Former prime minister Kevin Rudd has been appointed to an international panel that will investigate how the rest of the world can provide a security guarantee to Ukraine so Russia won’t invade it again.
Rudd, who was named part of the advisory group on Friday night, said Ukraine was rightly focused on winning the current war with Russia but it was also important that it came up with ways to deter Moscow in future.“Russia’s unprovoked attacks against the people of Ukraine aren’t just barbaric – they violate repeated public commitments by Moscow to respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity and political independence,” he said.
Rudd was appointed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, and former NATO secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who were tasked in March with setting up the panel.
As well as Rudd, the 12-person panel will include former British secretary of state William Hague, former senior Pentagon official Michele Flournoy and former Swedish prime minister Carl Bildt. It will be co-chaired by Yermak and Rasmussen.The working group has three months to come up with recommendations on how to better protect Ukraine from foreign aggressors such as Russia in the future.
Ukraine wants other countries to provide some kind of security guarantee comparable to Article 5 of NATO’s founding treaty, which states that an armed attack on any of the alliance’s members shall be considered an attack on all of them.
Kyiv wants to join the NATO military alliance, but such a move is untenable while it has ongoing border disputes with Russia and Moscow-backed separatists.
Following his appointment, Rudd said the non-binding commitments Russia had given Ukraine in the past “weren’t strong enough to prevent Ukraine being invaded in either 2014 or 2022, nor were ambiguous commitments by other countries to support Ukraine’s defence”.“Ukrainians are rightly focused on winning this war,” he said. “But when it ends, Ukrainian leaders will want to clearly understand what sorts of domestic and international mechanisms might deter further aggression against their country by Russia or any other state.”
Rudd said the working group’s recommendations would “support Ukraine’s legitimate desire to rebuild as a strong, free and sovereign country pursuing its own destiny”.
Rudd advised the Australian government he would be accepting the invitation to join the working group ahead of the announcement. The role, which will last for about three months, will be part-time and unpaid.
Rudd, a former Labor prime minister and foreign minister, is currently president of the Asia Society Policy Institute.