‘NATO expansion behind Ukraine civil war’

‘NATO expansion behind Ukraine civil war’
NATO must take responsibility for the destabilizing role it has played in Ukraine over the past two decades, and how this has led to the current crisis, believes investigative journalist Rick Rozoff.

NATO plays an intrinsic, indispensable role in the ongoing war in Ukraine, with the crisis already having lasted almost 300 days in duration, It is one that is expanding in intensity and in scope every day and NATO is helping to fuel the conflict by its expansion plans, Rozoff told RT.

“NATO’s role is in efforts made since 1994, when it initially extended an international partnership program to Ukraine called Partnership for Peace. It was extended to dozens of other countries also but immediately upon the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the US employed NATO as the mechanism by which to militarily integrate the republics of the former Soviet Union. And this of course includes the full integration into membership of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania 11 years ago.

But also efforts were made to bring countries like Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and other counties that border Russia, to integrate them into the military command structures of NATO,” he said .

Even if Ukraine is far from becoming a full NATO member, it can still be useful as a so-called non-aligned member like Georgia, where Ukraine would co-operate fully with the alliance.

“It’s sufficient that these two countries be launching pads or operating areas in forward bases for US and NATO operations particularly aimed at Russia,” he said.

Over the past 21 years there have been efforts to integrate Ukraine into the US-controlled NATO military block.

“Even during the Yanukovich government [Ukraine] supplied warships for a NATO interdiction operation in the Mediterranean Sea, Operation Active Endeavor and for a similar NATO operation off the Horn of Africa, Operation Ocean Shield. NATO regularly conducted fairly large scale war games in Crimea, e.g. Summer Breeze. They continue to conduct war games, infantry exercises in the west of the country, Rapid Trident and so-forth,” said Rozoff.

He pointed to the last NATO summit in Wales in September as proof of just how much the military alliance has expanded over the past 25 years and that instead of dissolving NATO at the end of the Cold War, the US instead grew it into a global organization.

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“Not only were there attendees from 28 NATO nations, but 49 partner countries. That is altogether 77 countries that now have become enmeshed either directly into NATO or through a series of military partnerships.”