Stoltenberg Visits Ukraine, Urges Kiev-NATO Cooperation

Poroshenko’s Ukraine Becomes “Eastern Outpost of
Euro-Atlantic Civilization”

Guest Article by Vitaly Varavka

Odna Rodyna
Autotranslation with minor editing by Quemado Institute
September 23, 2015

Jens Stoltenberg, Petro Poroshenko

Jens Stoltenberg, Petro Poroshenko

“Ruins of the Ukrainian state and the army is complete.” Jens Stoltenberg could leave this inscription on the walls of the residence of President Poroshenko, if he had been in place kinogeroya Leonid Bykov.

The NATO Secretary General visited Ukraine during two-day stay and found that, although between Ukraine and the alliance “there is a wide range of cooperation in very different areas,” this is not enough for Kiev’s accession into NATO. Do not join and help prop “Movement for Ukraine in NATO”, created exactly upon the arrival Stoltenberg.

Stoltenberg, assessing the situation diplomatically, pointed out that “NATO is working together with Ukraine and supporting it in reforms, adaptation of the armed forces so that they are more suited to NATO.” However, no exception to the standard procedure will be made for Kiev, he promises: “After these reforms, Ukraine will decide whether to file an application to join NATO, and then we will evaluate this statement on a common basis.” The NATO Secretary-General did not say that it is not only the reform, ie the transition to NATO standards of what is called the Ukrainian army, although to the problems here there is no end.

There is also the question: who will pay for that APU [Ukrainian Armed Forces] that is “more suited to the NATO”? Ukraine’s external debt which reached 127 billion dollars and amounted to 123% of GDP, is clearly not. And whether it is necessary NATO ?! If someone is right, the only non-European members of the alliance, which came to the fore the problem of refugees. Germany alone this year will be spent on them 10 billion. Euro.

In other words, in the foreseeable future even hope that APU [Ukrainian Armed Forces] will go to NATO standards, the more buy Western arms and military equipment, is not necessary. Stoltenberg is a fact well understood, for not speaking about the unification of “standards”, but only that the Armed Forces of Ukraine “more suited to NATO.” In other words, the closer to the horizon, the further it moves away from you.

In late August, the Ukrainian authorities have approved five agreements on the reduction of the armed forces to NATO standards. Experts believe that Ukraine will not qualify for NATO membership in the next 20 years. And over the years, not only a lot of water in the river will flow away, but the world would be different.

* * *

Secretary General to remain silent and that Ukraine’s accession to NATO would mean that the transition to the West “red line”, which was finally marked Russia in promoting the alliance’s eastward. At a time when there are signs of cooperation between Washington and Moscow in tackling LIH and settlement of the situation in Syria, such a step absolutely unthinkable.

We can assume that in Western capitals do not forget about Russia’s allies. “The SCO brings together almost as many nuclear powers, as the UN Security Council, and the prospect of membership of Iran (once sanctions are lifted) will further strengthen this trend,” – it describes the strategic weight of the Association of Polish Gazeta Wyborcza.

While in December last year Kiev declined to non-aligned status, and the new military doctrine envisages accelerated Euro-Atlantic integration, the president of Poroshenko could not ignore the new realities. “Is Ukraine ready to join NATO? The answer is very simple – no. We need to prepare for it. Is NATO ready for Ukraine to become a member – no. But I must say that everything must be done to change the Ukraine to become a member of the European Union. Because the criteria are the same. But NATO’s door [for Ukraine] remain open since 2008 “- Poroshenko said during a joint press conference with Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

Traditionally, the Ukrainian president has promised to hold a referendum on NATO membership. Moreover, according to him, the level of support for the Euro-Atlantic choice of more than 60%. Where the President took these figures, it is difficult to judge. After all, at the beginning of June to join NATO, according to the Kiev International Institute of Sociology (KIIS), supported by only 37% of respondents. It is difficult to imagine that three months support has grown almost twice. In addition, Poroshenko himself carved. It was he still believes that the Crimea and the Donbass part of Ukraine. But polls there Kiev sociological services are not carried out!

At the same time, Poroshenko at pains to emphasize a special character of relations between Ukraine and NATO. “Yes, Ukraine is not a member of NATO. Unfortunately, de jure, we are not allies, but de facto, I can not emphasize this, we are much more than partners, “- Poroshenko said at a meeting of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC), which was attended by the secretary general of the alliance.

Stoltenberg at a meeting of the National Security Council noted that Ukraine “can rely on NATO.” However, he paid more attention to the hated leaders of the Kiev topic – Minsk agreements. “We (the Alliance) support the full implementation of the agreements Minsk, since it is the only way out of the crisis … It is very important for Ukraine to continue to go through the enforcement of all aspects of the Minsk accords and to ensure peace and stability and the sovereignty”, – said the secretary general.

During the visit, Stoltenberg signed a number of documents. In particular, the Road Map program Partnership for Strategic Communications, a joint declaration on strengthening the military-technical cooperation between Ukraine and NATO, the agreement on the status of NATO representation in Ukraine. Until now, in Kiev it acted only information center of the alliance, which in the conditions of Ukraine, as it turns out, is not enough.

In order to demonstrate the practical cooperation between NATO and Ukraine and Poroshenko together Stoltenberg opened the international exercise in the aftermath of an emergency or natural man-made disasters in the Yavoriv training ground in the Lviv region.

As one of the areas of cooperation outlined Stoltenberg help restore Ukrainian Navy, but so far only at the level of opportunities at “issues that Ukrainians would like to discuss with us.” As they say, fast easier said than done. Besides, why help the fleet so that its only selling missile cruiser ?! And as the areas of cooperation that have already been implemented, the secretary general called “cooperation in the field of command and control, logistics, cyber security, mine clearance.”

Poroshenko, who is still in a state of “regional, continental war, which threatens peace and stability in the world”, noted that Ukraine is the easternmost outpost of the Euro-Atlantic civilization, not only protects its sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of the Ukrainian state. However, he stressed that “we will not allow anyone from outside the country to try to influence this process. It is solely the right of the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian government, and we are your choice in favor of European values, the European civilization development made during the Revolution of dignity. ”

What do you think about this? While Stoltenberg does not occupy the chair presiding at the NSDC. But the Ukrainian president reported to him. Apparently, already used. And it does not consider NATO Secretary General outsider in the affairs of domestic and foreign policy of Ukraine. Otherwise, it would be unclear why the United States “handed over power” to the current regime in Kiev during the “revolution of dignity.”

* * *

NATO Secretary General’s visit to Ukraine has shown that the prospect of membership in the alliance of Kiev, as before, remain rather vague. However, there is increased cooperation with the Western mode of the Kiev military-political bloc that could hamper normalization of relations with Russia.

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