Pavel not hopeful on Ukraine victory this yearReading Time: 2 minutes
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged the Western world to send more help when he opened the Munich Security Conference (MSC) from Kyiv on Friday. “We need speed,” Zelenskyy said.
The MSC is the primary global platform for the exchange of ideas on security policy, assembling hundreds of heads-of-state, ministers, influential figures from international and NGOS, academics, and players in industry, the media and civil society.
Czech President-elect Petr Pavel, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba were amongst the participants at the “One Year Later: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom and What’s Next” discussion.
They discussed how the war is progressing on the military, economic, political, and information fronts and assessed ways to end the war.
Pavel pessimistic on 2023 victory
Pavel admitted pessimism regarding Ukraine’s capability of winning the war in 2023.“We may end up in a situation when the liberation of some parts of the Ukrainian territory can result in more life losses than society can bear,” he said.
“This is why there might be a point when Ukrainians can start thinking about another outcome. And we should be also ready for this eventuality, because it’s not about expecting the best, but about being ready for the worst.”
The general turned politician stressed the importance of the swift provision of air defence assets to Ukraine. “Air defence, including anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems, whatever we can deliver, is needed now in a short term. Apparently, the Russian military is losing their capability on the ground, and it’s most probable that they will move forward towards air operations. So the more air defence assets we deliver to Ukraine right now, the better.”
Kallas calls for more focus on armaments
Kallas stressed the need to boost the capacity of the European defence industry: “Russia is producing in three shifts. Why isn’t the European defence industry doing the same? And they say that this is because of the lack of orders. ‘If we don’t have orders, we cannot make investments’, they say.”
“Even if the war ends or when the war ends, we will not stop procuring the ammunition, because the threat is still there,” Kallas added.
Ukrainian FM urges full liberation of Ukraine
Kuleba said “Last year the keyword for me was “weapons”, and this year there are two keywords for me – ‘delivery speed’ and ‘sustainability’. This is crucial – everything that has been pledged to us, has to arrive on time to be relevant. This is what we need to focus on.”
Commenting on the prospects of victory for Ukraine, he said “the short-time end game is the full liberation of the Ukrainian territory. There will be no other contact lines, no territorial concessions – we have been there, and we have seen that this doesn’t work.
“The long-term end game will cover accountability and compensations. But most importantly is that there will be a question of how we can make sure that Russia is not capable of doing this again,” Kuleba added.