The Crimean Platform and the Baltic-Black Sea Defense Union Should Put an End to Putin’s Occupation Policy

On August 23, 2023, the third Crimean Platform Summit, that was launched in 2021, took place.

Representatives of 63 countries visited the event. Post-war situation and restoration of the Peninsula were discussed. According to V. Zelenskyy, there is currently no alternative to the liberation of Crimea except by military means. It is worth noting that the occupation of Crimea is not a regional but an international problem, the President of Poland A. Duda, who was at the Summit, said. In the conditions of the aggressive, neo-colonial policy of the Kremlin, the countries of Central and Eastern Europe should take steps to strengthen their defense capabilities and weak the Russian threat In 2014, Putin began the era of territorial expansion — after the occupation of the Ukrainian Crimea and the rejection of part of the Ukrainian Donbas, it became clear that Russia wants to resume the practice of territorial conquests. Shortly before the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Kremlin issued an ultimatum to NATO: the Alliance had to withdraw to its borders of 1997. This meant that Putin sought to return the CEE countries to the Kremlin’s exclusive zone of influence, which during the USSR were part of the so-called socialistic block.

The West has flirted with Russia for too long, refusing to believe in its police of territorial expansion. This disbelief has turned into the largest war in recent decades, which is taking place in the heart of Europe. The war, which is accompanied by the destruction of settlements in Ukraine, the deportation and genocide of its citizens. Ukraine proved that it can give a fitting rebuff to the enemy. On the eve of its 32nd year of Independence, V. Zelenskyy proposed to consider the project of creating the Baltic-Black Sea Defense Union, which should unite the CEE countries and contribute to their defense capability. This project can complement the activity of the Crimean Platform, because the threat of further territorial expansion by the Russian Federation remains an urgent problem. Putin will not stop: the outrageous events taking place in Russia – an oppression of rights and freedoms, ongoing mobilization, deliberate murders (the liquidation of Prigozhin), persecution of those who disagree with the Kremlin’s dictatorship — indicate that totalitarianism is rapidly intensifying in the Russian Federation. Putin is reproducing a worse version of Stalin’s time, in which ordinary Soviet citizens were exterminated in camps and the military elite were obsessed with reaching the English Channel. Flirting with Putin has led to the creation of a new modern-day Hitler, who poses a direct threat to Europe. The West must act and promptly protect its eastern borders from the occupying forces of Russia. The idea of creating a Baltic-Black Sea Defense Union proposed by Ukraine is a necessary solution against the background of the accelerated militarization of the Russian Federation, which not only uses the economy and industry for military necessities, but also turned Belarus into a training ground and a military base with nuclear weapons. Poland and the Baltic countries will become Putin’s next target after Ukraine, if he is not weakened and a powerful security belt is not created along the border with the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus. This project will strengthen all its participants and contribute to the deoccupation of internationally recognized territories of Ukraine.