“The illegal invasion in Ukraine has been a real wake-up call for people living in safe societies, it’s a brutal reminder of how things can go wrong so quickly,” Noel Hadjimichael, Chair, Defence & Security Circle, National Liberal Club London said in an interview with The Geopost.
He praises the youth in Ukraine, who he says have been smart and brave in the way they have fought.
He also talks about the great help of the West, which according to him is increasing every day.
“Russia has its interests in the Balkans,” he adds, and as a result it also has influence, but this should not be allowed by the EU states.
“It is important for the EU to have the communities of the people of the Balkans within the EU, properly and successfully and to be respected as an equal partner. I live in London, I’m from Great Britain, we are good friends of Europe, our relationship, especially with the Balkans is more through NATO and NATO is an organization that has values, which are reflective and positive for the people of the Balkans. The people of the Balkans want prosperity, they want peace and they want security, and we wish this for them as well”.
“The Balkans is a flashpoint for Europe, but this cannot be allowed to get out of control”, emphasizes Noel Hadjimichael.
Geopost: Mr. Noel, thank you for this interview for The Geopost, which is your comment one year after the Russian aggression in Ukraine, how do you see this situation for Europe challenges for security?
Thank you for asking me to be interviewed, importantly, I live in London but I come originally from Australia so I have an open, bigger than Europe view. This invasion, this illegal invasion has been a real opportunity, a wakeup call to people who live in safe societies, in secure societies, in societies like United Kingdom that have never been invaded for nearly 1000 years, so this is a brutal reminder on how things can go wrong so quickly, but also how young people, today’s young people have responded so successfully, they have fought back, they have been smart as well as brave on how they fought back.
Geopost: Has the west done enough to help Ukraine fight Russia?
I think emotionally, psychologically, politically, the west, EU, NATO, UK, Germany, France, Poland especially, there has been great help. What it’s shown us, it takes time to go from a civilian society in economy to an economy society that is prepared for war, so, yes, we could have done more but it is going faster and harder, every day every month more is coming to Ukraine.
Geopost: How do you see Russian influence in the Balkans?
The Balkans has been in history a place of contest, a place of connection, a place of competition. Russia has its natural, legitimate, strategic national interests. It wants to be powerful in the Balkans, but, the people of the Balkans, the people who live there and who lived there for hundreds of years, of different religions, different traditions, different languages, they should be respected, they should not have external influence and negative toxic influence by somebody who does not have their best interest at heart. It is a flashpoint for Europe; this cannot be allowed to get out of hand.
Geopost: Has the EU done enough to faster integrate western Balkans states?
As the prime minister of Latvia said at the conference we are at early this morning, having people officially part of an alliance or an organization is very important, having the communities, the people of the Balkans within the EU, properly and successfully and respected as an equal partner is important for them but also important for the EU, but, I live in London, I’m from the United Kingdom, we are good friends of Europe, our relationship, specially to the Balkans is very much through NATO and NATO is an organization that has values, that are reflective and positive for the people of the Balkans, the people of the Balkans want prosperity, they want peace and they want security and we want that for them as well. /Geopost/