The research reports reproduced here are the responsibility of the individual authors. Their reproduction does not imply any form of official or unofficial endorsement by NATO. The reports are offered in unedited form, as presented by their authors, with a view to make their findings available to a wide audience.

Ukraine And European Security - International Mechanisms
As Non-Military Options For National Security Of Ukraine.

Bohdan Lupiy
[Back to Index]

GoChapter 4. "Evolutionary" Approach" - Ukraine And European International Establishments.
GoSection 2. Ukraine and OSCE

2.5 Future Prospects

As the present crisis situations in some Eurasian regions evidence, that the OSCE's conflict prevention system, is in difficulty. The confidence expressed by the Organization several years ago has given way to disappointment, and immediate distrust of many Eastern European participating states, including Ukraine. Nevertheless, the OSCE is the sum of its individual member states - and cannot initiate actions without their approval and support. Given its establishing principles, the OSCE will always be govern by the will (or lack thereof) of its Participants.

In this light, it is absolutely clear that the pivotal question in the present situation is not "who is to strengthen the Organization?", but rather "what is to be done?" and "how this is feasible?". This contradiction has precipitated in a marked reduction in the credibility of the OCSE, as well as that of its prominent constituent states.

Thus, the future prospects for Ukraine's active engagement in the OSCE process should be based on the principle of "convergency" or 'driving towards each other', which presumes an active stance of Ukraine in reconstruction and strengthening of this organization, rather then on belief that OSCE would provide Ukraine with quick and efficient means to deal with its security challenges - participation in the OSCE should not be seen as a prize for achieved stability and security, but rather a means of reaching these goals.

Although, one of the main tasks of the OSCE is preventive diplomacy conduct, conflict prevention requires comprehensive strategy for the OSCE and much better coordination with other international organizations.

Current broad mandate of the OSCE, especially in comparison to the other European security institutions, has no proper means to carry out its tasks appropriately. In this respect, the concept of 'interlocking institutions', adopted by the 1992 CSCE Helsinki Summit and addressed at the 1994 Budapest Conference by a record "Towards a Genuine Partnership in a New Era" seems to be one of the directions to improve the situation.

To make it clear, the international fora which is capable of contributing to OCSE in driving European security should be ensured by more closer links with the United Nations, NATO, EU, WEU, international financial organisations.

All these institutions should be represented at the OSCE either in the pattern of permanent representatives and by representation at the OSCE workings, e.g conferences, seminars, follow up meetings, etc.

This also would help to avoid duplication in the activities of these organizations and would lead to more effective reply to the common security challenges. In this sense, the Russian vision of the reformed OSCE, or 'great division of labour' as Russian diplomats call it, is make sense.

With particular regard to Ukraine's security challenges the OSCE primary role in the nearby period can be seen chiefly in mediatory function in country's dialogue with Russia. Ukrainian leaders have always stated that they would seriously consider the mediation in Russian-Ukrainian relations.(260)

This assumption can be evidently exemplified by signing of the Trilateral agreement between Russia, Ukraine and the United States of America in January 1994. American arbitratory role in these negotiations can hardly be underestimated - indeed, it was for the first time after 1991, when Ukrainian and Russian leaders were able to reach a workable consensus.

Although, the current shape of Russian politics has been altered and currently Russia does not favour outside-country's interference in its disputes with Ukraine,(261) in the political sphere OSCE can provide Ukrainian leadership with several options to manage its security problems. And given present situation, the OSCE is perhaps among only few possible useful means for constructive and direct dialogue with Russia. As Russian high-ranking diplomate Yuri Ushakov puts it: "if you want to solve European problems with Russia, [OSCE]... is a good organization. We are not members of NATO or the European Union".(262) In fact, the role of CSCE/OSCE process has always been seen in Russia as 'a facilitator of good relations between Russia and its neighours and as a guardian of law [and] justice in those relations".(263)

The arbitrary role of the OSCE can also significantly contribute to the settlement of Ukraine's internal problems. In this respect, the utilization of the Human Dimension principles has already reflected their productity on Ukrainian societal soil, especially concerning Russian minority in the Crimea and this is, indisputably "where the CSCE is far ahead of the rest of the world".(264)

It should also be noted, that mediators from the OSCE have also been active in the resolution of the Crimean crisis between Kiev and Simpheropol in 1995. The skilful operationalization of mandate, based on the human dimension fundamental, was embodied in a very concrete activities of the OSCE Mission in preventing escalating conflict in the region.

Conclusively, it seems to be useful to outline several features, which should be taken into account by the OSCE Participating states including Ukraine, when addressing future agenda of OSCE actions at the forthcoming 1996 OSCE Lisbon Follow Up Meeting: first and foremost, the OSCE Participating states should develop new comprehensive approach to the Organization's abilities in dealing practically with European security.

Besides clear aims and exact role, this document should be build on the principle of OSCE's interworkings with other security organizations. It will significantly increase the strength of organization in the performing conflict prevention and conflict management.

In the field of decision-making, an operation on the consensus principle should be perhaps, narrower in application, and applied rather to the new basic OSCE decisions and resolutions, than to the mechanisms and actions for crisis management;

While present mechanisms should be strengthened and new procedures should be generated, they should be equipped by more realistic and effective means - e.g. bigger status of the OSCE Conflict Prevention Center and High Commissioner on National minorities; the development and conclusion of the documents like "Code of Conduct on States Commitments to the Helsinki Principles" and "The Treaty on Confidence and Security Building Measures", which would include some executive measures, e.g. specific clause on anticipation of a participating State from Organization for failure to comply with norms of internationally accepted behaviour, introduced at the Final Helsinki Act and all succeeding CSCE/OSCE commitments.

The fulfilment of all above-mentioned tasks will proof the OSCE's crucial role "as a primary instrument for early warning, conflict prevention and crisis management in the region".(265) It will unquestionably make Ukraine more intentional and energetic in using OSCE procedures to settle its security challenges.

A segregate question, of course, is whether Ukraine will take real advantage of these mechanisms. That, in part will be determined by the perceived utility of these new various procedures, as they become increasingly probed.

 [ Go to Index ]  [ Go to Homepage ]  [ Go to Next Page ]