With Sweden’s accession to NATO, Vladimir Putin will finally be able to say: This is the evidence that NATO is encircling Russia. His Italian sympathizers will echo the propaganda: the West is guilty, feeding the blockade syndrome in Moscow. This is a classic example of a self-fulfilling prophecy: Putin has done so much that he has already managed to get around.
Even 500 days ago, even on the eve of its invasion of Ukraine, the expansion of NATO to Finland and Sweden was not on the agenda. It was precisely that aggression that unleashed so many fears in the countries neighboring Russia – on land or at sea – that they paid Two nations with ancient peaceful and neutral traditions To seek protection within NATO.
Putin confirms the opposite of what many of his admirers have always said: he is not a genius of geopolitics, but a statesman devoid of intelligibilitywhich in the name of A Imperial pathological nationalism She is doing great harm to her country. First, he severed economic ties with the West and destroyed a legacy of relations with Europe, squandering the energy bond that his Soviet predecessors had patiently built. So he paid himself Fragile economy towards dependence on China which will look more and more like colonialism. In the interests of China, it is also losing some of its influence in Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Finally, NATO “gave” a very long land borderand navy Fortified by two armies of the first order: the Swedes and the Finns, even when they were neutral, they never made the mistake of the other Europeans, that is, they never let their guard down about the Russian threat. It is understood that Putin will have to find a compromise with Prigozhin. Now is not the time to lose Wagner either.
On the question of Ukraine’s accession to NATO, Joe Biden’s half-step back has different interpretations. Just one is enough: when we say NATO, let us always remember that the bulk of the combat capability is American. It has always been this way. Even more, having plunged into a geopolitical slumber, Europeans were deceived after the fall of the Berlin Wall that they could be the first herbivorous superpower in human history. If NATO is ever forced to fight to defend Ukraine under Article 5 of the Statute, America should have sent its soldiers first. Biden from the very beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and he condemns it, put these stakes: America will not send soldiers on the ground and America will not enter into a direct conflict against Russia. A year and a half after the US presidential elections, and with an isolationist current well represented in the Republican Party, now is not the time to betray those promises.
Still a good dilemma summed up in this sentence ofeconomicHow can Ukraine refuse to join NATO while it is at war, without giving Putin a reason to prolong the war? Vladimir Zelensky He fully internalized this dilemma and his exasperation was legitimate: If joining NATO was conditional on the end of hostilities, For Putin, the best way to keep Ukraine out of NATO is to keep bombing it and killing its civilians.
Yesterday I recalled the Bucharest 2008 precedent: even then, the NATO summit gave Putin a dangerously ambiguous signal. On the one hand, he gave vague hints about the possibility of Ukraine’s future accession to NATO. On the other hand, he refused to specify times and methods. This ambiguity accelerated Putin’s rush into his wars, from Georgia to Crimea to Ukraine, because NATO did not put an adequate deterrent in front of him. Nor did it completely mitigate the paranoia of the encirclement. “Paranoid” will sound like hyperbole to some of you. It should be remembered that he participated in the NATO summit in Bucharest in 2008. Yes, NATO was so aggressive that the Russian president was the guest of honor.
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