‘We’re where we are due to lack of proactive leadership’ –

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A Ranking Member on Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee says the ongoing crisis in Ukraine should be blamed on the country’s failure to be proactive in implementing its foreign policies.

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa said Ukraine’s application to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), coupled with plans to establish a military base in the country, is part of the current attacks from Russia.

Referencing the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, he explained that the ongoing crisis is more about Russia’s geopolitical interest to avoid a repetition of similar incidents that had adverse effects on them.

Speaking to Samson Anyenini on Newsfile on Saturday, the North Tongu MP also accused Ukraine’s President of naivety.

“Russia had served notice many years ago, actually even during the 2014 invasion of Crimea that they would not accept a situation where Ukraine is admitted into NATO and where the Western allies like the United States, Germany, France and Britain use Ukraine as a military base.

“They felt threatened by how Ukraine had become so pro-west, and they felt threatened by Ukraine’s application to join NATO. There are very few countries that would accept adversaries coming so close, using a neighbouring country as a launchpad.

“Let’s remember that because of the Cold War era, you still have a lot of mistrust, a lot of bad blood. The Cold War may seem to be over, but it’s still simmering; it never really went away totally,” he stressed.

“The Russians are saying that ‘if we were prevented in 1962 from establishing a military base in Cuba, 90 miles away from the United States of America and we suffered the consequences, why should we then allow you decades after to not only establish a base but to allow Ukraine to join NATO?’”

Mr Ablakwa then concluded that “we are where we are because of lack of proactive leadership,” adding that “we must be guided by history.”

Meanwhile, he revealed he has been in touch with Ghanaian students in Ukraine to find ways to be moved to safer zones.

“As a former student leader, I keep a close relationship with student leaders across the globe, particularly the National Union of Ghana Students fraternity.”

“With such a humanitarian crisis on our hands, we must first and foremost be concerned about our nationals. What is their condition? How can we whisk them out of danger?” he quizzed.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Affairs Ministry has announced steps to ensure the immediate evacuation of Ghanaian nationals to Ukraine’s neighbouring countries.

According to the Ministry, the move has become necessary following the closure of Ukraine’s airspace.

“Discussions with the authorities in Switzerland, Turkey, Moldova, Poland, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia to assist with the smooth evacuation of Ghanaians in Ukraine are far advanced.”

“The officials of relevant Ghanian diplomatic missions and Honorary Consuls are on standby to facilitate the passage of students who had commenced their journey by road to Romania and Hungary.”

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