In a comment on MIT weighs in regarding the war in Ukraine, Paul wrote the following:
sure looks like NATO poking the Russian bear to me.
What’s inside the referenced January 10, 2022 NATO document?
Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General: On membership. We have reiterated the decision we made at the Bucharest Summit in 2008 and we stand by that decision. We help Ukraine to move towards a NATO membership by implementing reforms, by meeting NATO standards. … Meaning that it is for Ukraine and the 30 NATO Allies to decide when Ukraine is ready for membership.
Let’s ignore for the moment the question of whether it was wise, as Russian forces gathered on the borders of Ukraine, to talk about the inevitability of Ukraine’s future membership in NATO, exactly what the Russians were objecting to. The question for today’s post regards “NATO standards”.
Let’s step back and look at Jens Stoltenberg? Wikipedia says Mx. Stoltenberg is “a Norwegian politician”. He/she/ze/they is not someone with military experience, in other words, and yet he/she/ze/they leads what is supposedly a military enterprise. Below is a 2018 meeting where we can see how mild-mannered he/she/ze/they is compared to Donald Trump, who points out that Germany’s continued fossil fuel purchases from Russia work against the organization’s mission.
Hindsight is 20/20, but if the goal was to have Ukraine as part of NATO, why wasn’t that done in 1994, when the Budapest Memorandum was signed? Putin’s leadership of Russia did not begin until 1999.
NATO in January 2022 said that Ukraine could join NATO “by implementing reforms” and “by meeting NATO standards,” but what was deficient about Ukraine from NATO’s perspective? It can’t be about fighting spirit, can it? There are plenty of countries in NATO that are not renowned for military valor. What “reforms” did Ukraine need? They had already stopped paying Hunter Biden (and, indirectly, “the big guy”, though $2.5 million of this cash was harvested by a retired-stripper-turned-family-court-entrepreneur; see BBC for a summary), right?
If countries that have historically crumbled at the first hint of a foreign invasion can be part of NATO, what was the obstacle to Ukraine’s membership years or decades ago?