Official: Ukraine certain of receiving lethal weapons from NATO
Leonid Kravchuk, one of the three signatories to the dissolution of the Soviet Union and Ukraine’s first president, told one of his nation’s television networks on May 7 that he was sure of the U.S. and other NATO delivering lethal weapons to Ukraine. Weapons required to continue the seven-year war against the Donetsk and Lugansk republics in the Donbass and for possible armed conflict with Russia.
The man who made that assertion is Ukraine’s top representative to the Trilateral Contact Group, created to bring a peaceful resolution to the war in the Donbass. His mind is clearly on war and not peace. In fact his mind of late has been on world war; in mid-April stated the following: “I want to convey to Russia so that they realize, so that the Kremlin realizes, that it will be no parade. If they dare, if they turn insane and go to war against Ukraine, this will mark the start of a large-scale conflict that could escalate into World War 3.” This is from the top Ukrainian official assigned to peace negotiations with Russia and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
Commenting on the then recently concluded visit to his nation by Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his chief adjunct Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland (a major architect of the 2014 coup in Ukraine and its resultant war), Kravchuk said that they “confirmed that…military-technical cooperation would unfold, and not only with the United States.”
He also cited President Volodymyr Zelensky’s recent trips to Turkey and Britain, stating defense agreements were signed with both nations. Britain and Turkey are among NATO’s most powerful members; the first is a nuclear power and the second hosts American nuclear weapons under a NATO burden-sharing arrangement. Turkey has provided Kiev with Bayraktar TB2 drones. Britain has trained over 20,000 Ukrainian military personnel to date through its Operation ORBITAL.
The peace negotiator further said: “The time when they refused to sell lethal weaponry to us are now gone. Now we know that all weapons, aircraft, anti-tank weapons can be bought and sold.”
The Pentagon in recent weeks revealed that it has disbursed over $2 billion dollars in assistance (including Javelin anti-tank systems) to Ukraine since the 2014 coup. Earlier this year $125 million was provided and the U.S. Senate is in the process of authorizing another $300 million in lethal and non-lethal aid.
Also on May 7 Jalina Porter, Principal Deputy Spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State, said of the Blinken-Nuland trip to Ukraine:
“In Kyiv, the Secretary [Antony Blinken] reaffirmed our unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, especially in the face of Russia’s ongoing aggression. We’ll continue to strengthen our partnership – our security partnership with Ukraine to defend itself against aggression.”
She also pledged that Washington would promote Ukraine’s “Euro-Atlantic aspirations” – first NATO, then European Union membership – for no selfish reasons: not to guarantee lucrative arms sales for American and other NATO nations’ “interoperable” weapons; not to complete the military blockade of Russia from Europe by connecting Pentagon and NATO military forces in the Baltic and Black Seas; not to knock Russia out of the European energy market and sell U.S. liquefied natural gas there instead; nor for proposed American fracking ventures; nor for further enriching the family of the American president; no, solely “so that all Ukrainians will have a bright and prosperous future.”
It’s difficult to reconcile such a luminous and flourishing future with talk of a third world war.