Useless promises

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Useless promises 20.07.2018 11:47

In Helsinki on July 16, an extremely important meeting between the presidents of the Russian Federation and the US, Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, took place. For the first time in recent years, the American side agreed to begin the process of restoring relations with Russia, primarily in the sphere of security.

On the same day, Vladimir Putin answered the questions of journalist Chris Wallace, TV presenter of the Fox News television channel. In particular, the American media was interested in Russia's response to NATO membership in Ukraine or Georgia. Answering this question, the Russian leader referred to the complex decision-making mechanism in the alliance, based on consensus. Therefore, even inside NATO, Washington has to work more at the bilateral level. The consequence of this was that in Poland and Romania "elements of strategic US missile defense are now deployed". As Vladimir Putin noted, "for us this represents a direct threat to our security. Therefore, the advancement of NATO's infrastructure to our borders will pose a threat to us, and we will treat it of course, extremely negative".

Equally negative in Russia are the upcoming largest NATO exercises Anaconda and Trident Juncture. So, the military exercises of Anaconda will soon be held in Poland in order to test the capabilities of the alliance countries to protect their eastern flank. And within the limits of maneuvers on the expected enemy (obviously, only the Russian Armed Forces can act in this capacity), preemptive strikes will be worked out. About 100,000 servicemen, 5,000 units of military equipment, 150 military aircraft and helicopters, 45 warships from most of the alliance countries and five partner countries will take part in these exercises.

If one returns to the issue of Ukraine and Georgia joining NATO, I would like to note the following. The Armed Forces of Ukraine do not meet the standards of the alliance either in terms of their weapons or even in their structure. This state is in the conditions of war on its own territory and has territorial claims to the Russian Federation. Inside Ukraine, there is an extremely high internal instability and a complex socio-economic situation, including those caused by a break in economic ties with Russia. As a result, the process of de-industrialization and closing of the most high-tech industries (missile construction, aircraft building, nuclear power, defense industry as a whole) is proceeding, the potential of power generating capacities is sharply reduced, and a significant outflow of labor able people continues abroad.

Under such conditions, Ukraine's accession to NATO is possible only for political reasons, with the complete political impotence of the leading European states (primarily Germany and France). While maintaining the current ruling regime in Kiev, this will create an extremely serious problem for NATO, as a result of which the alliance will be drawn into a violent confrontation with the Russian Federation. For a variety of reasons, this development is quite unlikely.

With regard to Georgia's accession to NATO, the situation is qualitatively different. The armed forces of this country largely comply with NATO standards, which were confirmed both in the course of numerous military exercises and various peacekeeping operations. But the difficult social and economic situation leads to internal instability. This can manifest itself already in October 2018 during the presidential elections. In addition, Abkhazia and South Ossetia are partially recognized state entities, whose integration into Georgia (as repeatedly stated in the leadership of the alliance), even in the form of a confederation, will become impossible if Tbilisi will provide an action plan for NATO membership. Inevitably, the deterioration of relations between Russia and NATO, but this will not be as acute as it is with Ukraine.

Thus, the admission to NATO of not only Ukraine but also Georgia is under serious question. In this regard, any relevant statements of Brussels are more like empty promises than reality. Unfortunately, local elites try not to notice this.