Ukraine is not going to curtail cooperation with the alliance in favor of Russia

Ukraine is not going to curtail cooperation with the alliance in favor of RussiaPresident of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych headed for rapprochement with NATO - despite the declared non-aligned status of the country. This is evidenced by a closed document at the disposal of “Kommersant” with a schedule of Ukrainian-NATO events for the 2011 year. From this it follows that Kiev and NATO are discussing such sensitive issues for Moscow as the future of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, missile defense, reform of Ukrainian intelligence, and even the concept of foreign policy.

The fact that not everything went smoothly in relations between Ukraine and Russia, even under the "pro-Russian" President Viktor Yanukovych, was known before. But the first open conflict was their squabble over Sea Breeze-2011 exercises. Last week, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation made an extremely tough statement to Ukraine and the United States about entering the Black Sea to participate in the maneuvers of the US Navy missile cruiser Monterey, equipped with the Aegis multipurpose anti-aircraft missile system. “The appearance in the immediate vicinity of the Russian borders of elements of the strategic infrastructure of the United States” and the “reconnaissance” by the American anti-missiles of the Black Sea water area by the Russian Foreign Ministry called Russia a “security threat”.


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine stated that it “does not see a real or potential threat to any of the countries of the region” in connection with the start of maneuvers. “Such military measures help to overcome false phobias and stereotypes inherited from the period of the Cold War,” said Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Dikusarov, who pricked Moscow. A State Department spokesman, Mark Toner, noted that Washington and Kiev have "strong bilateral relations," in which "these exercises fit."

However, these explanations did not remove the concerns of Moscow. “Being in opposition to Yushchenko, Yanukovych did everything to ensure that NATO exercises in Ukraine did not take place, but now they do not just pass, but pass in a provocative format,” Konstantin Kosachev, head of the Duma’s international affairs committee, told Kommersant.

The tonality of these statements reminded the period when Ukraine was led by Viktor Yushchenko, whom the Kremlin directly called the "anti-Russian" politician. But a year ago, they exulted in Moscow: the new Ukrainian leader, Viktor Yanukovich, made geopolitical concessions, which Russia did not dream of at Orange: in exchange for cheap Russian gas, Kiev provided Moscow with guarantees of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation in Sevastopol until 2042. The deal had another important effect for Moscow: it closed Kiev’s road to NATO for a long time, since the alliance does not accept countries with foreign military bases on its territory. In addition, in June last year, the Supreme Rada adopted a law on the fundamentals of domestic and foreign policy, which states: "Ukraine is a non-bloc state." Mr. Yanukovych promptly signed him, burying President Yushchenko’s idea of ​​Ukraine’s joining NATO. So at least they thought in Moscow.

Now there is no such certainty. At the disposal of "Kommersant" was a closed document, indicating that Viktor Yanukovych is stepping up cooperation with the alliance even more active than its predecessor. We are talking about the schedule of cooperation activities in the framework of the NATO-Ukraine Commission (NUC) for 2011 year. The first version of the document was approved by the countries of the alliance and Kiev 23 February 2011 of the year - the day before the cabinet of Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov approved the "Annual Ukraine-NATO cooperation program" (its details were not disclosed). 23 May amended the schedule. The updated version of the document was signed by NATO Deputy Secretary General for Political Affairs, James Appathurai.

According to the plan, a total of 64 events are planned for this year within the framework of the NUC. It follows from the document that the Ukrainian authorities and representatives of the alliance behind closed doors are discussing very sensitive issues for Moscow: security in the Black Sea region and the future of the Russian Black Sea Fleet deployed in Crimea, missile defense, Transnistrian settlement, Ukraine’s energy and economic security, reforming its intelligence agencies. The plan even includes such a clause as a discussion of Ukraine’s foreign policy strategy — two meetings within the framework of the KNU in June are devoted to this topic: the first is supposed to discuss the general principles of Ukraine’s foreign policy, and the second the draft strategy.

According to Kommersant, it is known about the intensification of cooperation between Kiev and NATO in Moscow. In any case, Konstantin Kosachev spoke out in this regard unequivocally. “For us, Ukraine’s actions in the NATO direction are not completely transparent. In the footsteps of Kiev, we see inconsistency. They tell us one thing and do another. This is regrettable and we will react to it,” the Kommersant promised.

Another senior interlocutor in the Russian power structures said to Kommersant altogether: "The document shows the complete lack of independence of Ukraine in shaping its foreign policy. All this is weakly associated with the non-aligned status proclaimed by its leadership and refusal of integration into NATO."

In Kiev, this question is categorically disagreed. Sergey Grinevetsky, First Deputy Head of the Supreme Rada Committee on National Security and Defense, referring to the aforementioned law on the fundamentals of domestic and foreign policy, recalled that "it speaks of both" Ukraine’s adherence to non-bloc policy "and the continuation of a constructive partnership with NATO and other military-political blocs on all issues of mutual interest. "" According to him, Ukraine did not adopt a separate law on non-aligned status. “It was only a question of a“ non-blocking policy ”, which does not mean our withdrawal from the development process of the European security system,” Mr. Grinevetsky said. To the Kommersant question about reproaches Kiev of insincerity, the deputy replied: "Who would say about this - Russia, on the one hand, calls Ukraine a strategic partner, and on the other - puts economic pressure on it."

Even more frankly, the current state of Russian-Ukrainian relations was commented on condition of anonymity by a high-ranking Kommersant source in the Ukrainian government: "We had the illusion that if we remove key irritants in our relations with the Russian Federation, such as recognition of the famine as genocide, plans to join NATO, and unwillingness to extend presence The Black Sea Fleet, everything will be fine. But this did not happen. Moscow wants us to be in its orbit and pay extra for it as well. Take at least the Customs Union. We are there very strange call t. We can not say that we will benefit from it, and indicate that they have lost and how sanctions shall receive, if we give him to enter, and God forbid, create a free trade zone with the EU. " According to the Kommersant interlocutor, Kiev does not like this approach, and since there is no equal dialogue, they intend to get closer to Europe. “It’s not we moving away from Russia, but it pushes us away,” the official explained. And Ukraine’s close relations with NATO explained: “We are continuing to reform our army according to the alliance’s patterns, and this is not a secret. The plan of joint activities is the usual practice of informing partners on issues of interest to them.”

All this may mean that the short idyll in relations between the Russian Federation and Ukraine, which began with the coming to power of Viktor Yanukovych, is coming to an end. Against this background, the West does not hide its readiness for closer interaction with Kiev, who is disillusioned with Russia. In early June, US Ambassador to Ukraine John Tefft stated that "the doors of the alliance remain open to European democracies such as Ukraine," and particularly noted its "Euro-Atlantic aspirations and orientation." And in the draft report on NATO to Ukraine, the NATO Parliamentary Assembly explicitly states that "at a practical level, the partnership between the alliance and Ukraine continues, despite Kiev’s new policy" and that "Yanukovych was not a pro-Russian politician like Moscow would like." A source at NATO headquarters said “Kommersant”: “Russia should not be offended by Ukraine’s friendship with the alliance. After all, we don’t drag anyone anywhere by force.”
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