptical of possible security guarantees. Many point out that as negotiations progress, it is still too early to discuss any coincidences. Some US officials were surprised by Ukraine’s statement after the Istanbul talks that Western security guarantees might be on the table.

“We are in constant discussion with the Ukrainians about ways to help ensure that they are sovereign and secure,” said Kate Beddingfield, the White House’s director of communications. “But at this point there is nothing specific about the security guarantees I can talk about.”

Other European officials said they expect more from the Ukrainians before they act publicly. A U.S. official says talks with Ukraine on how the security deal could be designed are still in its infancy.

However, article V-type compromise is not possible. The reason? The United States and many of its allies, including Britain, are not yet ready to bring their forces into direct conflict with Russian forces. The principle that Russia will not attack Ukraine if there is a security guarantee from the West seems to be a greater danger than the one the US and its allies are prepared to take.

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“Ukraine is not a member of NATO,” Dominique Robb, Britain’s deputy prime minister, told the BBC on Wednesday that Britain was ready to guarantee Ukraine’s independence.

“We are not going to engage in a direct military confrontation with Russia,” he said.

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Ukraine’s membership in the European Union is being discussed as a solution

Many European countries, including Poland, Latvia, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic, have been urging Ukraine to join the EU. And, in that sense, they hope the membership will provide some protection for the country.

“It is difficult for Russia to attack an EU member state,” a European official said. “Because it would automatically mean more support for that country.”

But even Ukrainian lawmakers say they are in favor of joining the EU.

Ukrainian Vice President Ivana Klimbush-Sindzatse, Chair of the Parliamentary Committee on the Unification of Ukraine in the European Union Said this Wednesday Although he has been a staunch Euro-Atlantic nation throughout his career, “I do not think the EU is as militarily a shield for NATO (Ukraine).”

Meanwhile, NATO member states have not yet held strong discussions within the alliance on Ukraine’s security proposal, the EU official said, adding that they still do not believe that the Russians are negotiating with Ukraine in good faith. Any potential deal backed by Western security obligations could quickly change.

The official said that Russia must first show seriousness in withdrawing and promise to allow Ukraine to maintain a strong military, basically dropping Ukraine’s demands for “militarization”. But above all, he said, Ukraine must first win the war and gain the support it needs.

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Anastasia Radina, another Ukrainian MP, said her country was “looking for possible security guarantees and not just another Budapest memorandum.”

“Under the Budapest Memorandum, I recall that Ukraine destroyed parts of our nuclear arsenal, but a good portion went to Russia,” Radina said. “Where did it take us? We have to ask now that the world can do nothing for Russia because it has the largest nuclear arsenal in the world. But they pushed us to contribute to that arsenal,” he added.

Radina, who played a European official, said the key was to “ensure that Ukraine wins this war before formal negotiations on security guarantees can take place.”

“Assistance on the ground is weapons,” he added. “I urge you to provide this weapon immediately. Better yesterday. The best option would have been the day before yesterday. It’s too early. “

– CNN’s Kevin Liptok contributed to this report.

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