Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (R) and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg give a press conference after their talks in Kiev on July 10, 2017. Russia…has nothing to worry about.
And another one bites the dust.
From “your guy Yats” back in 2014 to now, Russia’s oldest ally, Ukraine, is enroute to NATO membership.
Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko said Thursday during an “Independence Day” celebration that the country had one path forward. “Our Ukrainian caravan is on a roll and we have one road to travel upon — a wide Euro-Atlantic highway, leading to membership in the European Union and NATO,” he said during a speech in Kiev, as reported by Russian business daily Kommersant.
It is not the first time Poroshenko alluded to his government’s desire to join the Western military alliance, something the Kremlin knew has been brewing since 2014. “We destroyed the visa curtain with the West, and it is now de facto and de jure our break with that evil empire,” Poroshenko said, reiterating similar guarantees of NATO desires made in July with NATO SecGen Jens Stoltenberg by his side.
For years, the Russian government has complained that the U.S. led NATO was encroaching on its old orbit. Ukraine would be the final nail in the Russia vs NATO coffin, if you will, as it is the one country in the old Soviet Union that has the most ties to Russia.
Ten Warsaw Pact nations, not counting a re-unified Germany, have become NATO members since the fall of the Soviet Union, beginning with the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland in March of that year.
Close Russia watchers believe that Russia annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea on a gamble that Kiev’s new pro-Western government, then led by Arseniy “Yats” Yatsenyuk, would move to join NATO. In such a case, Russia would have lost its only warm water naval port in the Black Sea. Russia’s historic Black Sea Fleet is stationed there. Others believe that with Crimea firmly in Russia’s grasp since 2014, Russian security planners have moved to create disturbances in East Ukraine in an effort to block entry into NATO as NATO would not allow new nations into the fold that have ongoing border disputes. This means that if Ukraine ever is to become a NATO member, either Donbass and Luhansk separatists would have laid down their weapons in a lasting peace treaty, and Kiev would have recognized Crimea as part of Russia. Russia is never returning its Black Sea military bases over to NATO real estate brokers, that is for sure. (Not unless there is a regime change in Moscow and Putin’s United Russia party is thrown to the curb, then maybe. Though what Russia would get from that is unkown. Maybe NATO rental payments for Sevestapol ports.)