Ukraine Partnering with NATO…to the Surprise of No One

April 24, 2015 at 3:07 PM

This handout picture taken and received by the Prime Minister press service on August 14, 2014 shows Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk making the thumbs up after voting at the Parliament during a session. Ukraine's Parliament on August 14 approved a law paving the way for a string of sanctions on Russian businesses and nationals accused of backing a separatist uprising in the east of the country. Kiev has drawn up a sanctions list of 65 mainly Russian companies and 172 individuals and the new law now gives Ukraine's National Security and Defence Council -- headed by the president -- the right to impose the punitive measures. AFP PHOTO/ PRIME MINISTER PRESS SERVICE/ ANDREW KRAVCHENKO -- RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE- MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO /PRIME MINISTER PRESS SERVICE / ANDREW KRAVCHENKO" - NO MARKETING - NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS --

Despite more than a year of claiming otherwise, the US-backed government of Ukraine is now openly acknowledging their close association with NATO. Although the rhetoric is carefully guarded so as not to admit that Ukraine has become a de facto NATO member, the inescapable fact is that it is in all but name.

Remember back in 2013 and 2014 when those who railed against the US-NATO manufactured conflict in Ukraine – decrying Washington’s and Brussels’ belligerent policies as clear and unmistakable provocations – were called ‘conspiracy theorists’ for daring to suggest that behind the flowery language of ‘democracy’ and ‘liberal European values’ lay an insidious effort to bring Ukraine into NATO’s orbit? Remember how such voices (this author included) were described as ‘paranoid’ and ‘Putin propagandists’ while the United States’ handpicked successors to deposed President Yanukovich in Kiev were described as ‘patriots’ and ‘protectors of sovereignty’? Well, as it turns out, the conspiracy theories were incontrovertible facts, and the so-called ‘patriots’ were (and are) inveterate liars.

Ukraine: Reality vs Fiction

As Ukraine continues its slide into total and irreversible economic collapse, and Donetsk and Lugansk endure a second year of war, a little publicized announcement was made in Kiev by Prime Minister Yatsenyuk. On April 8, Interfax-Ukraine reported that Ukraine would be signing an agreement for close military cooperation with NATO. As Yatsenyuk himself explained, “The government is signing an agreement on cooperation in the field of support with NATO. It is an agreement on support between the Ukrainian Cabinet and NATO, which envisages the implementation of four trust projects with NATO, including military and technical cooperation, communications, new communications and information technologies.” Naturally, the language employed in this statement is critical to understanding the true meaning of the agreement.

First of all is the completely laughable notion of “cooperation” and “support” with NATO. A global military force employing some of the most advanced weapons systems and battlefield tactics is not exactly in search of a partner as dilapidated, disheveled, corruption-ridden, and generally ineffective as the Ukrainian military. The phrasing is merely a rhetorical flourish designed to save face in front of the already deeply discouraged and humiliated people of Ukraine, while simultaneously obscuring the fact that its military will now be merely an annex of NATO. In other words, far from a “partnership,” Ukraine is entering into an agreement of submission and subservience.

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