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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Crimean Commies Torch NATO Coffin as Merkel Says Nyet

Crimean Communists held an anti-NATO rally today in Simferopol. First, the public was regaled by young artists, who played President, Prime Minister and Speaker. Having talked over the issue of Ukraine’s accession to NATO, the amateur actors signed the widely-publicized Letter of the Three, after which they were run out of the square in shame. Activists from the Communist Crimean movement swiftly and publicly burned the signed sheet. Tossed into the flames was a coffin with a NATO caption, evidently symbolizing the demise of the North Atlantic Alliance.

Serhiy Nikulin, Chairman of the Union of Soviet Officers of Crimea: Ukraine will never be in NATO. Now, Pan President — or what should we call you or refer to you — this is what we want to say: It will never happen — no matter what you sign and no matter what writings you sling to Brussels. Because we won’t let it happen. There’s only one reason: The Slavic world is united. Nobody has ever succeeded in splitting it, and we won’t let it happen, ever.

Hey, what about Poland and the Czech Republic? Aren’t they Slav countries?

Local NATO naysayers are having a field day after German Chancellor Angela Merkel issued a statement discarding Ukraine as a candidate for NATO membership. Her statement echoes that of outgoing Russian President Putin, with whom she had met on March 8. Both share a past of living and working in the GDR. (Putin has reportedly offered to contribute Russian troops to NATO operations in Afghanistan in exchange for NATO’s rejection of Ukraine and Georgia.)

With 53 percent of Ukrainians opposed to NATO membership, Merkel chose to entrench herself in the Old Europe v New Europe chasm. She went out of her way to make Ukraine’s membership prospects appear even more remote.

In what closely resembles Schröder's policy of GasPutin-pleasing, she obviously targeted the agenda at the Bucharest Summit, slated for April 2-4. Her message: The Orange Coalitions’s MAP application letter will get a strong kaput from Germany. (Well, perhaps nyet would be more geopolitically correct.)

This message effectively puts to rest hope of a more Ukraine-friendly/less Kremlin-oriented Ostpolitik.

Even Washington, Ukraine’s most influential friend, will hardly compensate for lack of ground support in the Old European theater.

President Bush is expected to pay a cheerleading visit to Kyiv on March 31-April 1, on the eve of the Bucharest Summit. Still, in his capacity as a lame duck of deplorable global credentials, Bush stands little chance of helping Ukraine get her foot in the NATO door.

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Marta Salazar said...

I will defend a little bit the Chancellor Merkel:

What she said was that, while no agreement among the population of Ukraine, the country could not become a member of NATO.

Probably some use his message as if it rejects to Ukraine as part of the pact,

But, in reality, she didn't do that.

Have a nice weekend dear Taras!

Taras said...

Marta, politicians don’t always say what they mean. Nor do they always mean what they say.

I accept Merkel’s logic. But I don’t accept her motives.

I just don’t believe it’s Ukraine’s opinion she cares about. From my point of view, it’s the Kremlin’s opinion that matters most to her.

And that’s what disturbs me. I can only add that kowtowing to Gazprom can be a very costly foreign policy addiction for Germany:(

¡Anyway, saludos de Ucrania:)!

Marta Salazar said...

"politicians don’t always say what they mean."

that's true!

"I don’t accept her motives." I think, she tries to avoid future problems.

"I just don’t believe it’s Ukraine’s opinion she cares about", I wouldn't say that.

The action of Merkel against China, tells me that it is freer than are the other leaders of the European Union.

It is undeniable that the Kremlin has a role in all this.

The Ukrainian citizens -like you- have to convince all ucranian people that it's good to enter the NATO!

Last but not least, I think it is a mistake Merkel, to compare Ukraine with Georgia!

Un abrazo desde Bonn!

Taras said...

Marta, I fully agree with you on the public opinion issue. But I think that Merkel gave Ukraine the cold shoulder so as not to spoil relations with the Kremlin, something that Schröder did all the time.

Well, the onus is indeed on Ukraine to do the icebreaking.

Un abrazo desde Kyiv!

Marta Salazar said...

Fortunately Merkel is not Schroeder.

But we must not forget that these speeches are written in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and therein are the same people who in the government of Schröder.

In any case, I am in favour of the accession of Ukraine to NATO. And I make every effort to bring into public discussion in favor of ukraine.

Muchos saludos y gracias!

Taras said...

Good point! I’ve read about the Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt) as being the nexus of “anti-Ukrainianism” in the German establishment.

Thank you for your undying interest in Ukraine! If only Ukraine had more friends like you, we would have a much more fruitful dialogue!

Anonymous said...

"“Alleingang,” a go-it-alone policy of rapprochement with Moscow and differentiation from Washington, is an oft-discussed temptation and pitfall of German foreign policy. At present the Christian-Democrat chancellor, Angela Merkel, is engaged in an Alleingang to satisfy Russia by stopping Georgian and Ukrainian Membership Action Plans (MAPs) ahead of the upcoming NATO summit."
EDM article


Taras said...

Thank you for the great follow-up article, Luida!

That’s exactly what I was talking about, although I didn’t know the exact term for that policy. Now I know! It’s “Alleingang.”

Thanks for enlightening me!:)