US uses Ukraine’s NATO membership to negotiate with Russia, academic says

The United States is using Ukraine’s NATO membership as leverage in negotiations with Russia, a senior American scholar says, ruling out the possibility of kyiv being admitted to the US-led military alliance. United, because the issue of membership would be a provocation for Moscow in the midst of a protracted conflict. between the two sides.

Darren Kew, executive director of the Center for Peace, Democracy and Development at the University of Massachusetts, made the comments in a telephone interview with Press TV on Friday as Russia’s military operation in Ukraine drags on for around 40 days.

When asked if NATO expansion would lead to war and if warnings about the likely consequences of such a move had gone unheeded, Kew, who is also an associate professor at UMass Boston, said followed in West’s footsteps to accuse Russia of an “invasion” of Ukraine. , claiming that the issue of Ukraine’s membership was being used as “negotiating leverage” by the United States.

“I think the United States has primarily used the issue of Ukraine’s NATO membership as leverage in negotiations with Russia, but neither Republican nor Democratic administrations in recent years have had any serious intention to allow Ukraine to join NATO, knowing what a provocation it would be for Moscow,” Kew told Press TV.

“Ironically, however, Russia’s invasion has made Ukraine’s NATO membership more possible than it ever was, although I still think it’s unlikely. Ukraine be admitted to NATO,” he added.

Kew pointed out that NATO expansion is largely an old problem that Russia has lived with for years and quietly adapted to as long as Ukraine is never admitted.

“I think Russia’s biggest concern was the 2014 revolution in Ukraine which brought a more nationalist and anti-Russian government to power in Kyiv, and that government’s intention to apply for EU membership. “said the UMass Boston professor.

Asked if Russia’s military operation in Ukraine signaled a new world order was in place, Kew said Moscow’s military campaign would undermine US dominance and push kyiv further towards Brussels.

“In terms of a new world order, you could certainly argue that the invasion demonstrated that a new world order is already in place: a world in which the United States plays a less dominant role and a world in which China can offer a possible check and balance to the power of the United States,” Kew said.

“Yet the Russian invasion may also spur the EU to come together as a more cohesive player and show more cohesion than in the past, so that a US-EU power bloc (within NATO and beyond) could begin to work together more comprehensively to contain Russian aggression and pursue other common goals in the Middle East and elsewhere.

During his interview with Press TV, Kew compared Moscow’s military campaign to former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990.

“The Russian invasion is a major threat to world peace and stability, similar to Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait. You might argue at the time that Iraq had legitimate economic problems for which Kuwait was responsible, but none of these justified the invasion of Iraq,” the senior scholar said.

“Equally, regardless of Russia’s concerns over Ukraine, the tilt towards the EU or its relationship with NATO,” he added.

The executive director of the Center for Peace, Democracy and Development at the University of Massachusetts also ruled out the possibility of the war in Ukraine going nuclear and said the risk of a nuclear war was low.

“At this point, I believe the possibility of nuclear war is remote. Western governments would never fire nuclear weapons first…Moscow knows that if it fired such a weapon at a Western country, it would also be attacked with them, and Russia firing nuclear weapons at Ukraine does not serve Russian interests,” Kew said.

“If the war with Ukraine drags on and Russia becomes desperate, one could imagine a scenario where (Russian President Vladimir) Putin considers using smaller tactical nuclear weapons on Ukraine to get out of a stalemate, but even that seems remote and carries extreme risks for the Russian troops almost as much as for the Ukrainians,” he added.

On February 24, Putin announced a “special military operation” aimed at “demilitarizing” the Donetsk and Lugansk regions in eastern Ukraine. In 2014, the two regions declared themselves new republics, refusing to recognize Ukraine’s western-backed government.

Announcing the operation, Putin said the mission was aimed at “defending people who for eight years have suffered persecution and genocide by the kyiv regime”.