Ukraine agreement bad news for NATO and EU

This article is a translation of "Oekraïne-wapenstilstand slecht nieuws voor NAVO en EU"

The agreement reached yesterday night, 11 to 12 February, to withdraw the heavy weapons of both parties from the front line in eastern Ukraine may spell the end of the attempt by NATO and the EU to get Ukraine under their control. There is a basic accord now, concluded without involving the United States or Britain, and hence vulnerable to sabotage from those quarters. The day after the agreement had been concluded, the regime in Kiev already announced that during the negotiations 40 Russian tanks with supporting materiel had crossed the border into Ukraine. 

That this time there is sufficient opposition against further war also in the US, transpires from a report in The Washington Free Beacon of February 12 which documents that previous reports from Ukraine about Russian tanks were fake. Thus Ukrainian parliamentarians in December handed photos to a US Senator which later turned out to have been taken during the Russian riposte against the Georgian attack on South Ossetia in 2008. 

One of the provisions of the Minsk agreement of yesterday concerns the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Ukraine and of course all eyes are focused on Russia which has allowed volunteers to go to the Donbas to fight there. These men do no need weapons from Russia, since some of the largest arms manufacturing complexes from the Soviet era are in Ukraine and the Ukrainian army obviously has had to leave important arsenals in the hands of the federalists.

Our role is of course above suspicion. So when the Croatian minister of foreign affairs called on his compatriots who are fighting in the Azov battalion, the notorious military force that fights under the SS sign of the wolf’s claw, to come home in order not to endanger the agreement, there were immediate denials from Brussels. Although, denials…

The new president of the European Council, the former Polish prime minister, Donald Tusk, first declared that he had no evidence that EU citizens fought alongside the troops of Kiev, only to add that ‘this was not in fact the most important problem’.

He is correct in the sense the biggest problem will be the presence of American troops. After all, next month 600 American paratroopers will travel to Ukraine, according to a Pentagon spokesman quoted by Fox News. The battalion in question is a unit from 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, currently stationed in Vicenza in Italy.

In Poland, where (in breach of the NATO-Russia Founding Act of 2007) the headquarters of the NATO force deployed against Russia has been established, the commander of American forces in Europe, Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, declared that the troops will be training their Ukrainian counterparts in how to respond to artillery and missile attacks by Russians and rebels.

Up till now, every beginning of an agreement in Ukraine has been scuttled by American support for Ukrainian ultras—beginning with the coup d’état in February. From the splendid investigative journalism of the New York Times, we know that this coup was coordinated by the American ambassador with the neo-nazi leader, Parubiy, whilst Germany, France and Poland had just signed an agreement with Yanukovych.

When will somebody here have the guts to demand that, for the sake of an enduring agreement, the Americans renounce the deployment of troops in Ukraine? Something for our minister of foreign affairs perhaps?

Kees van der Pijl

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