'Like rebuilding a ship at sea' West handed blueprint to securing Ukraine's fate in Europe


Russia’s war on Ukraine has killed thousands of people, devastated cities and prompted a massive exodus of around six million nationals, many of whom bear accounts of torture, sexual violence and indiscriminate destruction.

Kyiv has repeatedly requested longer-range precision arms in order for forces to defend themselves from Russian heavy artillery, which has been used to devastating effect in the battle for the Donbas.

This week, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace announced the UK is equipping Ukraine with an M270 multiple-launch rocket system.

He said: “As Russia’s tactics change, so must our support to Ukraine.”

But according to Professor Matt Qvortrup, political scientist at Coventry University’s Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations (CTPSR), the Government’s leading role in aiding Kyiv with arms must be combined with work towards longer-term solutions.

He told Express.co.uk: “How can Ukraine become a properly established European nation?

“This is the civilian war effort, the moving beyond just giving them weapons.”

READ MORE: Western weapons ‘already making a difference’ in Ukraine

Prof Qvortrup is one among a group of academics, economists and politicians behind the Council for Economic Recovery of Ukraine (CERUA).

Others are Volodymyr Groysman, the ex-Prime Minister of Ukraine, and Dutch politician Ad Melkert, a former executive director on the Board of the World Bank Group.

CERUA was established on the basis of the World Bank’s stark forecast that the Ukrainian economy will contract this year by 45 percent.

Prof Qvortrup, director of the council, said: “Our aim is to convene the best policy thinking to address issues directly relevant now, but also to do some useful, practical thinking for the future which can be hard for officials within Ukraine to do in the middle of war and crisis.

“Creating a viable economy in Ukraine will require more than financial support.”

He added: “All evidence shows that democratic institutions and the rule of law are key to creating prosperity. A strong economy requires courts that can enforce contracts, and the transparency that comes through democratic Institutions.

“Ukraine pioneered Checks and Balances in the early 1700s – it is time for these ideas to come home.”

Acknowledging the challenges that come with Ukraine still being “literally under siege”, he explained: “We sort of talk about this idea of rebuilding a ship while still at sea.

“What we need to do is to re-establish the institutions that are conducive for economic growth, which essentially are the institutions of the rule of law, which are the British values.”

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Alluding to England’s Glorious Revolution in 1688, Prof Qvortrup suggested the end of the war in Ukraine could give way to a stronger nation.

He said: “Way back in time, when Britain really took off, was the time when we established courts that enforce these rules [the rule of law].

“We’re trying to do the same for Ukraine, as Britain did in 1688.

“It’s a case of Ukraine coming home to the European family where they’ve been so forcefully removed from.”

The CERUA will publish papers and reports, and hold conferences to present its findings on an ongoing basis.

Ukraine’s Mr Groysman said: “I am pleased I have been invited to join the work of this Council.

“The war is impacting different parts of the country in different ways, and we must recognise that the solutions must take that into consideration.

“Cities with Russian invaders or which have been devastated like Mariupol will need solutions far different than Lviv that has luckily been largely spared the worst impact of the war.”


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