‘Ukraine crisis - result of NATO enlargement policy’

Residential buildings damaged during a shelling of Mariupol (RIA Novosti / Nikita Sergeyev)
The crisis in Ukraine is directly caused by the enlargement policy of NATO begun at the Bucharest summit in 2008 when the organization openly declared its aim to embrace both Ukraine and Georgia, Anna Van Densky, EU Reporter magazine, told RT.

RT:Russian President Vladimir Putin called the Ukrainian army a “NATO legion” which is acting not in the interest of Ukraine. Jens Stoltenberg the NATO Secretary General answered that: “The statement that there is a NATO legion in Ukraine is nonsense… The foreign forces in Ukraine are Russian.” Is that the reaction you expected?

Anna Van Densky: Of course that is the reaction I expected, everybody expected. Basically I would go further than the Russian president; I would say that the whole situation of the conflict in Ukraine is a direct result of the enlargement policy of NATO that started at the Bucharest summit in 2008. Then NATO openly declared that their aim is to include Georgia and Ukraine. They are doing their best to embrace these two countries in their ranks. And today Ukraine is a bankrupt country. So de facto they are not able to not only to pay the army but they are not able to pay civil servants, teachers, and doctors. It would be very easy for the West who is helping Ukraine with this financial aid to impose peace but they are not doing that.

As we see President Poroshenko gets indulgence after indulgence for whatever his national guards do in the Donbass region. On the contrary, whatever happens there, if it pleases the West and it is used against the rebels, against the coal miners of Donbass, they do this easily. We see that European values once again, or Western values that are so highly praised, are just a fiction because they have a very limited area of application. It means that they are applicable only to Ukrainians, but not to the Donbass people.

READ MORE: Putin: Ukraine army is NATO legion aimed at restraining Russia

RT:How deep is foreign involvement in this conflict? And bearing that in mind is it justified the EU and US threatening Russia with more sanctions… on top of this it’s their fault?

AVD: Unfortunately, this language was chosen, and it was a very wrong language. It is from the summer, from August. It was a sort of war of nerves and it didn’t bring any result. On the contrary, we see the popularity of President Putin is rising even amongst his lukewarm electorate- everybody sees how unjust and false the West is in proclaiming their values and fight for democracy in Ukraine. This unfortunate policy didn’t bring results any other that rising Putin’s popularity. Also globally - it pushed Russia and China together. They see now that the US expansion and NATO enlargement is a common threat to their peace and to their defense.

There are a lot of reasons for Putin to say what he said. Personally I think that he formulated it as a statement - as a diplomat - rather mildly. If you go in the backstage and talk to military experts and you would hear much more open statements. They would explain to you that always a flow for weapons is possible because there is no ban on weapons exports to Ukraine, it should be. We saw that last resolution of parliament in the country encourages bilateral military help to Ukraine. First it will be an urgent meeting of foreign ministers in Brussels. We’ll see what will be the further actions. But I’m very skeptical. I think that they have chosen the wrong stance and they are bigheaded, very stubborn and this is an absolutely failed policy.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.