Russia Pushes Back on NATO Expansion

As NATO presses up to Russia’s borders – with secret schemes to influence and absorb unwilling populations – Russia has begun to push back, explaining the origins of the new Cold War, as Natylie Baldwin describes.

By Natylie Baldwin

Can Russian President Vladimir Putin turn the tables on NATO and the European Union in the Balkan states that are not yet members of the Atlanticist project? According to Filip Kovacevic, a political science professor who specializes in Russia and Eastern Europe, Putin has a plan. Some details were provided in an exclusive report in May on the nascent project by Russia to counter NATO expansion into the remaining Balkan countries that have not yet been swept into the Western alliance.

The plan has its origins in the grassroots movement that arose in the aftermath of the first Cold War, which called for non-alignment and cooperation with both East and West.  Kovacevic describes the movement as follows:

Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses UN General Assembly on Sept. 28, 2015. (UN Photo)

Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses UN General Assembly on Sept. 28, 2015. (UN Photo)

“Their members were generally young people who were enthusiastic, honest and genuinely committed to the public good, but were plagued by the lack of funding and faced with frequent media blackout and open discrimination. Nonetheless, their programs articulated the most promising and humane geopolitical vision for the Balkans.  They conceptualized the Balkans as a territorial bridge between the West and the East rather than as the place of persistent confrontation, or the ‘line of fire’ as formulated by the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in 2015. They wanted the Balkans to become a force for peace and human dignity in the world. Their vision still remains the best option for the Balkans people.”

This desire for non-alignment is understandable as a continuation of the policy of Tito’s Yugoslavia during the Cold War – the nation that several of the modern day Balkan states were a constituent part of.  However, according to Kovacevic, these groups were easily overwhelmed, in terms of both financial and propaganda resources, in the 1990s by pro-NATO forces in the West.

In addition to providing resources to build up pro-NATO sentiment in the media and NGO sectors of these countries, financial resources and pressure was used to sway a large number of politicians to favor NATO membership, often in opposition to the general population’s views. Some of the unsavory forms of incentive or pressure include what amounts to blackmail and bribery, Kovacevic told me in an email interview:

“This is a long-term process. In the U.S. intelligence community it is called ‘seeding.’ The intelligence scholar Roy Godson defines it as ‘identifying potential agents of influence’ at an early stage and then acting to advance their careers. This is typically done covertly, but there have been the historical examples of overt support. …

“In the Balkans, the key role in the process of ‘seeding’ was accomplished by various institutes, conferences, retreats, grants, etc. For instance, I was told by a confidential source who participated in the same U.S.-NATO program, the long-time foreign minister and one-time prime minister of Montenegro, Igor Luksic, was a product of such a process. Luksic was chosen as a very young man to attend various conferences and retreats in Brussels and Washington and, after that, his political career really took off. All the while, he promoted the NATO agenda in Montenegro, even though this went against the will of the majority of the population.

“Another example is Ranko Krivokapic who was the speaker of the Montenegrin Parliament for over a decade. He traveled on official business to the U.S. a few times every year and boasted to others that he had a lot of friends in the State Department and other institutions of the U.S. government. There are examples like these in Serbia, Macedonia, Croatia, etc. All over the Balkans.”

There is also the fact the European Union has dovetailed its security arrangements to such an extent with NATO that new members are now virtually brought into the NATO structures by default. For example, Mahdi D. Nazemroaya, author of The Globalization of NATO, reports that the E.U.’s Security Strategy was absorbed into NATO during its annual summit in 2006. The emphasis of the summit was on securing energy resources with the goal of ‘co-managing the resources of the EU’s periphery from North Africa to the Caucuses.’ Also implied was the goal of redefining the E.U.’s security borders in synch with both Franco-German and Anglo-American economic and geopolitical interests.

Moreover, British Russia scholar Richard Sakwa, has pointed out that the security integration of the E.U. with NATO was further intensified with the ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon in 2007:

“As for the comprehensive character, this is something that has been gaining in intensity in recent years as the foreign and security dimension of the E.U. has effectively merged with the Atlantic security community. The E.U.’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) since the Treaty of Lisbon (the “Reform Treaty”) of 13 December 2007, which came into effect in 2009, is now in substance part of an Atlantic system. Acceding countries are now required to align their defense and security policy with that of NATO, resulting in the effective ‘militarization’ of the E.U.”

At this point, the forces seeking a non-aligned bridge role for the Balkan states are still very much around, but have suffered marginalization due to lack of resources to take on the powerful and now entrenched pro-NATO political forces. However, with increasing discontent with the weak economic prospects in certain Balkan states, combined with increasing instability in the E.U., it is believed that there is an opening for growth of the movement.

Economic Conditions in the Balkans

The Balkan states comprise Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Macedonia, Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Greece.

A map showing stages of NATO's expansion. Dark blue showing original members; lighter blue the "round one" members; aqua the "round two" members; yellow represents neutral states; and brown and red (including Ukraine), otherwise aligned. On the map, Montenegro is one of the tiny brown spots on the eastern Adriatic.

A map showing stages of NATO’s expansion. Dark blue showing original members; lighter blue the “round one” members; aqua the “round two” members; yellow represents neutral states; and brown and red otherwise aligned (including Ukraine, although that has changed since the 2014 U.S.-backed coup). On the map, Montenegro is one of the tiny brown spots on the eastern Adriatic.

In 2007, Romania and Bulgaria became E.U. members (three years after joining NATO). Romania’s GDP has barely kept up with its 2008 rate and has a general unemployment rate of 6.4 percent, which sounds reasonable until you look at the youth unemployment rate of 21 percent, which doesn’t bode well.

Bulgaria, on the other hand, is not part of the Eurozone and has not adopted the euro as its currency. Its economic prospects since joining the E.U. have not been impressive either. In the midst of the financial crisis of 2009, its GDP contracted by 5.5 percent, with a current unemployment rate of 7 percent and youth unemployment at 17 percent. Bulgaria is also recognized as one of the union’s most corrupt countries.

Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Albania are all in the process of E.U. integration, with a supposed approval rate of 80-90 percent among the respective populations of these countries (except for Serbia), despite the virtual rape of Greece and the lackluster performance of Romania and Bulgaria.

It should be noted that all three Balkan nations that are actual E.U. members have higher emigration than immigration rates, another indication that accession to the E.U. doesn’t necessarily translate into a prosperous future for the average person, particularly the young.

There is also the instability highlighted by the British people’s vote to leave the E.U., spurred by disgust with austerity measures imposed by unaccountable bureaucrats in Brussels along with an influx of immigrants – one-third from these poorer E.U. nations – which adversely affect lower-wage natives.

Even if the E.U. had a better track record of effectiveness in terms of improving economic conditions for the masses, it would have a very tall order with some of the prospective Balkan states. Macedonia, for example, has an unemployment rate between 24 and 25 percent as of January 2016, although it has improved from the 2005 high of 37 percent. Despite this improvement, Macedonia still has one of the lowest GDPs in Europe and 72 percent of its citizens claimed they manage their household income only with “difficulty” or “great difficulty” in 2012.

Bosnia-Herzegovina is still feeling the effects of the war of 1992 to 1995 that included major physical destruction of infrastructure and the bottoming out of its GDP. It currently suffers an unemployment rate of 42-43 percent.

Kosovo, a state that owes its existence to a NATO intervention, has 33 percent unemployment, a high crime rate and increasing political violence due to ethnic tensions and a growing ultra-nationalist movement. The Council of Europe compared the government of Kosovo to a mafia state in a 2010 report which revealed trafficking in human organs as well as drugs and weapons throughout Eastern Europe, even implicating the then-prime minister in the operation.

Russia’s Opening

Kovacevic states that the Atlanticist project of E.U. austerity economics and the enabling of Washington’s destabilizing wars via NATO is starting to chip away at its popularity among Balkan populations. He also says Putin is prepared to take advantage of this opening and, since the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis, has turned his attention “to the Balkans with political force and funding not seen since the days of tsar Nicholas II.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin

This attention has manifested in the Lovcen Declaration, which was signed on May 6, by members of Russia’s largest political party, United Russia, and the opposition Democratic People’s Party in Montenegro in the village of Njegusi. Kovacevic explains:

“One of the most powerful political figures in Montenegro, the metropolitan Amfilohije, the chief bishop of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro, was present at the signing and gave his blessing. Though in the past Amfilohije has been known to support the authoritarian and pro-NATO prime minister Milo Djukanovi? around the election time, he has always publicly opposed NATO membership and has given fiery speeches on its ‘evil nature’ to the point of accusing NATO for continuing Hitler’s anti-Slavic project.

“Even more importantly, Amfilohije’s involvement with the Lov?en declaration reveals one of the fundamental components of Putin’s overall geopolitical plan – the nurturing and intensification of the religious Christian Orthodox connection between the Russians and the Orthodox peoples of the Balkans. This includes not [only] the Serbs, Montenegrins and Macedonians, but also the Greeks and Bulgarians whose states are in NATO and whose religious ‘awakening’ can easily subvert NATO from the inside.”

Criticism and minimization of the project have set the tone in Western media, to the extent that it has been covered at all, particularly in relation to utilizing an opposition party for significant influence. But Kovacevic argues that such a dismissive attitude is disingenuous:

“[T]he very same method has been used by the U.S. and NATO intelligence services to control the governments of East-Central European states since the collapse of communism. Countless small parties with just a handful of parliamentary deputies were formed with the money coming from the various ‘black budgets’ with the task of entering the governing coalition and then steering the entire government in the direction charted by their foreign founders and mentors.

“These parties have had minimal public legitimacy, but have made a great political impact with their ‘blackmail’ potential. As they also don’t cost very much, the CIA, the MI6, and the BND regularly create them for every new election cycle.

“Now the Russians (primarily, the SVR and the GRU) are using the same rulebook for their own geopolitical interests. In addition, however, Putin’s grand design for the Balkans embodied in the ANS is also likely to prove durable not only because it builds on the traditional cultural and religious ties linking Russia and the Balkans, but also because it rides on the wave of the enormous present popular dissatisfaction with the neoliberal Atlanticist political and economic status quo.”

The fact that this declaration was signed in Montenegro is most relevant due to the fact that the country has been officially invited to join NATO, whose subsequent membership is treated in the West as a fait accompli. However, accession requires consensus approval by all current NATO members – one member could veto the move before completion of the process as happened with Macedonia when Greece vetoed their membership aspirations in 2008 when an invitation was to be offered at the Bucharest Summit – as well as approval by the population of Montenegro.

Joining any alliance treaty is arguably something that affects national sovereignty, which requires a referendum as Kovacevic, who is Montenegrin, explains:

“The corrupt government of Milo Djukanovic is trying to avoid a national referendum because it knows that it does not have a majority support for NATO. If given a choice, the people of Montenegro would reject the protocol. The Constitution requires a referendum for all matters that affect national sovereignty, but Djukanovic is arguing falsely that NATO membership leaves Montenegrin sovereignty intact.”

Kovacevic predicts that a show-down over NATO membership could create instability in the country: “[I]f he [Djukanovic] tries to push this decision through the Parliament (which he no doubt will), wide-scale strikes and demonstrations may take place all over the country. Whoever is pushing Montenegro in NATO is dangerously destabilizing the country in mid-to-long term.”

If that happens, Washington may find for the first time in recent memory that forcing instability on a smaller country may ultimately accrue benefits to another great power, helping to facilitate a shift in geopolitics that it didn’t bargain on. As Nazemroaya comments in his book:

“The [NATO] alliance is increasingly being viewed as a geopolitical extension of America, an arm of the Pentagon, and a synonym for an evolving American Empire. … Ultimately, NATO is slated to become an institutionalized military force. … Nevertheless, for every action there is a reaction and NATO’s actions have given rise to opposing trends. The Atlantic Alliance is increasingly coming into contact with the zone of Eurasia that is in the process of emerging with its own ideas and alliance. What this will lead to next is the question of the century.”

Natylie Baldwin is co-author of Ukraine: Zbig’s Grand Chessboard & How the West Was Checkmated, available from Tayen Lane Publishing.  In October of 2015, she traveled to 6 cities in the Russian Federation and has written several articles based on her conversations and interviews with a cross-section of Russians.  Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in various publications including Consortium News, Russia Insider, OpEd News, The New York Journal of Books, The Common Line, Santa Fe Sun Monthly, Dissident Voice, Energy Bulletin, Newtopia Magazine, and the Lakeshore. She blogs at natyliesbaldwin.com.

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17 comments for “Russia Pushes Back on NATO Expansion

  1. Consortiumnews
    July 13, 2016 at 9:18 am

    Posted on behalf of Emmanuel:

    As you know better than me, the official country’s name is not “Macedonia” or “Republic of Macedonia. It is “FYROM” : “Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”. The only existing “Macedonia” is one and it is the “Greek Macedonia”.

  2. Curious
    July 10, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    Does Consortium News censor replies that are sharply critical of either Consortium reporters or their articles posted on Consortium News web site?

    • Zachary Smith
      July 13, 2016 at 12:44 am

      According to the site’s Comment Policy, they do some of that.

      From Editor Robert Parry: At Consortiumnews, we welcome substantive comments about our articles, but comments should avoid abusive language toward other commenters or our writers, racial or religious slurs (including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia), and allegations that are unsupported by facts.

      It’s been my own experience that you can tear an article to pieces – if you have the argument to do it. But I can understand that calling an author (or another commenter) names for no specified (or disallowed) reason isn’t permitted.

      It’s obvious to me that most Jews in the world are ordinary human beings – tarring them with the sins of the swinish Zionists just isn’t fair play. Ditto for Muslims. Raging about rag-heads or “sand n***ers” who are all terrorists at heart says more about the poster than it does the Muslim population at large. Lots more.

  3. John Gilberts
    July 10, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    It would appear that Canada is all in with this dirty game…

    Canadian-Led Battle Group Will Deploy to Latvia, Part of NATO Move to Deter Russia
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/cananda-nato-baltic-troops-1.3669952

    PM Justin Trudeau will go from the NATO meeting to Kyiv. The powerful Ukrainian ultranationalist lobby, like the Zionist lobby in Canada, appears to wield great influence. Chrystia Freeland, a cabinet minister is a fervent supporter. Poroshenko declared Canada, ‘the country most like Ukraine.’ Let’s hope not.

    • Joe L.
      July 11, 2016 at 11:55 am

      John Gilberts… as a Canadian I am all too aware of this. Recently, Obama was in Canada and then all of the photo ops with Obama, Trudeau, and Nieto. Then sure enough I hear the news about Canada sending troops to Europe to battle Russian aggression. One other thing, as well, I recently saw on tv last Saturday, I believe, was a CTV special which spoke to Ukrainian wives of fallen soldiers and how they put all of the blame on one man – Putin. So sure enough our media is also stoking the fires…

    • Joe L.
      July 11, 2016 at 12:05 pm

      John Gilberts… it just seems that whenever US politicians come to Canada then we start bombing somewhere or we are sending troops somewhere – such as Obama coming to Canada OR McCain doing a speech in Halifax where shortly after we were bombing in Syria.

  4. Bob Van Noy
    July 10, 2016 at 9:03 am

    Thank you Robert Parry, I’ve been looking for someone to counter Zbigniew Brzezinski, and it looks like Natylie Baldwin is the person to do it.

    Great book reviews here: https://www.amazon.com/Ukraine-Zbigs-Grand-Chessboard-Checkmated/dp/0996174079?ie=UTF8&qid=1468155082&ref_=la_B013IZNODI_1_1&s=books&sr=1-1#customerReviews

  5. Joe B
    July 10, 2016 at 8:43 am

    On the term “pushback” (by Russia) I would suggest “defensive organization” or something shorter, because “pushback” is just what the US bullyboy warmongers want after pushing around their target, as a pretext for escalation.

    Real pushback would involve organizing the Western hemisphere against the US, which Russia and China must surely hope to do as a policy of “containment” of US aggression. Like all more progressive nations, they would have difficulty matching the utter immorality and energetic deviousness of US influence, which is driven by greed induced by money in politics.

    • Joe B
      July 10, 2016 at 8:56 am

      I should add that a Russia-China aggression-containment policy in the Western hemisphere, moving toward the US borders, could be their best bet for occupying the US away from their own borders. But they may prefer a passive defense policy as providing nothing to provoke the bullyboy while he is economically surrounded.

  6. Vesuvius
    July 10, 2016 at 6:50 am

    In my view, U.S., NATO and E.U. wrongfully consider Putin’s Russia a copy of The Soviet Union. So they use the same tactic that would have been called for in the 1960-ies and 1970-ies. Today, this approach to Russia is probably quite counterproductive; Russia will only answer in the same manner, which can set the stage for WWIII.

    Cooperation with Russia of the kind that started during Russian President Yeltsin would be better, The West and everybody else will have to realize that Russia is on the World map to stay. One day, Russia will have a different President.

    A special thanks to KIZA’s comment.

  7. Kiza
    July 9, 2016 at 10:29 pm

    I vouch with my knowledge of the region for the accuracy of this article.

    Is the briefest, the Balkans have little strategic significance to Russia, but Russia appears sick an tired of the US turning a country-after-country in Europe into a tool against a Russia through political and media manipulation. The Balkans do have a significant Christian Orthodox population which is inherently friendly to Russia due to shared religion. The Western propaganda in Europe has successfully obscured how much Putin’s Russia is ideologically a national-traditionalist country, an ideological model quite opposed to the Judeo-globalist West (no borders, promoting a high mix of cultures and religions everywhere except in Israel). President Putin and his political party appear to consider the possibility that they could initiate the same kind of religious-cultural revival that Russia has gone through after communism in the Balkans as well. I am not convinced that this is possible, but only time will tell who is right. Also I do wish for such revival to happen, because EU and NATO have brought nothing good to Europe then the old style slavery.

    • Bob Van Noy
      July 10, 2016 at 8:48 am

      Thank you Kiza for the insights; you’re very helpful to our Western education and I, for one, appreciate it…

      I’ll be getting Natylie Baldwin’s book. Her website is here for those who are interested: http://natyliesbaldwin.com

  8. Abe
    July 9, 2016 at 6:28 pm

    During a meeting at the end of June 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned the belligerent policies of NATO and the wider West.

    Putin stated that Russia is “noticing persistent efforts by certain partners to maintain a monopoly on geopolitical dominance. They use their centuries of experience in suppressing, weakening, pitting their rivals against each other, as well as modern political, economic, financial, and informational methods.” https://www.rt.com/news/348986-putin-resource-rivalry-rules/

    Putin spoke without exaggeration of the West’s use of “terrorists, fundamentalists, far-right nationalists and even neo-fascists” as proxies.

    In fact, Nazi and neo-fascist terror forces were deployed during the February 2014 NATO-backed coup d’etat in Kiev and its brutal aftermath.

    According to Dutch political scientist Cas Mudde in The Ideology of the Extreme Right (2000), “the terms neo-Nazism and to a lesser extent neo-Fascism are now used exclusively for parties and groups that explicitly state a desire to restore the Third Reich (in the case of neo-Fascism the Italian Social Republic) or quote historical National Socialism (fascism) as their ideological influence” (pp. 12-13).

    The “I + N” (“idea of a nation”) Wolfsangel logo, a symbol popular among neo-Nazi groups, is used by groups in Ukraine:
    – the Social-National Party of Ukraine (SNPU) that would later become Svoboda
    – the Social-National Assembly (SNA) built around the racist Patriot of Ukraine party
    – the Right Sector (Pravyi Sektor) paramilitary confederation at the Euromaidan revolt in Kiev
    – the Azov Battalion notorious for atrocities committed during the Kiev regime’s military “anti–terrorist operation” (ATO) against the people of eastern Ukraine

  9. Abe
    July 9, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    It looks like the Nazi forces in Ukraine will soon receive the lethal weapons that Andriy Parubiy, the NATO-backed Chairman of the Ukrainian parliament, has been demanding.

    Parubiy founded the Social-National Party of Ukraine together with Oleh Tyahnybok in 1991. The name Social-National Party (SNPU) was chosen as a fully intentional allusion to Adolf Hitler’s Nazi party called National Socialist Party. This interpretation has been confirmed by Der Spiegel, Germany’s leading weekly news magazine. True to its historical inspiration, the Social-National Party did not conceal its radical nationalism and its Nazi features.

    In a 2009 study of “Ultraright Party Politics in Post-Soviet Ukraine”, researchers Andreas Umland and Anton Shekhovstov observed that the SPNU’s “official symbol was the somewhat modified Wolf’s Hook (Wolfsangel), used as a symbol by the German SS division Das Reich and the Dutch SS division Landstorm Nederland during World War II and by a number of European neofascist organizations after 1945. As seen by the SNPU leadership, the Wolf’s Hook became the ‘idea of the nation.’ Moreover, the official name of the party’s ideology, ‘social nationalism,’ clearly referred back to ‘national socialism’ – the official name of the ideology of the National-Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP) and of the Hitlerite regime. The SNPU’s political platform distinguished itself by its openly revolutionary ultranationalism, its demands for the violent takeover of power in the country, and its willingness to blame Russia for all of Ukraine’s ills. Moreover, the SNPU was the first relatively large party to recruit Nazi skinheads and football hooligans.”

    From December 2013 to February 2014, the ultra-nationalist Parubiy was a commandant of Maidan “self-defense” forces in Kiev. The various paramilitary units had to take an oath of allegiance to Parubiy. This meant that neo-nazi paramilitary groups which had joined together under the umbrella of Right Sector (Pravyi Sektor) were operating under his authority.

    Amongst those was the newly reformed “Patriot of Ukraine”, led now by Andriy Biletskiy, who had been a pupil of Parubiy and went on to become the commander of the infamous Azov Battalion (which has the Wolfsangel as its symbol).

    On 18-20 February there was a major escalation of the violence, ending in a massacre on the 20th. Over one hundred police and demonstrators were shot to death and hundreds more were wounded.

    The three days of killing ultimately scuttled an agreement to end the crisis signed on 21 February by President Yanukovich and three opposition party leaders and brokered by Russia and the foreign ministers of Germany, France and Poland.

    Immediately after the coup d’etat, Parubiy was appointed National Security and Defence Council boss, charged with incorporating the far right paramilitary battalions he commanded in the Maidan movement into the state apparatus.

    In March 2014, Parubiy became a leading member of the People’s Front, a political party in founded by Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Oleksandr Turchynov. The People’s Front has a ‘military council’, whose members include Biletskiy, leader of Azov Battalion and Ihor Lapin commander Aidar Battalion.

    In mid-April 2014, CIA Director John Brennan visited Kiev. By May, dozens of CIA and FBI agents were in Kiev to assist the regime in suppressing popular resistance, which included the military “anti–terrorist operation” (ATO) against eastern Ukraine.

    Parubiy oversaw the ATO until he resigned on 7 August 2014, after refusing to declare a ceasefire in the southeast of Ukraine.

    In December 2014, Parubiy was elected first Deputy Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. As Deputy Speaker, he was welcomed into Canada and the US, where he begged these countries to send lethal weapons to Ukraine.

    In March 2015, Parubiy falsely accused Russian President Vladimir Putin’s advisor, Vladislav Surkov, of organizing and commanding the Maidan snipers.

    In fact, as University of Ottawa professor Ivan Katchanovski has shown in “The ‘Snipers’ Massacre’ on the Maidan in Ukraine” https://www.voltairenet.org/IMG/pdf/The_Snipers_Massacre_on_the_Maidan_in_Uk-3.pdf the Maidan snipers were shooting from the Hotel Ukraina, which was occupied by Maidan “self-defense” paramilitary forces under Parubiy’s command.

    Parubiy has been the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian parliament, since 14 April 2016. In June 2016, Parubiy declared that “the advancement of Ukraine into NATO remains in power and all of us, the whole of parliament, is convinced that Ukraine will be a NATO member. This is a matter of time, but for Ukraine this is a fundamental matter not only in the military dimension, but also in the strategic and geopolitical dimension.”

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visited Kyiv on 7 July 2016 to meet with high-ranked Ukrainian officials including President Poroshenko, Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, and Parubiy. During his meeting with Parubiy, Kerry said that there are five countries currently working on the issue of supplying Ukraine with lethal weapons.

    Kerry did not specify the names of the countries before he headed off to attend the NATO Summit in Warsaw with U.S. President Barack Obama, but it isn’t hard to guess that Poland will play a major role in supplying arms to Ukraine.

    Defence Minister of Ukraine Stepan Poltorak met with Minister of National Defence of Poland Antoni Macierewicz, US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at NATO Headquarters in Brussels on 14-15 June 2016.

    At the NATO Summit on 8-9 July 2016 in Warsaw, Obama announced that “Poland will be seeing an increase in NATO and American personnel and in the most modern military equipment”. The U.S. will station 1,000 troops and put the headquarters for an armored brigade in Poland.

    Also at the NATO Summit on 9 July, Poltorak and Macierewicz signed an agreement on military and technical cooperation between Ukraine and Poland, including mutual supplies of military goods and provision of military-oriented services.

  10. July 9, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    I will be glad if Europe grows some backbone to resist US pressure to “get tough with Russia.” I hope that Trump is smart enough to get this and make a point of it in the presidential election. Of course that will pit him against not only Hillary but the entire mainstream media/neocon/neoliberal establishment (including Sanders), but as far as I can see that is the best hope for avoiding WW3.

    • Bart Gruzalski
      July 11, 2016 at 4:47 am

      Michael Morrissey, a very intelligent and apt comment. The theme that you articulate is “right on” and, more importantly, truthful. But I do have two questions.

      First, I do understand why, in terms of culture and bantering, why Bernie abhors Trump. Granted they approach crowds differently. Trump realizes that the contemporary potential voters get bored after an argument or how to build a platform. BUT, (2), in terms of policies, Trump’s and Sander’s policies are almost identical. So is Sander’s “hatred” of Trump primarily a problem with the veneer and not with the substance?

      I’m a Professor Emeritus in philosophy, from Northeastern University in Boston, the heart of the Blue Blood culture. Yet there’s more at stake and I would have thought Bernie would arise above those “names will never hurt me” arises
      Second question, what gives with Chomsky? He clearly said that he would prefer Hillary to Trump, but with Hillary we’ll all get nuclearized and with Trump we back off from our global cop routine.

      ANY LIGHT on (1) and (2) would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

      • Bart Gruzalski
        July 11, 2016 at 5:01 am

        Natylie Baldwin,
        Your article is one of the three or so extremely clear, well-written, and hopeful perspective on the Hillary-like “restraint” and “containment” policies to “make Putin suffer.” Thank you.

        If you are even just relatively accurate, and I assume you are much more accurate than that, there is reason to be truly HOPEFUL!!! REAL HOPE!!!

        My only hope and my current long term hope is that warmonger and Neocon Clinton drops out of the race, and I have what I think is a persuasive article to persuade her to do that and her topDem handlers and supporters–ugh, Debbie… the DNC chairman… to drop her like a very hot potato.

        Given the stupidity and propaganda coming out from inside the Beltway, I was losing any hope for a peaceful outcome of the betray of the 1993 agreement between Russia and NATO. The agreement was to united divided Berlin. The quid pro quo for the Russians, who were giving up a controlling interest in the fruits of WWII, was that NATO would not inch even one more inch closer to the Russian border. Now we have tactical nuclear weapons basically one Russia’s border, they have the same on their own border…. and one tiny mistake and we are all “toast.” No more internet, no more cell phones, empty food stores, no running water, no flushing of toilets, even toilet paper will run out.

        Your article was a salve for this concerned over-educated writer. I haven’t been active the past week or so but I have been watching. If Robert Parry publishes the piece I hope to submit tomorrow, I will buy your book immediately from Amazon.

        Meanwhile, on a Amazon scale of 1 to 5 stars, your article for me merits 7 stars for facts, 5 stars for writing, 10 stars for connecting together the dots, and another 20 for good measure. Not bad, huh? Out of 5 stars I’d give you 42 stars. Thank you.

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