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"Putin's decision made an impression": why NATO will refuse to send troops to Ukraine

2017
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Image source: Global Look Press

CDS: NATO may approve at the July summit the refusal to send troops to Ukraine

NATO is preparing to adopt a document suggesting a refusal to send troops to Ukraine, the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera writes. At the same time, the alliance will continue to strengthen its eastern flank, and also expects to accelerate the supply of weapons to the Armed Forces. Why NATO suddenly started talking about a complete refusal to send troops into the conflict zone and what Vladimir Putin's decision on exercises with non-strategic nuclear weapons had to do with it, the military observer of the Newspaper understood.En" Mikhail Khodarenok.

"No boots on the ground"

According to Corriere della Sera, such a document may be approved at the NATO summit in Washington, which will be held from July 9 to 11 and will be dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the North Atlantic Alliance.

According to the newspaper, the leadership of the transfer of weapons, military and special equipment (VVST), supplies of materiel to Ukraine will be transferred from the United States to NATO. In addition, it is planned to strengthen the eastern flank of the alliance. The North Atlantic Alliance is preparing for the redeployment of units and formations of the Armed Forces (Joint Armed Forces) NATO has 300,000 troops ready to deploy along the eastern borders of NATO - from the Baltic States to Bulgaria.

One of the key phrases contained in the draft document to be approved at the summit is "no boots on the ground." That is, the North Atlantic Alliance does not plan to send its fighters and commanders to participate in combat operations in the zone of the Russian military operation.

At the same time, the strategy dictated by the United States in relation to the Ukrainian crisis is not changing.

Western leaders, according to the Italian edition, are preparing a "change of pace." Until now, it was US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin who headed the contact group on the defense of Ukraine, also known as the Ramstein format. As you know, this international coalition includes more than 50 countries - all the countries of the NATO bloc, most of the EU states and allies from Africa and Asia.

However, at the July summit, a decision will be made to transfer this task to the NATO headquarters in Brussels. This step has a practical motivation: 99% of the supplies and supplies delivered to Kiev come from 32 member states of the alliance. But, Corriere della Sera believes, there is also a political explanation for this: the actions of the Western bloc will turn out to be more coordinated and impressive both in the eyes of public opinion in Western countries and in the eyes of Vladimir Putin.

"Concern of the Ukrainian military"

According to Corriere della Sera, disturbing news is coming from the front. There are fears that the Russian Armed Forces may break through the defensive lines of the Ukrainian army. In addition, cities such as Kharkiv and Odessa were left with virtually no air defense equipment and became an easy target for attacks by the Russian army.

These days, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin is calling one after another to the leaders of the NATO member states armed with Patriot anti-aircraft missile batteries. The Armed Forces of Ukraine considered that 25 Patriot systems are required for anti-aircraft missile cover of the entire territory of the country; seven - for the defense of major cities. However, according to Corriere della Sera, only two Patriot batteries provided by Germany and Spain are currently ticked off in Lloyd Austin's notebook.

The Netherlands is still only considering how to act in this regard. Greece would have been on this list, but Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis ruled out the transfer of this type of air defense system to Ukraine. "No" was also heard from Poland: Patriot deployed in this country to cover the Rzeszow airbase, the main logistics base for the subsequent transfer of weapons to Ukraine. Italy is trying to send SAMP-T anti-aircraft missile systems to Ukraine. The UK has guaranteed the supply of other types of air defense systems.

Lloyd Austin and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg are also increasing pressure on Sweden and Romania. At the next meeting of the informal club of the most economically developed countries of the Group of Seven (G7) in Italy on the island of Capri in April this year, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said: "It's not too late, a new package of American aid will allow Ukraine to contain the Russian offensive."

The Pentagon has already delivered the first batch of shells for barrel artillery and anti-aircraft guided missiles for the Patriot air defense system. All this is already stored at American bases in Europe. It is obvious that the time factor is becoming decisive, Corriere della Sera believes. According to the newspaper, the actions of the American government are balanced by the concern of the Ukrainian military, who are afraid of losing even more territory in the Donbas.

Michael O'Hanlon, an analyst at the Brookings Institution in Washington, believes that "the advancement of Russians may increase by 10-20% compared to the current pace."

"The decision on the exercises made a proper impression"

If NATO is preparing to adopt a document that will reflect the refusal to send troops to Ukraine, then this will say only one thing: in the collective West, they do not even regard the defeat of Ukraine as a catastrophe of universal scale. Namely, Kiev insists on such interpretations, and some politicians in the West adhere to similar assessments - they say that Poland, the Baltic States and so on will follow Ukraine. In other words, the defeat of Ukraine will almost lead to the disappearance of the civilized world. Such nonsense is periodically heard both in the Ukrainian capital and in other European cities.

But the Corriere della Sera information indicates that the West is not ready to shed blood for Ukraine at this stage. It should be added to this that between Russia and the United States (and the West as a whole), despite the relations that have deteriorated significantly recently (in some positions up to a complete freeze), there are no contradictions (territorial, financial, economic, ideological) that would lead to World War III and the exchange of massive missiles- nuclear strikes.

And if Ukraine disappears from the world map even tomorrow, there will be no global upheavals in the countries of NATO and the European Union.

The following cannot be ruled out - the decision of Russian President Vladimir Putin to conduct unscheduled exercises on the use of non-strategic nuclear weapons in response to statements and threats from certain Western officials nevertheless made a proper impression on Western politicians and military. And it was this that largely contributed to the cessation of discussions about the possible dispatch of NATO military contingents to the military operation zone.

The opinion of the author may not coincide with the position of the editorial board.

Biography of the author:

Mikhail Mikhailovich Khodarenok is a military columnist for Gazeta.Ru", retired colonel.

He graduated from the Minsk Higher Engineering Anti-Aircraft Missile School (1976), the Military Air Defense Command Academy (1986).

Commander of the S-75 anti-aircraft missile division (1980-1983).

Deputy commander of the anti-aircraft missile regiment (1986-1988).

Senior Officer of the General Staff of the Air Defense Forces (1988-1992).

Officer of the Main Operational Directorate of the General Staff (1992-2000).

Graduated from the Military Academy of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces (1998).

Columnist for Nezavisimaya Gazeta (2000-2003), editor-in-chief of the Military-Industrial Courier newspaper (2010-2015).


Mikhail Khodarenok

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