NATO’s newest communiqué has passed. Given the divisive and flaming rhetoric used during the negotiations, it is relieving to see a sober press release.
As the Estonian PM devilishly had remarked to RT at the beginning of the day, “Russia should be scared”. So much for the defensive character of NATO.
For example, many more hawkish members wanted to include clauses that provided for more cooperation with Finland and Sweden. A dangerous encircling move that could have destabilized the entire Arctic. Luckily, it was scratched.
Surprisingly, Article 5 was also hotly debated in the current draft. The discussion ranges from those who wanted to define the defense case liberally; even terrorist attacks could warrant a NATO invasion and so could cyber-attacks. Given the neurotic habit of the West to see behind every Hacker President Putin himself, a mere security breach could lead irresponsible players like Estonia to invoke Article 5 on a whim. Others wanted to see it more of a last resort, citing existing international case law such as the invocation following 9/11. Portugal, of all, has proliferated itself as a moderate. He says “For now, NATO states publicly that it will always convene before invoking Art. 5”. Here’s to hoping, that this moderation will prevail in the long run.
Besides the radicality, there seems to be another theme running through this summit: Division.
NATO members were divided over the inclusion of women, with Turkey and alike despairing over the self-centered gender mania of the West. They are divided over the question of Ukraine. They were divided over Article 5. And here’s the real news; Italy was signaling its desire to exit the alliance. Turkey and Iceland, too, have in the past been threatened by exclusion. Unmods were yelly. Consultations of the whole saw passionate and indeed extraordinarily eloquent speeches.
Good to see, that the heads of government let out all their aggressiveness during the talks, and not in the final communiqué.
Lively speeches shook up yesterday’s and this morning’s sessions. Women’s participation in NATO proved anything but agreeable, showcasing the deep cultural divisions miring the “defence” alliance.
Leave it to the West to squabble about the what the current state of identity politics dictates. This can provoke nothing but headshaking in those parts of the world, that have not lost their marbles yet. President Erdogan, itself not entangled in the American gender egalitarianism ideology, assured that women “produce strong families, produce strong nations”. As a voice of reason, he also called out the US for its hypocritical activity in the Middle East, where American weapons and trainers empower actual terrorist groups. The alliance is anything but.
Working Papers have been tabled, and the proud heads of government go a it again. Russia Today gained exclusive access because NATO talks are as leaky as Eastern Ukrainian borders.
Unsurprisingly, the draft communiqué is riddled with conspiracy theories of Russian aggression. Similarly, NATO remains “firmly committed to the idea that an independent, sovereign and stable Ukraine, who is actively adhering to the rule of law and committed to democracy is central to Euro-Atlantic security”. Yeah, right. As if the neofascist Ukrainian regime choke–holding the discriminated Russian minority is anywhere close to that. But the West’s hypocrisy in selecting its dialogue partners prevails. The draft thus far is ambiguous regarding reengagement with Russia.
The biggest saber-rattling, however, rings from the naval plans of NATO in the Atlantic. As of now, they foresee naval bases serving as a platform to launch rapid, aggressive, and reflexive military operations into the hearts of Russian waters. Moscow ought to take appropriate defense measures.
Additionally, the encirclement of Russia by leading Finland, Sweden and Ukraine closer to joining is furthered as well. As the Chairs remarked in an unmod, “The US would arm babies if they could”. Truer words have not been spoken in these negotiations.
Simon Pompé for Russia Today
FRIDAY, 03. 05. 2019
Ukraine has taken the centre stage at the NATO talks.
A controversial discussion had surfaced over the future of the Eastern conflict around the independence seeking parts of Ukraine such as Donbas and Crimea. Some, more reconciliatory member states, want to trade; NATO accepts Crimea as legitimate Russian territory, and in turn, Ukraine can enter talks regarding a future membership in the alliance.
Ukrainian membership would not sit well with Moscow who seeks to maintain a line of defence against an encroaching West. It goes without saying that the more hawkish NATO members therefore are in strong favour of Ukrainian accession. Some, more levelheaded heads of governments therefore caution the move.
To resolve the dispute, NATO invited the Ukrainian and Russian delegates.
The former was sure to repeat assertions of Russian aggression and allegations (without providing evidence) of Russian military personnel in its Eastern parts. It is clear that Ukraine will hardly budge an continue to showcase stubbornness over constructive compromise.
The Russian delegate, on the other hand, was also not too enthused by nATO’s plans to trade borders like chess pieces.
The Turkish delegate remarked that the negotiations were “a bit all over the place”. We shall see whether a substantive deal regarding Ukrainian membership will be reached or other past issues. The discussions moved on to the Mediterranean now, as the immigration issue continues to dominate domestic European politics.
In a room full of proud Western heads of governments, often, domestic politics prevail over perceived common interest. Maybe once they realise that NATO as an institution is unwarranted in the current age, they will get somewhere; perhaps together with Russia.
Simon Pompé for Russia Today
NATO has fallen back into its usual parameters.
On one side, you have the hawks. Those voices, who seek confrontation with everyone and everything. This includes Estonia with their habitual dogma of Russiaphobia, the United States with their hegemonic encroachment on other people’s sovereignty, and Canada and the UK, the vassals of the US. They are further joined by Eastern European Countries, who fear Russia’s presence, seemingly unaware that it was NATO encroachment that provoked the worsening of relations before 2014.
On the other side, there are doves, like Portugal and Germany, who prefer productive dialogue over confrontation. As Portugal elaborated to RT, “You cannot abandon the interests of member states like Estonia, otherwise you alienate them. At the same time, for political dialogue to happen, you need to engage with a real political partner”. This adequately showcases NATO’s long-term policy of Deterrence and Dialogue. However, this really just translates into the West attempting to dictate conditions of geopolitics while threatening military actions. Strong heads of states will surely not be intimidated by such tactics.
Hungary, meanwhile, expresses irritation at the fact that the extremist regime of Ukraine is treating the Hungarian minority not so well. The EU should think twice before associating with such players, but in their power games, they only see us versus them.
Cybercrime prevails as the issue of the day. Estonia, the US and their fellows suspect Russia behind every single cyberattack conducted on this planet, always. However, why should the Kreml be to blame for the actions of private hacker groups? Russia and global criminals are equated with comfortable routine.
NATO’s heads-of-states are holding high-level talks in Maastricht over the next four days, and the usual rifts are emerging again. And, to no surprise, a paranoid anti-Russian sentiment prevails.
One example is the issue of the financial contributions each member state is supposed to pay. According to the original Atlantic Treaty, two entire percent of the parties’ GDP NATO wants to devour. Some, like Luxembourg’s Prime Minister, justly criticise, why states with little to no security interested vested in NATO should pay such an enormous fee. Similarly, Hungary’s PM and others realise that just throwing money at the issue does not help anything.
Is NATO perhaps learning? Do they maybe finally realize that paying for a defence organisation based in the Cold War Era makes little sense in current times? Of course, the usual players like Canada, USA and Estonia were firm in their belief that supposed Russian aggression warrants a 2%-spending rule.
Estonia was also spearheading criticism of Russia when it came to the topic of cybersecurity. “As our keynote speaker said, WWIII might happen soon”, their PM proclaimed. This sort of sensationalism and unfounded Russia-phobia showcases the spirit of NATO’s EuroMUN sessions.
Simon Pompé, from Russia Today