A few months ago, the issue of Ukraine’s admission to NATO was debated. NATO told Ukraine that it was “only a matter of time” before it would be granted membership.
Let’s be blunt: That time has now run out. NATO must act immediately, and it must do more than simply give Ukraine a promise of defense. It must arm Ukraine to the teeth. It must make it such a hard target that the lunatics who “govern” neo-Soviet Russia will not even consider moving against it, as they recently did in Georgia.
The reasons are so obvious that they hardly need to be stated.
The role played by Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in brutally assaulting Ukraine has not been sufficiently reported, but Ukraine understands it only too well. Last week, Ukraine demanded that Russia give 72 hours notice before activating war ships at its naval base in Crimea, on Ukrainian territory (similar to the U.S. base in Guantanamo, Cuba). Russia said it would simply ignore the demand. The Moscow Times reported: “The chief of Ukraine’s General Staff, Serhiy Kirichenko, promised to fulfill Yushchenko’s decree. ‘The president’s decree on the Black Sea Fleet will, of course, be implemented on the territory of Ukraine. The Defense Ministry and the General Staff are among those state bodies responsible for this task.’”
As Ukraine stands up for its comrade Georgia, demanding that Russia not use ships based in Ukraine to blockade or otherwise torment Georgia without at least giving due notice to their host, Russia uses this as a pretext to ratchet up its confrontation rather than defuse it. It is a clear signal that Russia’s intentions towards Ukraine are at least as malevolent as they are towards Georgia, if not more so.
It’s widely believed that Russia had a hand in poisoning Victor Yushchenko, Ukraine’s pro-West president, in order to keep Ukraine out of the Western fold, and there is simply no doubt that if the West does not take resolute action Ukraine may be the next domino to fall under the advancing Russian army. Bringing Ukraine into NATO and arming it is the best possible way to avoid having to commit NATO troops to fighting there, which could end up happening if Russian tanks roll in regardless of whether it has NATO membership or not.