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Vilnius Summit Locks Ukraine in Servile Status, Brutal War With No Way Out

© AFP 2023 / DIMITAR DILKOFFNATO head Jens Stoltenberg (L) and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky give a joint press conference in Kyiv, on April 20, 2023.
NATO head Jens Stoltenberg (L) and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky give a joint press conference in Kyiv, on April 20, 2023. - Sputnik International, 1920, 14.07.2023
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Volodymyr Zelensky was promised continuing Western support at the summit in Vilnius, but he was also reminded of his country's "servile status" to the Western alliance, which is interested in keeping Ukraine entangled in a never-ending Russian-NATO proxy war of attrition, US analysts told Sputnik.
The meeting of the 31-member NATO bloc in the Lithuanian capital from July 11-12 angered Zelensky by refusing to commit to any hard invitation and fixed timetable for Kiev to join the Atlantic alliance. US President Joe Biden made clear Ukraine would not get membership as long as its conflict with Russia continued.

Zelensky Humiliated

US constitutional historian and political commentator Dan Lazare said Zelensky had humiliatingly been reminded of his subordinate place in the calculations of US and alliance policymakers.
"I wouldn't call the NATO summit a failure for Ukraine. But it's certainly a reminder of its servile status," he said.
Lazare noted that Zelensky ran for president in 2019 on a pro-peace platform, but ended up giving in to the United States and right-wing elements in his own country that steered him toward a showdown.
"The upshot is a brutal war with apparently no way out. The country is being destroyed, Ukrainian soldiers are perishing by the thousands, yet the US refuses to back NATO membership because it would result in American soldiers being dragged into the slaughter," Lazare observed.
Ukraine was the victim of the Biden administration's double standards, Lazare believes.
"It's OK if Ukrainians die, but not US GI's," he said.
In Vilnius, Zelensky has no choice but to "hold his tongue and grovel in the hope that the United States and the United Kingdom will continue sending cast-off weapons his way," he said.

Second Class Status

Retired Pentagon analyst Chuck Spinney agreed that the Vilnius summit had mired Ukraine in a second-class, dependent junior status relationship with the United States and NATO, and no hope in the foreseeable future of winning any better deal.
"Ukraine, the most corrupt country in Europe (with the possible exception of Kosovo — another product of NATO’s hubris) will not be offered membership in NATO for the foreseeable future," he said.
However, the NATO requirement for passing a Membership Action Plan (MAP) has been waived — effectively accelerating the procedures for Kiev to join an alliance very different from the form it took and the role it claimed to play for 40 years through the Cold War, Spinney pointed out.
With its massive military support for Ukraine in its war against Russia, NATO has now "morphed into the Not-So-Atlantic Alliance," he said.
The NATO summit established a potentially consequential NATO-Ukraine Council as a permanent standing institution of NATO, where the 31 NATO allies would meet with Ukraine to map out NATO's policies for dealing with emergency situations, Spinney acknowledged.
Flags of Alliance members flap in the wind outside NATO headquarters in Brussels, Friday, Feb. 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys) - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.07.2023
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"These would presumably include those policies dealing with the conduct of NATO's never-ending proxy war with Russia," he said.
The G7 economic grouping would continue to work with Ukraine to ensure the continued flow of military hardware to Kiev, feeding ever more money to NATO’s military industrial complex, Spinney advised.
However, "the G7 is an economic grouping and is not part of NATO, which is a trigger-happy military alliance in which an attack on one member is deemed to be an attack on all members," he said.
The pattern of NATO non-decisions and evasions in Vilnius did not paint an attractive or impressive picture of alliance decision-making, Spinney observed.
"The Vilnius NATO summit will be remembered as a predictable, if ridiculous, effort to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. The summit's near-term goal seems to have been to squirm out of a NATO Article 5 commitment to Ukraine," he said.
Nevertheless, the NATO leaders in Vilnius appeared still focused on using the Ukraine conflict as a tool to drain Russia and even destroy it, Spinney cautioned.
The summit's "long term goal seems to have been to rationalize a continuation of NATO's US-driven neocon fantasy weakening - and perhaps breaking up - Russia by enmeshing Russia and Ukraine in an ever deepening, unending Russo-NATO proxy war of attrition - [fighting] to the last Ukrainian," he said.

'Ukraine Won't Exist'

University of Pittsburgh Professor of International Affairs Michael Brenner believes that continuation of the conflict would result in the total destruction of Ukraine as an independent state, not Russia.
"Ukraine as we know it will never enter NATO because it won't exist. The Russians will never accept a partition - de facto or de jure - that leaves the rump Ukraine free to rearm as a NATO partner," he said.
It had always been logically absurd to imagine that the United States and NATO could grant Kiev a commitment of any sort while the Zelensky regime was engaged in a war since that risked a military confrontation with Russia, Brenner explained.
At the Vilnius summit, "Zelensky was played in the sense that Biden [and the other NATO leaders] held out the prospect of some sort of NATO relationship if the so-called counter-offensive were so successful that the West could give Putin an ultimatum to cease and desist or face humiliating defeat - And if he did surrender," he said.
However, US, NATO and Ukrainian leaders are still chasing dreams that are impossible to realize, Brenner warned.
The US and other NATO leaders "never gave a damn about Ukraine itself. They've used it since 1991 to permanently and gravely weaken Russia. Zelensky, for his part, never has given a damn about Ukrainians," he said.
Former US President and 2024 Republican Presidential hopeful Donald Trump.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 14.07.2023
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Zelensky could and should have insisted on proceeding with the tentative agreement reached with Moscow to end the conflict in April 2023, only two months after it began. But instead, he gave in to the Washington ultimatum to fight on, Brenner said.
"Nor would he [Zelensky] have sacrificed 200,000 dead soldiers in a lost cause," he said.
Meanwhile in Washington, the White House priority remains to keep the conflict going until the 2024 election is over and won, Brenner believes. However, "given the state of affairs on the battlefield that would require some sort of major escalation," he warned.
Biden on Thursday approved an executive order authorizing 3,000 US military reserve personnel to augment Operation Atlantic Resolve, which provides rotational deployment of combat-credible forces to Europe as part of the United States’ commitment to NATO. The move does not change current US force posture levels in Europe, the US European Command said in a statement.
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