Posted: 19.07.2023 13:30:00

NATO: fight to the last...

The North Atlantic Alliance considers arms supplies to Ukraine more important than security guarantees for itself

The NATO summit in Vilnius, a month before its start, gave rise to rumours, intrigues, fakes and diplomatic demarches. This was connected not only with the prospects of Ukraine’s membership in the alliance and blackmail by Zelenskyy, but also with stuff about a possible undermining of the Zaporozhye NPP and overestimated expectations from the so-called counteroffensive with further excuses from Kyiv and some Western politicians before its actual failure. Added to this were the public burnings of the Koran in Sweden, as well as the positions of Türkiye and especially Hungary on the membership of this Scandinavian country in NATO.

Ukraine outside NATO

The fatefulness of the summit in Vilnius, about which the Western media so zealously talked, turned out to be a soap bubble. Instead of the expected invitation to NATO, the members of the alliance offered Kyiv an abstract declaration on the path of entry, which stipulates that Ukraine cannot count on membership until the end of hostilities. Moreover, the alliance has replaced the common action plan for all candidates for NATO membership with special requirements that were presented exclusively to Kyiv.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy touchily commented on the results of the summit as ‘a trade in Ukraine’s membership in NATO in negotiations with Russia’.
At a press conference, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg constantly shied away from specifics, answering the question of what requirements the alliance made for Kyiv’s membership in NATO. Only on the fourth attempt did the journalists succeed in persuading the Secretary General to at least slightly lift the veil of secrecy of the demands. It turned out that they affect not only the full transition of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to NATO standards, but also numerous political issues, painful topics for Kyiv, the fight against corruption and reform of the management system.
Since 2014, these requirements have become an opportunity for the United States to build structures under its control inside Ukraine. This is how the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine appeared, which is actually an organ of American influence on the personnel policy of Kyiv.
Requirements for joining NATO will only strengthen and finalise the external management of Ukraine.
At the same time, Kyiv has been implementing management reforms and the fight against corruption on paper for more than one year. In reality, the regime turns out to be one of the most corrupt not only in Europe but also in the world. All this makes Ukraine’s accession to NATO even more elusive.
On the second day of the summit, the Senior Director of the US National Security Council for Europe, Amanda Sloat, added ‘democratic reforms’ to the list of demands, thereby acknowledging the Kyiv regime’s real problems with democracy.
A tougher stance was taken by US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller, who said that ‘Ukraine’s entry into NATO during the conflict would mean a war between the United States and Russia,’ and then added that ‘there will be no entry under President Biden’.
His colleague, White House National Security Council strategic communications coordinator John Kirby, confirmed that Ukraine’s accession to NATO is unlikely in the near future.
Even the President of Poland, Andrzej Duda, despite all the militaristic hysteria, said that the invitation of Ukraine to NATO is possible not earlier than in a few years. And this is understandable. The powerful anti-Russian hysteria unleashed by the Polish media failed to convince the Poles of the need for such an entry. The Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita has published sociological data that says that the Poles are against the current entry of Ukraine into NATO (47.7 percent of those polled are against, 40 percent are in favour).

What did Kyiv get?

So what did Kyiv get as a result, if not NATO membership? Here we should dwell on the weapons that the countries of the alliance are ready to transfer to Ukraine. Let’s start with the US, which has promised to transfer only about 30 Bradley IFVs to Kyiv, which is a replacement for what the UAF has probably already lost in the so-called counter-offensive in the south.
That is, the main country of the alliance did not go to increase the supply of armoured vehicles, not to mention the Abrams tanks, and even more so fighters. Promises to supply cluster bombs are forced due to the depletion of ammunition depots and the lack of real capacities to produce them in the required quantity.
And Germany is in no hurry to transfer equipment, limiting itself to 25 Leopard 1 tanks of the mid-twentieth century, 40 Marder infantry fighting vehicles, two Patriot anti-aircraft missile systems and 20,000 155-mm shells. No new Leopard 2 tanks and cruise missiles that Kyiv expected from Berlin will be delivered.
France has limited itself to transferring 50 long-range SCALP missiles, which are the same British Storm Shadows that Kyiv has been using for more than a month, which was likely to deplete their stocks.
The icing on the cake was the signing by Kyiv Defence Minister Reznikov of a memorandum on the creation of a coalition to train pilots and technical personnel of F-16 fighter jets with 11 NATO colleagues. However, the transfer of technology itself is not discussed.

Recognition of the Union State

A completely new point for the alliance was the recognition of the Union State of Belarus and Russia. This is how one should interpret the fact that the summit included a separate line mentioning the military integration of Belarus and Russia as a negative impact and a challenge to ‘NATO’s regional stability and defence’. Thus, the alliance recognised the combat effectiveness of the united group of troops of the Union State, as well as the fact of deploying tactical nuclear weapons.
All this indicates that Minsk and Moscow jointly do not provide an opportunity to change the balance of power in the region in favour of the alliance, which is what they are striving for.

Cold War with the collective East

The Eastern European direction was one of many discussed at the summit.
And if Türkiye’s membership in NATO was a matter of Erdogan’s bargaining for the supply of modernised F-16s, then the rapprochement between Russia and China, the strengthened position of Iran, the growing popularity of the SCO and BRICS among developing countries make the alliance agonise and actually fight the integration of the entire collective east. The task of the alliance is to go to Southeast Asia, where to cooperate more closely with the US allies, as well as an attempt to militarise space under the plausible slogans of ensuring security there as well.
Reading the statement of the Vilnius summit, one can state that there has never been such a large number of declared threats to NATO. Moreover, the authors of the statement argue that most of them are of a value nature. That is, NATO is ready to fight those states whose values do not correspond to the alliance.
Forms of struggle against these countries will be of a hybrid nature, which is already evident in Ukraine. Their main goal is not to enter into direct confrontation, especially with nuclear countries, and to maintain channels of communication.
The NATO summit declared a new cold war, more complex, embracing the entire globe and even space. The Chinese Foreign Ministry has already rightly noted that the United States and its allies are imposing a new bloc confrontation on the rest of the world.
For Belarus, the results of the summit demonstrated the correctness of the decision to deploy tactical nuclear weapons as an instrument of deterrence, which makes NATO respect, albeit through gritted teeth, our sovereignty. As an ally of Russia and a strategic partner of China, according to NATO, we are declared its adversary along with other countries seeking to establish a multipolar and more just architecture of international relations. And here one cannot but agree with the alliance’s statement about the value confrontation. But what values does the West oppose to the values of a just world order? The question is rather rhetorical.

By Piotr Petrovsky, political scientist