Admission of foreign troops to exercises in Ukraine in 2022: what the law provides and whether there are any risks

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 Admission of foreign troops to exercises in Ukraine in 2022: what the law provides and whether there are any risks

President Volodymyr Zelensky initiated a bill on the admission of units of the armed forces of other states to the territory of Ukraine in 2022 to participate in military exercises.

The text of the document has already appeared on the website of the Verkhovna Rada.

Facts ICTV asked military experts how this bill can be interpreted in the context of the accumulation of Russian troops on the borders of Ukraine.

What the bill provides

Draft Law No. 6359 was registered in parliament on November 29.

According to the document, the Verkhovna Rada is invited to approve the president's decision on the admission of foreign military units to Ukraine in 2022 to participate in multinational exercises. This is:

• multinational exercises Joint Efforts-2022;

• Ukrainian-American exercises Rapid Trident-2022;

• Ukrainian-British exercises Kozak Mace-2022;

• multinational exercises Light Avalanche-2022;

• Ukrainian-Polish exercises Silver Saber-2022;

• Ukrainian-American exercises Sea Breeze-2022;

• Ukrainian -Romanian exercises Riverine-2022;

• multinational exercises Maple Arch-2022;

• multinational exercises Viking-2022;

• multinational exercises to train units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Only to Multinational exercises to train units of the Armed Forces can be involved: up to 19,000 military, up to 50 aircraft and helicopters, up to 30 ships (ships and boats). We are talking about the military forces of Ukraine, the United States and other NATO member states.

According to the explanatory note to the bill, the Armed Forces of Ukraine have been taking part in multinational military exercises since 1994.

Ukraine has been conducting them as part of its obligations as a member of the NATO program Partnership for Peace, as well as Agreements between the states parties to the North Atlantic Treaty.

Military exercises are conducted to maintain the defense capability of Ukraine, the combat capability of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and other military formations.

Law on military exercises in Ukraine: expert estimates

All respondents With ICTV facts, experts noted that the bill submitted by the president to the Verkhovna Rada is standard.

Its adoption in the Verkhovna Rada takes place annually, so the document should not be regarded as something special against the background of reports on the concentration of Russian troops on the border.

– This kind of laws have been adopted by the Verkhovna Rada, starting somewhere in the mid-1990s. There is a plan. The exercises that Ukraine conducts within the framework of the Partnership for Peace, bilateral exercises are discussed in advance, are included in this law. After that, Ukraine's military cooperation with the armed forces of other countries is carried out. Since never foreign states without a decision of the Verkhovna Rada do not send their servicemen here for exercises, – explained military observer Oleg Starikov .

According to him, such exercises are conducted by all countries of the world, and all this is regulated by international treaties. So, after the adoption of the bill in the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine will send the relevant data on the exercises to the OSCE headquarters. And then the information will be transferred through the military intelligence services, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, military attachés, embassies.

is of the same opinion.political consultant, head of the Center for Military Legal Studies Alexander Musienko . He noted that the introduction of such a bill to the Verkhovna Rada is a standard procedure.

– In the Ukrainian legislation there is a corresponding law of Ukraine, it is a framework, on the joint participation of military personnel and the admission of foreign troops to the territory of Ukraine. He suggests that the plan for the exercise should be approved. This plan involves the admission of foreign military personnel. And the admission of foreign servicemen to our territory is allowed only with the consent of the Verkhovna Rada. This is not a law that provides for any extraordinary changes. This is a formal procedure that is performed every year, – said Alexander Musienko.

A military expert of the Institute of Euro-Atlantic Cooperation Igor Koziy stressed that the multinational exercises, which are already spent more than one year on the territory of Ukraine, they are a factor that restrains Russia from direct aggression.

The expert explained that the Russian Federation cannot take large-scale military actions when military personnel who are citizens of other states (such as the United States, Great Britain and others) are on the territory of Ukraine.

– Military exercises have actually been more a restraint of the Russian Federation from direct aggression, & # 8212; Igor Koziy told.

According to him, the main goal of such exercises is to achieve operational interoperability of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the troops of NATO member states.

Exercises in Ukraine against the backdrop of the accumulation of Russian troops: what experts say

Facts ICTV also asked experts what Moscow's reaction to the draft law on military exercises in 2022 and the very fact of such exercises being held. After all, now thousands of Russian troops are stationed near the Ukrainian borders, and statements about the threat of the Russian invasion of Ukraine are being heard in the information space.

As stressed by political consultant Alexander Musienko , Russia should rather expect the already familiar rhetoric about Ukraine's rapprochement with NATO.

– The reaction will be known, it already sounds and will be unchanged from Russia: that the Russian Federation is categorically against, worried about the expansion NATO to its borders, worried about the strengthening of cooperation between Ukraine and NATO, and so on. That is, the rhetoric will be about the same, – informed the expert.

Musienko noted that the bill No. 6359 does not provide for the creation of permanent stationary bases on the territory of Ukraine, permanent deployment of NATO troops.

“I understand why this (Military Exercise Bill 2022, & # 8212; Ed.) Has caused such a stir in the context of the latest news that Britain may send (troops, & # 8212; Ed.) Canada. Within the framework of the legislation, we independently decide how many servicemen we can admit, for what periods, for what purpose. But this does not mean that this law provides for the creation of some kind of permanent stationary bases, permanent deployment of NATO troops and the like, & # 8212; said Musienko, answering the question whether the bill could provoke the Russian Federation to any kind of escalation.

The expert added that usually military advisers and training missions come to Ukraine; military personnel to participate in exercises for a certain period; as well as military consultants helping our state with reforms. This is exactly the algorithm provided by the law introduced by the President to the Verkhovna Rada.

Military observer Oleg Starikov expressed the opinion that only the military operation of Ukraine in the occupied Donbass can cause direct aggression by the Russian Federation.

– What can set the Russian military machine in motion? Only if Ukraine starts a military operation in the East. Then they will immediately introduce their troops, and it will start, as it was in 2014, but everything is much more serious, & # 8212; Starikov believes.

At the same time, military expert Oleg Zhdanov explained that an irritating factor for Russia could be an increase in the number of such military exercises in Ukraine and the attraction of a larger contingent to them.

– If there is a tendency to an increase in the number of personnel involved and the number of conducted exercises, then this For Russia, such an annoying factor in terms of the fact that Ukraine is integrating with NATO troops, and their presence on our territory is already a matter of time, – Zhdanov emphasized.

The expert also suggests that military exercises can provoke an increase in the number of shelling by the Russian occupation forces in Donbass.

– This can provoke aggression in the political sense, and in the military – only on the contact line in CADLO. Politically, there will be statements that this is unacceptable. And Putin will again say that these are red lines that he draws for himself, and so on, & # 8212; noted Zhdanov.

According to the expert, Russia can also start its military exercises in parallel. As an example, Oleg Zhdanov cited several such situations that were observed in the past.

– For example, we began preparations for signing agreements with Great Britain on the construction of missile boats, and Russia immediately conducted exercises in the Black Sea to combat a group of unknown boats. Another American destroyer enters the Black Sea – they are conducting exercises with submarines on the sea & # 8220; hunting & # 8221; on the ships of the enemy. It's just that the scope of the exercises varies. When, for example, NATO raises a B-52 (strategic bomber Boeing B-52 Stratofortress & # 8212; Ed.) And demonstratively refueling over the Black Sea, the Russian Federation can lift one or two aircraft. And these are more fighter-interceptors, but not bombers. Tu-160 (bombers, – Ed.) – they have four cars left & # 8220; on the wing & # 8221; and then they are still of Soviet production. They cherish them like the apple of an eye, the expert informed.

Zhdanov considers statements about the possibility of an invasion of the Russian Federation more political. He recalled the statements of representatives of the Ukrainian authorities that so far we have not seen the formation of a Russian strike group near the Ukrainian borders.

– Yes, the troops are moving, but these are planned movements, and we are in control of the situation. They will move the troops left and right, but there is a real threat that tomorrow they will go on the offensive – they will be left alone against the whole world, they understand this, & # 8212; summed up the expert.

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