In a news release, NATO said Ukraine can join the bloc when allies agree and conditions for Ukrainian membership are met. It sounds like an evasive statement, which likely points to the unwillingness of NATO to open its doors for Ukraine. President Volodymyr Zelensky called the whole situation “absurd” and a motivation for Moscow to continue its terror against Ukraine.

Mykhailo Podolyak, an advisor to Ukraine’s Presidential Office, is more optimistic. He is convinced that Ukraine will get an invitation to join NATO at the Washington summit in 2024. He is confident that Russia will cease to exist as a country capable of waging wars by then.

Will Russia be so emasculated as to be incapable of taking further military action against Ukraine? Only time will tell. No matter how much we would like to dismiss the possibility of Russia using nuclear weapons in a desperate fight to avoid defeat and subsequent humiliation, we can’t underestimate Russia until its decisively defeated.

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Even NATO membership doesn’t guarantee complete safety from Russian aggression. A Russian missile which landed near the northern Polish city of Bydgoszcz is a perfect example of this. Would there be no response from NATO if a similar missile landed in Germany?

There appear to be first- and second-class members in NATO. While it’s never going to be stated openly, one can surmise that the US and Western Europe are first-class NATO members . The US is a key player in NATO’s nuclear weapons sharing program. Poland hopes to join the program, but the US is unlikely to agree to such a provocative move.

300 Years of Attempted Genocide
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300 Years of Attempted Genocide

In Vladimir Putin’s perverse view, Ukraine is not a valid, sovereign nation. And with Russia’s targeting of civilians, including women and children, it seeks to destroy Ukraine’s very lifeblood.

Given the current geopolitical context, what Russian political scientist Sergey Karaganov wrote in his article titled “There is no choice: Russia will have to launch a nuclear strike on Europe” about America unwilling to sacrifice a hypothetical Boston for a hypothetical Poznan is likely accurate. Poland, Finland, the Baltics and Romania are in NATO but it doesn’t mean they should believe Biden’s assurances that every inch of NATO territory is sacred. Policymakers and average citizens constantly talk about the NATO charter’s Article 5, but what does it actually say?

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Article 5 provides that if a NATO Ally is the victim of an armed attack, each and every other member of the Alliance will consider this act of violence as an armed attack against all members and will take the actions it deems necessary to assist the Ally attacked.”

The phrase “deems necessary” seems to indicate that NATO allies don’t need to help militarily if they are unwilling to do so. One NATO member might deem it necessary to send helmets, while another member decides to send nuclear weapons.

Then there is the matter of hybrid warfare, which includes cyberattacks and disinformation campaigns aimed at influencing elections.

In addition, the presidents of Poland, Lithuania and Latvia have written a letter to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg warning that the presence of the Wagner Group mercenaries in Belarus could lead to the loss of control of Russian nuclear weapons. Has there been any kind of NATO action plan in response to dangerous developments in Belarus?

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If the crisis with Belarus escalates, Poland will have to declare a state of emergency near the border with Belarus. NATO’s condemnation of nuclear weapons in Belarus is a welcome step, but verbal statements don’t deter Putin. Poland and the Baltics can’t feel safe when all they get from NATO are verbal assurances.

Nations on the eastern NATO flank understand the difficult position Ukraine is in. Poland is doing what it can to speed up Ukraine’s NATO accession process. Andrzej Duda also recently said that NATO’s declaration concerning Ukraine’s future NATO membership is insufficient. The Polish President doesn’t rule out sending troops to Ukraine, but only when there’s a ceasefire.

Ukraine is set to receive Israel-style security guarantees from its powerful Western allies, including the UK, US, France, and Germany, to bolster its defenses against Russian aggression. France will supply Ukraine with long-range cruise missiles.A coalition of 11 western countries will begin training Ukrainian pilots in modern US-made F-16 fighter aircraft next month, the defense ministers of Denmark and Netherlands said on Tuesday.

While these are welcome steps, they don’t seem to be enough to deter Russia from raining missiles down on Ukraine. Are there alternatives to NATO for countries in the region?

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Intermarium was a post-World War I geopolitical plan conceived by Józef Piłsudski to unite former Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth lands within a single polity. Perhaps reviving Intermarium could be a viable alternative to NATO for Poland and its closest neighbors and allies. As appealing as it might be, however, discussing Intermarium is impractical at this point. Ukraine must win the war first. 

The views expressed in this opinion article are the author’s and not necessarily those of Kyiv Post.

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Comments (4)

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Gavan Duffy
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It is sad that NATO is doing the talking while the Ukranian people are doing the suffering ,fighting and dying.

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I support
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I think that everyone needs to take a deep breath. Are their first and second class in Nato yes. But l think it's more a rich nation poor nation. The Americans have and will give a lot because they are a superpower its in there interest to help the Ukraine. Zelensky hasn't asked for boots on the ground just support. Which is happening you just can't rush F16 training at a pace any faster than what's happening right now. I don't think negatively about the Ukraines frustration just because we provide the support doesn't mean there not intitled to an opion. There fighting,the war and dying. The thing is and it's a shame we have to defeat them in the Ukraine as it is right now or we risk a more larger war which is WW 3 . My respect to all the Ukrainian solders dying right now and to the Nato solders standing ready.

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Joseph Swanson
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"There appear to be first- and second-class members in NATO."
Absolutely correct.

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Fwnrir in the Bog
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So we, the USA, has given more support to Ukraine in the way of weapons and funding and this is what Ukrainians think? This article is absurd, and maybe people like me should forward this article to my senator and congressmen and tell them we are wasting our money. I admit I only read the first couple of paragraphs, but I am so angry about that the rest can go hang. I hope the rest of the Ukrain doesn't feel like this jack ass.

Fenrir in the Bog
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@Fwnrir in the Bog, on top of that, we have more troops stationed in Eastern Europe than we do Western. This article is a joke.

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Steve
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@Fwnrir in the Bog,

Steve
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@Fwnrir in the Bog. I’m not sure we can blame any Ukrainians for their frustration. They’ve been trying to sound the alarms about the massive bully next door and trying to get into NATO for a long time. The USA contribution is huge (though relatively average as a per capita expense compared to other donors), and is greatly appreciated by every single Ukrainian.

Support Ukraine
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@Steve, The Bog person maybe a real American, or a fake one.
I saw nothing negative about the USA in the article.
Keep in mind the possibility of a Russian influence operation - anything that discourages western support for Ukraine will help Putin's genocidal invasion.

Fenrir in the Bog
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@Support Ukraine, I spent 17 years with 13 as a STS1/SS in the USN and 4 years as a 11B, 11M, and 11C in the Army. Fake? Right, how's Moscow troll.

Reporter literally says in the first paragraph that we wouldn't defend Poznan like we would Boston cause Poland is second rate. Tell that to the Americans now stationed in Poland.

Yes I am American and that is just simply insulting. We have done more for Ukraine then all the rest combined. Don't tell me about fighting for freedom, I gave till I was disabled in the middle east. You sir, are just a jackass.

Joseph Swanson
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@Fenrir in the Bog, Amazing...all those years and not one of your MOS' required you to have proper reading comprehension skills. How many times did you have to take the ASVAB?
There is nothing to feel insulted by in this article since this article has mentioned nothing negative about the USA.
Fake outrage from a fake commentor...that's you titushky.
There will be one extra slice of bread and one bottle of vodka this month from your uncle putlin.

Fenrir in the Bog
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@Joseph Swanson, your reading comprehension is that of what? Third grade at best? The author implies that we will not offer the same protection to eastern European countries that we would our own or even western. It is expressly pointed out as such since we will not put nuclear weapons in Poland. I at least grew yup with the reading rainbow featuring Jordie from Star Trek. LRN2READ.

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