Ukrainian President Zelensky says his country will file an expedited application to join NATO immediately. “’De facto, we have already proven interoperability with the Alliance’s standards, they are real for Ukraine — real on the battlefield and in all aspects of our interaction,’ Zelensky said. ‘Today, Ukraine is applying to make it de jure.” “Zelensky says Ukraine filing expedited application to join NATO” This reverses Zelensky’s statements he made in March of his willingness to stay out of NATO.
NATO members should just say no. Hell no! After successfully serving to protect the West from the USSR, post-Soviet NATO has become a liability. After breaking our promise not to expand NATO further east in exchange for Russia’s agreement to the reunification of Germany, NATO has done nothing but cause problems.
In December 2021, Russia released an eight-point draft treaty to prevent its invasion of Ukraine. At the top of its list was no NATO membership for Ukraine. Soon after Russia’s invasion, President Zelensky offered to give up seeking NATO membership and agreed to much of what Russia demanded. The status of the largely Russian Donetsk and Lugansk was the largest sticking point. For reasons I totally fail to understand, the United States and its NATO allies refused to remove Ukraine’s NATO membership from the table while stating that membership was not a near term prospect. “Ukraine-Russia-NATO”
In March, following Russia’s stalled Feb 23 attack on Kyiv, representatives of Russia and Ukraine met at Belovezhskaya Pushcha, on the border of Poland and Belarus, for initial ceasefire talks.
Putin made six key demands:
- No NATO membership and a neutral position.
- Russian should be the second official language of Ukraine, with laws prohibiting it abolished.
- Recognize Crimea as Russian territory.
- Recognize the independence of Donetsk and Lugansk.
- Demilitarization of Ukraine and abandonment of weapons that could be a threat to the Kremlin.
- Banning of ultra-nationalist parties and organizations in Ukraine.
Of these, only #4 would be difficult for Ukraine to accept, but no agreement was reached, and the fighting continued with more and more Western support. “Ukraine’s and Russia’s war” The U.S. and NATO can bring Ukraine to the peace table anytime they want (by threatening to end their military and financial support). No compromise agreement was reached in December, February, March or beyond. And NATO keeps expanding. Why? Why is the U.S. and NATO not pushing to make a peace agreement happen? If Russia still thinks it can come out ahead, China, India and others should convince it otherwise.
In a recent column in the Washington Post former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen, former U.S. senator Sam Nunn (D-Ga.) and former U.S. energy secretary Ernest J. Moniz, all of whom serve on the Nuclear Threat Initiative’s board of directors urged China to step forward:
“The most sensible policy choice for China is to wield its unique position of influence to encourage more “rational” decision-making by Putin. In particular, President Xi must make clear to Putin that nuclear use is a line he must not cross and that nuclear saber-rattling itself threatens the global nuclear order…. The United States and China can — and must — now work together with Europe and other nations to help end this war on the “just terms” called for by Biden in his speech to the United Nations.” “Xi Putin Ukraine nuclear arms”
Every few months, I have urged us to stop this destructive war now. As winter approaches Europe with mounting energy shortages, I say it again. Stop it now. “End the war in Ukraine”