Ukraine’s membership in NATO is not only the embodiment of strategic foreign policy goals enshrined in the country’s Constitution, but it is also a guarantee of stable peace on the entire continent.
Hanna Hopko, head of the “ANTS” Network, emphasized this during the Civil Society Forum.
“These are also opportunities for reconstruction because the opening of membership negotiations is a signal for investors. This is the same as candidate status. I hope that in 2023 there will be open negotiations regarding membership in the EU. These are also additional opportunities related to reconstruction,” she said.
Currently, the “ANTS” Network, together with the International Center for Ukrainian Victory, the Anti-Corruption Action Center, and the Civil Network “OPORA” have launched a new campaign called “Ukraine in NATO 33″.
“We are very hopeful that after the successful advocacy efforts to form the tank coalition and then the F16, this one will also be successful. Why is this important? Because one of the topics of our panel discussion is Ukraine’s victory. We must understand that russian armed aggression has been going on for the past 10 years, and that russia has been committing genocide against Ukrainians for more than a year. russia has already adapted to the sanctions and continues to increase production, in particular of guided bombs and kamikaze drones. Therefore, our task in the international arena is to continue to demand from our partners that they give Ukraine more weapons, tighten economic sanctions, and start real confiscation of assets not only of russian oligarchs but also of the Central Bank.”
Hopko emphasized that, in fact, from the first days of russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the “ANTS” Network, together with partners from the Civil Network “OPORA” and the Anti-Corruption Action Center, created the International Center for Ukrainian Victory in Warsaw. At that time, activists advocated the issue of providing Ukraine with NATO-type weapons instead of Soviet ones, candidate status, and sanctions for the russian federation.
“We had a lot of advocacy goals. Now our focus is on the open invitation of Ukraine to NATO membership and the issue of the confiscation of russian assets.”
Hanna Hopko, as the head of the “ANTS” Network, noted that the organization had to somewhat reprogram its activities after the full-scale invasion. So, in addition to advocating for the interests of Ukraine in the international arena, the team is engaged in volunteer activities, supporting libraries, helping communities affected by occupation or enemy shelling, etc.
“Last weekend, together with the executive director Vasyl Sehin, we visited Mykolaiv, where we handed over six cars as part of humanitarian aid and our cooperation with Taiwan. Before that, we bought 70 laptops for Kherson MCA. We are also trying to help the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” she said.
Helping communities is an important aspect of the organization’s activities. This year, five advocacy and familiarization visits by leaders of Ukrainian communities were made to the Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy, and Belgium, which were organized by “ANTS” and the International Center for Ukrainian Victory. Such visits help establish direct contact with partners.
‘In conclusion, I would like to say that the “ANTS” Network is launching one of the important projects – hackathons for local self-government – as it is an opportunity to help attract investments through the improvement of innovative digital tools.”