: Carnegie Europe: How to fill Ukraine's security vacuum

12:16 Apr. 13, 2016

Carnegie Europe: How to fill Ukraine's security vacuum

Ukrainian army soldiers take part in a military exercise at a training ground outside Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, March 25, 2015. (AP Photo)

Andreas Umland suggests reviving Polish idea of a 'union of the lands' between the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea

Ukraine faces a mounting challenge from the East while suffering from a fundamental security vacuum. The country is not embedded in international organizations able to help Kyiv secure the Ukrainian state's territorial integrity and political sovereignty. What other options than the distant prospect of NATO membership does Ukraine have to fill this vacuum today? The only feasible solution with at least some chance of being realized is to revive an old Polish plan known as Intermarium—a union of the lands between the seas.

The original early-twentieth-century idea of Intermarium envisaged a federation or confederation of the states between the Baltic and Black Seas. Today, the plan would imply an entente cordiale or mutual-aid pact among the countries in this region that perceive Moscow as a threat to their national sovereignty, economic viability, and social stability. Such an alliance should unambiguously announce to the Kremlin its member countries' willingness to actively and multifariously assist each other in their hitherto bilateral conflicts with Russia.

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