Oleksii Danilov: NATO must make a decision now - INTERVIEW


Oleksii Danilov, Secretary of the Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, touched on the issues on the agenda of his country—the bill on mobilization and the Russian-Ukrainian war—in an interview with Report's Eastern European Bureau.

- What is the cause of so much noise and the delay in the discussion of the new law on mobilization?

- The mobilization began immediately after the imposition of martial law on February 24, 2022, and did not stop for a single day. Now, we need to make some amendments to make this process fair. That's what it's all about. Citizens involved in the armed forces should know how long and under what conditions the preparatory work will be carried out. We do not believe that there will be major problems. It's just that when people don't see the final draft of this law, they may have a different opinion on some things. But I am sure that first of all, a fair law will be adopted for those who join the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

- Then when will the discussions take place?

- It depends on the members of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. They are legislators, and that is their right.

- According to the new project, conscripts living abroad will be involved in mobilization. What mechanism will be established for them to join the army?

- We understand that a person in the territory of another country is also subject to the laws of that country. We would like citizens to have the opportunity to return, but it is not possible to do it by force. If they are officially in that country's territory as refugees suffering from military aggression, then that country has its own legislation on the matter. We cannot legally intervene.

- Recently, experts have been making predictions about Russia's attack on European countries. Do you think this is realistic?

- If Russia loses the war on the territory of Ukraine, of course, there will be no war in Europe. If Europe continues to watch the current process from the sidelines and does not actively help our country, NATO countries may be forced to fight with Russia. NATO members, the West should have decided now.

- Recently, foreign and local media have been talking about secret negotiations between Ukraine and Russia. Is this true, and what is the topic?

- We are not negotiating with Russia. Everything they say is nonsense and does not reflect reality. In order to conduct negotiations, a negotiation group approved by the decree of the President of Ukraine should be established. We have not had any talks.

- The delay of US aid has also been a topic of discussion recently. If its assistance is not restored, what alternatives are being considered against the background of the development of local industry in Ukraine?

- We believe that US aid will not be completely stopped. They have their own internal processes. They entered the election period, which had some nuances. But I am sure they will find a solution that will be in our favor.

- In recent days, the UK and other countries have been signing profound cooperation deals regarding the security of Ukraine. How much can this accelerate the full restoration of the security of Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty?

- We will definitely return all our territories within the borders of 1991 because this is our basis, the basis of our Constitution. The only thing left is time. As for Russia, Western countries should prepare for its collapse. It will not remain in its current form, it will collapse. The West and Russia's neighbors should know this. Its 100-year period is over. It is an artificial entity. Many peoples who have no connection with Russia live in its territory. Their religion, language, customs, and so on are different from Russia. After the coup of 1917, they were forcibly annexed and fell into this quagmire. When we get out of there, independent Ichkeria, Dagestan, Tatarstan, and many other independent states will emerge.

- Ukraine has recently been attacking Russian territory. Probably, this is mainly in response to rockets fired from Russia at Ukrainian cities...

- As for the destruction of military facilities located on the territory of Russia, they are targets for us. We will destroy them. We are most successful at sea, on the Black Sea side of the front. This year, our forces destroyed a very important target—an A-50 aircraft that performed a very important task for the invaders. They only have a few such planes. We are not at war with the civilian population. Targets will only be military facilities.

- Of course, it is difficult to ask for a specific time, but how long do you think the war will last?

- Justice is on our side, we must be patient. We are fighting for the freedom of our people. You know that no matter how long the people's struggle is, it gives its results in the end. We have to fight, and we will fight. The victory will be ours. As you know, we were one of the first countries to sign a major agreement with Great Britain. It is primarily about maximum cooperation, not only in the security and defense sector but in many other areas. It is a very important thing for us. The war has now changed, it is becoming more technological, and people are also changing. There are people with completely different skills. The war of February 24, 2022, and the current war are completely different. It is even a technologically different process.