So the Ukraine Invasion Is NATO’s Fault?

Or, a political calculation gone haywire

Photo by Stephanie LeBlanc on Unsplash

Peacekeeping forces!! That was the first time I heard about them. They were from NATO. Deployed initially during the Balkan war in the ’90s. Scenes of tanks rolling into the streets of Serbia and Bosnia with CNN’s Christian Amanpour mic’d up in the foreground. Even as the massacres continued to pile up in the Balkans, and the Bosniaks became targets of ethnic strife, NATO’s peacekeeping forces seemed more interested in maintaining their own peace of mind rather than actually keeping the peace.

It was not until the Srebrenica massacre (designated a safe zone by the UN) and the Sarajevo attack did the UN drag itself to the drawing board and authorize NATO to take out Serbian targets, an act which eventually resulted in the Dayton peace accords — albeit after thousands of Bosniaks were killed. Notice here — the action was authorized by the UN. NATO didn’t go in alone.

The next big engagement NATO was involved in was Libya in 2011. The Gaddafi uprising, motivated by the Arab Spring movement spreading in the continent like wildfire, was fodder enough for the UN and NATO to throw their hats into the thicket. It should be noted that NATO forces were engaged when there was a civil war in Libya.

NATO was created by both the US and Canada with several European states in 1949 to help check the spread of Communism eastwards in Europe after the Iron curtain cast her dark shadow on the continent. In both these cases listed above (and even in other engagements), NATO never acted unanimously. It was always with the blessings of the UN. Ironically though, NATO has never acted against Russia or any of Russia’s vassal states. This begs the question then as to the relevance of this body in its entirety. In fact, one is almost tempted to say that, given the raison d’être, NATO is a toothless Tiger!!

It is therefore with a lot of trepidation that the world watched a Russian invasion of Ukraine. Now, what would prompt Russia to do something like this? Talk to any of these new-age pundits out there and they wax eloquent about how America and NATO have been indirectly trying to encircle Russia for years.

Let’s examine some of these reasons.

The US wants to encircle Russia by dangling NATO membership as a carrot to Ukraine.

I keep hearing this argument. Membership in any international body is applied for and not granted de-facto. Turkey, for instance, has been trying to break into the EU for decades now and has literally given up since its membership was never accepted.

NATO membership on the other hand was also a restricted club that did not include all European countries. When Victor Yanukovych was in power in Ukraine (2010- 2014), it is safe to say that public interest in joining NATO was low. Way back in 2008, even when NATO had offered Ukraine a path to membership, they ignored it.

Nobody had a problem with Ukraine not wanting to join NATO !! Warships weren’t dispatched to the gulf to pressurize them.

Photo by Eugene on Unsplash

The basis of this trust was set in 1994, when Russia, Ukraine, the U.S., and the UK signed the Budapest Agreement. Ukraine agreed to give up its stockpile of nuclear weapons in return for guarantees that neither the US nor Russia would attack it.

Then came the coup in 2014 which overthrew Yanukovych and catapulted Petro Poroshenko into power. We are told that this coup was openly supported by the U.S. and Germany, which makes the Ukraine President a U.S. puppet. By the same yardstick, wasn’t Yanukovych himself a Russian puppet?

Are we to understand that Ukraine, being an independent sovereign country has to play exclusively by the Russian playbook?

If Ukraine wants to apply to join NATO, then that is a choice it is entitled to take with its own interests at heart. Trying to pin the blame on NATO encirclement of Russia simply doesn’t hold any water at all. Again — NATO, since it came into existence, despite its intentions, has tried its level best to avoid direct conflict with Russia.

Russia had to invade Ukraine as was left with no options!!

What options are we talking about? Last I recall it was Russia who invaded Ukraine. In fact, disturbances began in the east of Ukraine in Donbass in 2014, after Russia’s puppet leader was ousted from Ukraine. Then, like a spoilt child, Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. Soon afterward, public perception about joining NATO in Ukraine began to change…naturally so.

Come to think of it, won’t Ukrainians be distrustful of their bigger neighbour who over the decades has shown scant disrespect for life in its dealings with Chechens and doesn’t think twice before using indiscriminate force and ripping up international agreements?

Photo by Koshu Kunii on Unsplash

The only crime Ukraine was guilty of, is installing a democratic government and rejecting a Kremlin puppet. Ukraine’s public had no issue with that — don’t see why anyone else should. In fact, after Russia invaded Ukraine — it is Ukraine that has been left with no option but to fight back.

If Ukraine Joins NATO, missiles will be installed there targeting Russia.

So we’re to believe that Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons arsenal in 1994, just to be able to install rockets supplied by NATO and point them towards Russia (a nuclear state)??

Clearly, Ukraine has a death wish!

Photo by Jeremy Bezanger on Unsplash

A country like Ukraine — which is about a fraction of the size of Russia and has a Russian-speaking population — is about to turn its back on its parent? Again, another insinuation that has no basis whatsoever.

Consider for a moment if governments the world over would conduct their affairs on such premises. China would immediately attack Taiwan — since Taiwan is a breakaway province and has artillery pointing in its direction (to defend itself). In fact, India would attack Sri Lanka, since China now owns a port there and could possibly install rockets!! North and South Korea should immediately break out in war since they’re suspicious of each other’s motives and for decades have had their guns trained on each other in case of any mishap.

If international affairs were conducted on the basis of probability (not possibility), we would be living in a very different world.

In fact, just last week Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov warned Moldova against joining NATO. One can hardly blame them, since even neutral countries such as Finland and Norway are now considering NATO membership despite staying neutral for decades.

One has to really ask now whether this was part of Russia’s plan all along to reclaim its breakaway states. International politics is a quagmire.

Again, how much of this is NATO’s fault?



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Mario Rozario

Mario Rozario

Runner at Dawn: Trainer by Day: Reader by Night: Dreamer at Midnight..