Press release

An open letter to the leaders of the West and international organisations


If you are interested to sign the open letter please click here and fill the form.

We, public policy experts, officials and the broader international community around GLOBSEC would like to express our outrage over the escalating situation in Ukraine and Russian efforts to undermine the security system in Europe.

Russia’s ongoing deplorable act of military incursion into a sovereign territory of Ukraine follows a series of earlier acts of aggressions: the 2008 invasion of Georgia, the 2014 annexation of Crimea and other destabilizing efforts in Europe, including election interference and an all-out information war against democratic societies. This is a frontal assault on the basic principles of the European security order and on the Europe whole, free and at peace that replaced the Cold War order a generation ago. It is based on international agreements (signed by Russia and the USSR), such as the Helsinki Final Act (1975), the Paris Charter (1990), the Budapest Memorandum (1994) and the NATO-Russia Founding Act (1997).

Russia’s baseless aggression sets a dangerous precedent whereby territorial conflicts are designed, orchestrated and resolved by the use of brute force leading to potential outbreaks of war in many parts of the globe. Russian recent actions are not limited to Ukraine: the steady and significant build-up of forces in Belarus, the escalation of disinformation efforts in Europe as well as repeated violations of territorial waters and airspace of Sweden and the Baltic states by Russian military units point clearly to a wider effort by Russia to challenge the security architecture in Europe. Russia’s current aggressive actions will lead to another protracted long-term conflict, casting a shadow on the security architecture in Europe.

  • We emphasize the right to self-determination of Ukraine. President Putin’s demand for a “sphere of influence” is antiquated and an unacceptable remnant of the 20th century that resulted in two world wars.
  • We strongly condemn Russia’s unprovoked aggression against Ukraine and will insist upon a firm and principled response by Western governments and international organisations.
  • We believe that the values of the Western world – of liberal democracy and open society - are now being put to the test. How this test is passed will determine not only the future of NATO, the EU, and liberal democracy but the international rules-based order itself.
  • We recognize the need for the transatlantic relationship to be reinforced as the backbone of Europe’s security; within this alliance, Europe must shoulder more of the burden.

Therefore, in order to preserve peace and prevent further escalation on the part of Russia, we call to action the governments of NATO and EU member states:

  • To show a united and principled stance towards Russia by foregoing all direct business or commercial interests of cooperation with Russia, including in the energy sector.
  • To make clear to Russian leaders the consequences of its actions, including a full range of sanctions targeting the Russian political leadership, crippling its economy and severing its ties with the West.
  • To launch a robust resilience plan for Ukraine that will equip the Ukrainian state and Ukrainian society with the necessary financial and material resources to defend the country, sustain public services and critical infrastructure including energy and cyber; and protect the most vulnerable segments of its population.
  • To prepare continued and multi-faceted long-term support to the Ukrainian society, disbursing funds, allocating personnel and adequate financial resources.
  • To conduct a constant stock-taking exercise on how Ukraine can be further assisted in the framework of multilateral organisations.
  • To intensify efforts at diversification of energy sources, including initiatives under the auspices of the EU such as the “gas union”.
  • To launch a series of escalatory sanctions designed to make Russia withdraw its forces from the territories it has seized from Ukraine.

Additionally, we call on NATO:

  • To collaborate with the EU to design and implement a comprehensive strategy to reinforce the resilience of Central and Eastern Europe to Russian aggression, both militarily and economically.
  • To further reinforce NATO’s eastern frontiers from the Baltic to the Black Sea.

Initial signatories: 

Ian Anthony, Director, European Security Programme, SIPRI, Sweden

Gordon Bajnai, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, GLOBSEC; former Prime Minister of Hungary

Rosa Balfour, Director, Carnegie Europe, Belgium

Jozef Bátora, Professor, Department of Political Sciences, Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia

Martin Bútora, Honorary President, Institute for Public Affairs; former Ambassador of Slovakia to the United States of America

Jenna Ben-Yehuda, President and Chief Executive Officer, Truman National Security Project and Truman Center for National Policy, United States of America

Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Sweden

Philip Blond, Director, ResPublica, United Kingdom

Ian Brzezinski, Resident Senior Fellow, Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, The Atlantic Council, United States of America

Pavol Demeš, Senior Transatlantic Fellow, German Marshall Fund of the United States; former Minister of International Relations of the Slovak Republic

Mikuláš Dzurinda, President, Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies; former Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic

Melissa Hathaway, President, Hathaway Global Strategies, LLC, United States of America

Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Former President of the Republic of Estonia

Milan Ježovica, Senior Fellow, MESA10; former State Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic

Clive Johnstone, Vice-Admiral, Head of Strategy, BMT, former Commander of NATO MARCOM, United Kingdom

Kersti Kaljulaid, former President of the Republic of Estonia

Rastislav Káčer, former Ambassador to the United States of America and former State Secretary of Defence of the Slovak Republic

Ivan Krastev, Member of the Board of Directors, GLOBSEC; Chairman, Centre for Liberal Strategies, Bulgaria

Norbert Lammert, Chairman, Konrad Adenauer Foundation, Germany

Bruno Maçães, Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute; former Minister for Europe of Portugal

Ivan Mikloš, Distinguished Associate Fellow, Economic Growth & Sustainability Programme, GLOBSEC; former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the Slovak Republic

Wilhelm Molterer, Chairman of the Board of Directors, GLOBSEC; former Vice Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Austria

Richard-Ivan Ogilchyn, Founding Partner and CEO, Octagonal Corporation, United States of America

Sally Painter, Chief Operating Officer, Blue Star Strategies, United States of America

Petr Pavel, Retired General, former Chairman of the NATO Military Committee; former Chief of Staff of the Czech Armed Forces, Czechia

Rosen Plevneliev, President of the Republic of Bulgaria 2012 – 2017

Charles Powell, Director, Elcano Royal Institute, Spain

Peter Van Praag, Founder and President of Halifax International Security Forum, United States of America

Petr Pudil, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, GLOBSEC; Co-founder, BPD partners, Czechia

Jana Puglierin, Head of ECFR Berlin, European Council on Foreign Relations, Germany

Philip Reitinger, former Deputy Under Secretary of the National Protection and Programs Directorate, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Anton Rop, former Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia

Curtis Scaparrotti, Senior Counselor, Cohen Group; former Supreme Allied Commander Europe SACEUR; Board of Directors, The Atlantic Council

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director, Cyber Policy Center, Stanford University, United States of America

James Townsend, Adjunct Senior Fellow, Transatlantic Security Program, Centre for New American Security, Unites States of America

Andreas Treichl, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Erste Foundation and President of the European Forum Alpbach, Austria

Zoltán Varga, Chairman of the Board, Central Médiacsoport, Hungary

Róbert Vass, President, GLOBSEC, Slovakia

Alexander Vershbow, Distinguished Fellow, Transatlantic Security Initiative, The Atlantic Council, United States of America

Kurt Volker, former U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine, United States of America

Thomas Wieser, former President of the Economic and Financial Committee (EFC) of the EU; former President of the Eurogroup Working Group, Austria

Anna Wieslander, Director, Northern Europe, Atlantic Council, Sweden

Damon Wilson, President and CEO, National Endowment for Democracy, United States of America

Maciej Witucki, President of the Polish Confederation Lewiatan, Poland

Fabian Zuleeg, Chief Executive, European Policy Centre, Belgium


If you are interested to sign the open letter please click here and fill the form