Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Olha Stefanishyna, reaffirmed the commitment that the very title of her position mandates: to prepare her nation – that is, to transform it beyond recognition – to qualify for a Membership Action Plan, the final step before full NATO accession. The military bloc’s preconditions are extensive and they are onerous: no part of a candidate nation’s internal affairs are left untampered with. The armed forces must be “professionalized,” meaning the concept of a conscript citizen army used for territorial defense must be replaced with an all-volunteer expeditionary force that can – and will – be deployed around the world on NATO missions. The defense sector, public and private; the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government; civil and intellectual copyright laws; the socio-cultural components of the educational system from elementary school through university; very little escapes the attention and the censure of harsh and unsparing taskmasters in Brussels.
For example, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken of late has been threatening NATO candidate Georgia over how the nation’s parliament selects supreme court justices after weighing in on the results of last year’s presidential election.
The Ukrainian official charged with her nation joining NATO and the European Union (NATO first, EU second as with the 13 Eastern European countries that have joined both since 1999), swore feudal fidelity in the submissive, craven fashion required of NATO aspirants in a video conference with Wendy Morton, Britain’s Minister for European Neighborhood and the Americas. (There really is such a post.)
In comments that in the past might have been communicated non-verbally by prostrating oneself or kissing a ring, the Ukrainian deputy prime minister said to her British overlord: “Ukraine is working to build a consensus within the Alliance on providing our country with a NATO Membership Action Plan, and it’s very important for us to feel the support of our partners along the way. Today, the efforts of our President, Government, and Parliament are united around Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic integration, which allows for complex reforms in the security and defense sector, implementation of NATO standards, and work on the NATO Enhanced Opportunities [Partnership] Program.” In simpler terms, we will do everything you demand of us, blindly and unquestioningly, humble and obedient servants that we are.
But even slaves are sometimes vain enough to boast to their masters about how indispensable they are. Stefanishyna was no exception. Dragging in, conjuring up the demonic Russian bogeyman, she portrayed it as “mounting military infrastructure in the Black Sea region amid the continued militarization of the temporarily occupied Crimea.” But never fear, like fairy tale giants and dragons it can be slain, for example by “the expansion of NATO’s presence in the Black Sea region.” That is, if there is a fearless and undaunted squire or groom or lickspittle eager to defend its master’s domain.
She added: “Strengthening cooperation between Ukraine and NATO, joint exercises on land and at sea, as well as developing efforts to counter hybrid threats will help strengthen NATO’s eastern flank.” You see, we are not only obsequious servants, we are also useful vassals and gatekeepers.
Washington’s and Brussels’ Ukraine satrapy is eager to comply with “the ambitious reform agenda that is being implemented in Ukraine today on the path to Euro-Atlantic integration.” It relishes humiliating and debasing itself before its Western betters. Nothing is too burdensome, too shameful, too degrading. Just test our loyalty.
The Ukrainian news report on the above exchange included a reminder that the nation’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, passed a law for the “corporatization of the country’s defense industry,” and work is being done on legislation on defense sector procurement processes and standards and on reform of the Security Service. By which is doubtlessly meant, in the first case, privatizing the nation’s defense industry and thus opening it up to penetration and absorption by Western arms manufacturers. What is euphemistically known as NATO weapons interoperabilty.
When Ms Stefanishyna retires she’ll do so with a handsome retirement – appreciation – package. It may prove interesting to see where she retires to. Well done, good and faithful servant.