photo NATO US

by Gordon M. Hahn

An emerging myth–one being put forward by both present and former U.S. government officials, the DC think tank community, and the media–is that NATO expansion had nothing to do with the making of the Ukrainian crisis and civil war. Nothing could be further from the truth. A main pillar of that argument is that NATO expansion was off the agenda for the entirety of the Barack Obama administration. This is as far from the truth as the general proposition on causality. In fact, throughout the Barack Obama administration both the administration and the NATO apparatus were hard at work behind the scenes to bring both Ukraine and Georgia into NATO, using the West’s entire institutional infrastructure to ready those countries for NATO membership. Let’s take a look at the facts in some detail.

NATO’s Stealth Expansion

Thus, Obama administration officials, such as US ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, have claimed that NATO expansion was kept off the administration’s agenda, and therefore any Russian complaints addressed to the administration in connection with the making of the Ukraine crisis or otherwise are groundless. For example, McFaul wrote: “And the dreaded issue of NATO expansion that has somehow now provoked Russia into grabbing Crimea? It was not a problem during the reset. Aside from the addition of Croatia and Albania in 2009, two countries far away from Russia, NATO did not expand in the Obama-Medvedev era. Despite pressure from George W. Bush at the 2008 NATO Bucharest summit, other NATO allies refused to allow Georgian membership. After Russia’s invasion of Georgia in August 2008, the issue within the alliance died.”[1]

McFaul has omitted two issues here. First, he gravely obfuscates the causality chain and simultaneously sets up a strawman and inference that Moscow or anyone else for that matter has stated that NATO expansion was a direct cause of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Crimean annexation and reunification with Russia. A short list of the things McFaul leaves out between Crimea and NATO expansion (depending on which round he is talking about, I will set the bar high and use the last in 2009) would include: the West’s rejection of President Dmitrii Medvedev’s proposal to negotiate a new European security architecture; the EU’s Eastern European Partnership that excluded Russia; the EU’s refusal to engage Russia in talks on the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement (EUUAA) in order to minimize the market upheavals it might create in Russia and the Eurasian Economic Union; the military clauses in the draft EUUAA (see more below), the violation of the Helsinki Final Act’s clauses against interference in the domestic politics of member-states that occurred when US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, and other US and Western officials directly intervened on Maidan Square to encourage protesters to continue demonstrating; the opposition’s violation of the 20 February agreement on ending the conflict between Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, mostly moderates from the Maidan movement, Germany, France, Poland and Russia; Washington’s and Brussels’ acquiescence or endorsement of that violation and the illegal seizure of power by the opposition using violence; the likelihood and even certainty that the new largely anti-Russian regime would seek membership NATO despite opposition to such in southeastern Ukraine, especially in Crimea; Crimea’s being home to Russia’s Black Sea Fleet and overall strategic importance for Russian national security; and the continuing efforts in Washington and Brussels throughout the Obama administration to prepare Ukraine for NATO membership.

In addition, McFaul sets up a strawman. No one has ever made the argument that NATO expansion was the immediate cause of Putin’s move in Crimea. The argument, or at least my argument and long-standing prediction, is that NATO expansion would encroach on Russia’s sense of its sphere of influence and national security and thus provoke conflict. This precisely what happened in 2014. With the ouster of Yanukovich, Moscow had good reason to believe that the Maidan revolution would lead to Ukraine’s membership in NATO and loss of access to the Black Sea Fleet’s naval base in Sevastopol, Crimea. This on top of everything else, including the inevitable Georgian membership in NATO, would mean Russia’s loss of dominance in the Black Sea region and a blow to its ability to defend itself against NATO in the event of a crisis of the very kind that had just occurred in Ukraine as a result in part of other U.S. policies such as democracy-promotion, regime change, and color revolutionism.

McFaul’s more important omission is that at its April 2008 Bucharest summit, NATO issued an official statement over Russia’s and in particular President Vladimir Putin’s explicitly stated strong objections that both Georgia and Ukraine will someday be NATO members. To be sure, as McFaul notes, this was still during the George Bush administration. However, NATO reiterated no less than four times at no less than four Obama-era NATO summits that both Ukraine and Georgia will join NATO in the future. NATO’s Bucharest declaration on Ukrainian and Georgian membership would be restated officially by NATO at its 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2014 summits – the last taking place at the height of the Ukrainian crisis.[2]

Already in 2009—months into the Obama administration’s first year—NATO deepened its ‘distinctive partnership’ with Ukraine and the NATO-Ukraine Commission established at the 1997 Madrid NATO summit. NATO’s 2009 ‘Declaration to Complement the Charter on a Distinctive Partnership between the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Ukraine’ instituted a series of measures to assist “Ukraine’s efforts to take forward its political, economic, and defence-related reforms pertaining to its Euro-Atlantic aspirations for membership in NATO.”[3]

The victory of the less pro-Western Yanukovich in the February 2010 presidential election put cold water on any near-term Ukrainian accession to NATO. From early in his election campaign Yanukovich asserted that Ukraine should remain a “non-aligned state” and multivectoral foreign policy. “We will initiate a new common marker between the European Union and the CIS states. The foreign policy priority will be restoration of the full-fledged partnership with Russia, as well as the development of mutually beneficial partnership with the United State, the EU all the key countries of the G20,” he noted in October 2009.[4] Ukraine’s cooperation with NATO had attained a level commensurate with public opinion and need not be deepened, Yanukovich stated: “The Ukrainian people don’t currently support Ukraine’s entry to NATO and this corresponds to the status that we currently have. We don’t want to join any military bloc.”[5] On the eve of the vote, he essentially reiterated this stance, saying Kiev’s relations with NATO were “well-defined” and that that there could be “no question of Ukraine joining NATO” in the “immediate future” though it could “emerge at some point” but would be decided by referendum.[6] In his February 25th inaugural address he repeated that he would pursue a strategy of a “non-aligned state.”[7] In Brussels, on March 1st during his first foreign trip as president, he told the European Commission that Kiev continue its participation in NATO’s various ‘outreach programs’ in addition to pursuing an EU association agreement and Ukrainian free trade and visa-free travel with Europe.[8]

Thus, Ukraine would continue cooperatioin with NATO under the 2009 ‘Declaration to Complement the Charter on a Distinctive Partnership between the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Ukraine’, the NUAP, successive annual national programs, seminars, and joint tactical and strategic exercises. On 24 June 2010, Ukraine’s government approved an action plan to implement its annual national program for cooperation with NATO for 2010, which included: participation of Ukrainian aviation and material in the transportation of cargo and personnel of NATO member-states’ armed forces and partners operating in NATO-led peacekeeping missions; continuation of Ukraine’s participation in the Kosovo peacekeeping mission; possible reinforcement of Ukrainian peacekeeping contingents in Iraq and Afghanistan; participation in a series of international NATO events organized by NATO; and training Ukrainian troops in the structures of NATO member-states.[9] Thus, in 2011 and subsequent years of Yanukovych’s tenure NATO held military exercises on Ukrainian territory.[10] In March 2012, Ukraine and NATO held joint security seminars and command-staff strategic exercises in preparing for the Euro 2012 European Football Championship in April 2012, involving five Ukrainian government ministries and agencies.[11] Ukrainian forces took part in NATO’s ‘Ocean Shield’, combating piracy of the coast of Somalia, by delegating a ship to the operation.[12] In June 2013, Yanukovych renewed the 2009 decree mandating Ukraine’s annual national programs with NATO, signaling his support for continued cooperation on the eve of the 2013-2014 crisis.[13] The purpose of all this joint activity was to strengthen the bond between the Ukrainian military and NATO and thereby destroy any remaining bonds between the former and the Russian military, given their many years as the Soviet military and early post-Soviet era ties.

As the United States is a NATO member, the Obama administration can be presumed to have approved of the alliance’s adoption of this declaration and subsequent measures. This would have been clear to Moscow and consequently the Obama administration’s supposed silence on NATO expansion in its dealings with the Kremlin might appear as deception. Therefore, contrary to Ambassador McFaul’s assertion, Russian concerns about NATO expansion’s continuation or its connection with the making of the Ukraine crisis are far from groundless.

At the same time as Yanukovych supported and even strengthened cooperation with NATO, he pushed through the Rada a law that codified Kiev’s non-aligned status. The June 2010 law removed mention of Ukraine’s “integration into Euro-Atlantic security and NATO membership” from the country’s national security doctrine and related documents and precluded Ukraine’s membership of any military alliance. The law, however, allowed for Ukraine’s integration into Europe and co-operation with military blocs such as NATO and the CSTO.[14] Therefore, despite Ukraine’s continuing and deepening involvement in alliance programs, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defense Policy and Planning Jiri Sedivy seemed to sound a note of consternation with Kiev’s ambiguity when he told a meeting with Ukrainian reporters in May 2010: “It is an unprecedented experience for a country, which has been working in the frames of the Annual National Program, not to want to become NATO member.”[15] There can be little doubt that this reflected growing discomfort with Yanukovych in both Washington and Brussels. Indeed, in announcing Ukraine’s participation in operation ‘Ocean Shield’ in 2013, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen stated that although NATO’s decision that Georgia and Ukraine will eventually join the alliance “still stands,” it fully respected Kiev’s non-alignment policy, adding that there was “serious concern” in about Ukraine’s use of “selective justice.”[16] The last was a reference to the October 2011 conviction of his former prime minister and 2010 presidential election runoff opponent, Yuliya Tymoshenko on charges of embezzlement and abuse of power, for which she was handed a seven-year prison term and ordered to pay the state $188 million allegedly lost as a result of her 2008 gas deal with Putin. In other words, despite Yanukovych’s acquiescence, if not instigation of Tymoshenko’s imprisonment, NATO was still willing to bring Ukraine into the institutions of the Western community of democracies.

Washington’s and Brussels’s continuing pursuit of luring Ukraine into the Western alliance notwithstanding, the country itself remained not only opposed but also bitterly divided over the issue. The Western-funded Razumkov Center’s public opinion surveys show that from 2002 to 2008 the majority of Ukrainians were opposed to their country’s membership in NATO, but western Ukraine supported Ukrainian membership in NATO at levels of 48-75 percent, beginning at 69 percent in 2002 and ending at 61 percent in 2008. In the east and the south support for NATO membership was low, ranging from 42 percent in 2002 to 9 percent in 2008. In central Ukraine, support stood at 51 percent in 2002 but fell to 30 percent by 2008.[17] By contrast, despite or perhaps because of Yushchenko’s pro-Western policies, pro-Russian sentiment in southeastern Ukraine remained high by the end of his presidency. In an August 2011 opinion survey carried out in the regions of Odessa, Kherson, Mikolaiv, and Crimea were asked who would be Ukraine’s best ally over the next 5 years. Russia was chosen by 68.4 percent of respondents, the EU – 15.9 percent, China – 1.9 percent, and the US – 1.3 percent.[18]

Indeed, throughout the entire post-Soviet period, including both the Yushchenko and Yanukovich administrations, a majority of Ukrainians remained opposed to the country joining NATO.[19] According to numerous independent polls conducted by various Ukrainian and foreign organizations between 2002 and 2013, Ukrainians’ support for NATO membership continuously remained low. A high of 32 percent in 2002 supported membership, with only 20 percent supporting it by 2013. Thus, the level of opposition rose, with 33 percent in 2002 opposing membership, with a large undecided response, and in 2013—on the eve of the scheduled EU association agreement signing and ensuing crisis—a hefty 66 percent rejecting Ukraine’s membership in NATO.[2o] A 2009 Pew Research poll showed 51 percent of Ukrainians opposed NATO membership, while only 28% supported it.[21] Even those most in favor of Ukrainian membership in NATO, including lobbyists of the OUN-UPA diaspora such as the intenslely anti-Russian Ukrainian nationalist Aleksandr Motyl, have acknowledged Ukrainian public opinion’s opposition to NATO membership throughout the post-Soviet period prior to the 2013-2014 crisis.[22] NATO itself admitted in 2011 that “some” polls showed less than 20 percent support for Ukraine joining NATO: “The greatest challenge for the (sic) Ukrainian-NATO relations lies in the perception of NATO among the Ukrainian people. NATO membership is not widely supported in Ukraine, with some polls suggesting less than 20% of Ukrainians back membership. NATO’s bombing of Belgrade was particularly unpopular in Ukraine.”[23] Changing this negative attitude of the population towards Ukrainian membership in NATO was the purpose of the NATO-Ukrainian information program noted above.

Thus, NATO’s enlargement policy was clearly much more proactive than simply passively processing applications. NATO engaged in aggressive recruiting of new members through its establishment of various military-to-military aide programs often paired with prospective or actual membership in the European Union (EU) and in the aftermath of ‘color revolutions’ in Georgia, with the well-know disastrous result of misleading President Mikheil Saakashvili that Washington and Brussels had or would have his back when he assaulted Tskhinval, South Ossetiya on the evening of 7 August 2008 kicking off the Georgian-Ossetiyan/Russian war.

Expanding NATO through the West’s Institutional Infrastructure: EU Expansion

EU expansion became a second instrument by which Washington and Brussels bound prospective EU members closer to the West and NATO and pulled them away from Russia’s orbit. It also encroached on Russian economic and financial interests, and sometimes preliminary agreements between the EU and prospective members have included a military component.

Zbigniew Brzezinski set out the geopolitical, civilizational, and ultimately American power-maximizing nature of Washington’s and Brussels’s thinking with regard to the goal and purportedly symbiotic nature of enlarging both NATO and the EU:

The essential point regarding NATO expansion is that it is a process integrally connected with Europe’s own expansion. …

… Ultimately at stake in this effort is America’s long-range role in Europe. A new Europe is still taking shape, and if that new Europe is to remain geopolitically a part of the “Euro-Atlantic” space, the expansion of NATO is essential. Indeed, a comprehensive U.S. policy for Eurasia as a whole will not be possible if the effort to widen NATO, having been launched by the United States, stalls and falters. That failure would discredit American leadership; it would shatter the concept of an expanding Europe; it would demoralize the Central Europeans; and it could reignite currently dormant or dying Russian geopolitical aspirations in Central Europe. For the West, it would be a self-inflicted wound that would morally damage the prospects for a truly European pillar in any eventual Eurasian security architecture; and for America, it would thus be not only a regional defeat but a global defeat as well.

The bottom line guiding the progressive expansion of Europe has to be the proposition that no power outside of the existing transatlantic system has the right to veto the participation of any qualified European state in the European system—and hence also its transatlantic security system—and that no qualified European state should be excluded a priori from eventual membership in either the EU or NATO.[24]

Other proponents of NATO expansion influential in policymaking also state openly that EU expansion is crucial for the former.[25] Consistent with such analyses, which has been the policy in Washington and Brussels, EU and NATO enlargement have gone hand-in-hand. As of writing, both the EU and NATO each had 28 member-states; their memberships are almost identical. The United States, Canada, Turkey, and Albania are the only NATO member-states that are not EU members, but Albania will soon be an EU member. Cyprus, Malta, and Sweden are the only EU members that are not NATO member-states.[26]

When it comes to the post-Soviet and post-communist states of East and Central Europe, the EU has been NATO’s Trojan horse. Once any of these states has started on the EU accession process by signing an EU association agreement, it has taken on average 8 and a half years before it accedes to NATO (see Table 1). These states have taken five years and eight months on average to

___________________________________________________________

Table 1. Key Dates in Post-Communist Statess Accession Processes to EU and NATO.

————————————————————————————————————————–

EU AA Signed           EU AA in Force          EU Member                NATO

———————————————————————————————————————————-

Albania            12 June 2006            1 April 2009                        –                   1 April 2009

Bulgaria           8 March 1993           1 February 1995      1 January 2007    29 March 2004

Croatia            29 October 2001       1 February 2005       1 July 2013          1 April 2009

Czech Rep.     4 October 1993          1 February 1995        1 May 2004        12 March 1999

Estonia            12 June 1995              1 February 1998       1 May 2004        29 March 2004

Hungary          16 December 1991    1 February 1994        1 May 2004        12 March 1999

Latvia              12 June 1995              1 February 1998        1 May 2004        29 March 2004

Lithuania        12 June 1995              1 February 1998        1 May 2004        29 March 2004

Poland             16 December 1991     1 February 1994        1 May 2004        12 March 1999

Romania          1 February 1993        1 February 1995       1 January 2007   29 March 2004

Slovakia          4 October 1993           1 February 1995        1 May 2004        29 March 2004

Slovenia          10 June 1996               1 February 1999        1 May 2004        29 March 2004

———————————————————————————————————————————-

*Countries in italics are not post-communist or post-Soviet states.

___________________________________________________________

accede officially to NATO membership after EU association agreements have come into force usually a few years after signing. In each post-Soviet/post-communist case, accession to NATO preceded EU accession. As noted above, these organizations made no great secret of the interrelationship between EU and NATO accession processes. For example, the ‘Charter on a Distinctive Partnership between the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Ukraine’ stipulated the parties were “looking forward to” Ukraine’s “integration with the full range of European and Euro-Atlantic structures.”[27] This phrasing was a not-so-veiled reference to Ukraine’s eventual membership accession processes to both the EU and NATO.

In addition to the Trojan horse element of EU expansion, the inclusion of post-communist and especially post-Soviet states in the EU would inevitably have a deleterious effect on Russia’s trade and economy. The accession of the small Baltic states’ economies to the EU would have “profound consequences” for Moscow by accelerating the reorientation of these economies away from Russia and erecting new trade and other economic barriers between Russia and the Baltic states, damaging the Russian economy. EU rules, policies and standards would complicate Russian access to the Baltic states, and EU goods would flood the Russian market unless Moscow erected barriers against them, limiting Russia’s integration into the European economy.

Indeed, another EU policy, the Eastern Partnership Program, specifically set about isolating Russia’s economy from those of prospective EU members. Launched in 2008, the EPP was established to strengthen EU relationships with Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia—that is, all the former Soviet republics still outside the EU and NATO, except Russia and the Central Asian states. A former European Parliament and Council of Europe advisor and well-connected activist proponent of NATO and EU expansion noted publicly in 2015: “Let’s not pretend: the European Union’s Eastern Partnership clearly excludes Russia.” According to this operative, the EPP was designed to “push back” against “those who favor a ‘Russia first’ policy” when it comes to the EU’s integration of Eastern Europe, and the program had “become the de facto dividing line between Russia and ‘not Russia’.” He did caution that “the EU should think less about winning the EPP countries away from Russia, and more about instituting lasting economic and political reforms,” “not punish countries that choose closer association with the Eurasian Union,” and “continue to prioritize Ukraine and help Georgia and Moldova” for reform assistance but postpone their membership accession.”[28] Not surprisingly, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov agreed with this assessment as war in Ukraine began to rage: “The EU’s Eastern Partnership programme is designed to bind the so-called focus states tightly to itself, shutting down the possibility of co-operation with Russia.”[29] That the EPP was in fact a mechanism helping to isolate Russia and expand the EU (and thus NATO as well) was underscored by the fact that it would be a EEP summit in Vilnius on 28 November 2013 that would provide the spark that would set off the Ukrainian crisis, as discussed in the next chapter.

It is important not to overstate the impact of EU enlargement relative to that of NATO expansion proper on the alienation from democracy, capitalism, and the West. If there were no NATO expansion, Moscow would have easily tolerated EU expansion despite the damage it would cause to its economic interests. Thus, in February 1997 then Russian Foreign Minister Primakov expressed Moscow’s “positive” attitude towards the Baltic states’ possible entry into the EU.[30] The reverse is not true. Primakov and few others among the Russian elite or public have viewed NATO expansion as benign in terms of Russian national security.

More important is that NATO expansion in effect ‘militarized’ or ‘securitized’—that is, added a vital national security component to—EU expansion, not just in perceptions but in reality. Thus, in 1998 Garnett admitted, vaguely albeit, that there are “security implications” from EU accession of the Balts—and by implication, other post-Soviet and post-communist states—“both within the terms of the European Union itself” and by way of “direct links between the core members of the Union and NATO.”[31]

The EU-Ukraine Association Agreement

The draft EU-Ukraine Association Agreement that now deposed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich reneged on signing in November 2013 which then set off the initial demonstrations in Kiev that would evolve into a violent revolution led by a small group of neo-fascists in February 2014 was not a purely economic or financial document. It included military and security clauses that would help Ukraine prepare for NATO membership. These clauses included the agreement’s Articles 5 and 10, which read:

Article 5 

Fora for the conduct of political dialogue:

(1) The Parties shall hold regular political dialogue meetings at Summit level. 

(2)At ministerial level, political dialogue shall take place within the Association Council referred to in [Article 460] [of this Agreement] and within the framework of regular meetings between representatives of the Parties at Foreign Minister level by mutual agreement. 

(3) Political dialogue shall also take place in the following formats:

      (a) regular meetings at Political Directors, Political and Security Committee and expert level, including on specific regions and issues, between representatives of the European Union on the one hand, and representatives of Ukraine on the other; 

      (b) taking full and timely advantage of all diplomatic and military channels between the Parties, including appropriate contacts in third countries and within the United Nations, the OSCE and other international fora; 

      (c) regular meetings both at the level of high officials and of experts of the military institutions of the Parties; 

Article 10 

Conflict prevention, crisis management and military-technological cooperation 

(1) The Parties shall enhance practical cooperation in conflict prevention and crisis management, in particular with a view to an increased participation of Ukraine in EU-led civilian and military crisis management operations as well as relevant exercises and training including those in the framework of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP).

The Parties shall explore the potential of military and technological cooperation. Ukraine and the European Defence Agency (EDA) will establish close contacts to discuss military capability improvement, including technological issues.[32]

Conclusion

To sum up, Moscow had good reason to believe that the Maidan revolution would in fact lead to Ukraine’s membership in NATO. The Obama administration endorsed the violent and illegal seizure of power in a country where the democracy deficit is not nearly as great as it is in perhaps more than one hundred other countries, including NATO member Turkey.

Earlier this year the Maidan regime signed the EU association agreement. Subsequently, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko stated that Kiev would fulfill all criteria for NATO membership in 6-8 years. A U.S. official, apparently in greater hurry, said this is expected by the year 2020.[33] Although Russia has been allowed to negotiate with the parties on measures to protect Russia’s market from effects on the Russian market that will follow its implementation, the real issue is international security not trade. The agreement’s signing means the clock is ticking on Ukraine’s entry into NATO. This is well-known in Washington, Brussels and Moscow.

Appendix: Former U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry’s Recent Press Comments:

The United States is as much to blame for the state of U.S.-Russia relations as the Kremlin, a former Defense secretary under former President Bill Clinton said Thursday.

“It’s as much our fault as it is the fault of the Russians, at least originally,” said William Perry, who served as Defense secretary from 1994 to 1997. “And it began when I was secretary.” …

“But if you look over a 20-year period and put the scoreboard together, there are at least as many American mistakes as there were Russian.”

Specifically, Perry cited the expansion of NATO and the decision to send U.S.-led NATO forces to Bosnia in 1996 as the start of the downfall of U.S.-Russia relations.

Prior to that, he said, relations were going well, including four joint military exercises between Russia and NATO.

“We were on the way to forging a really positive and solid relationship between the U.S. troops, and then in 1996 we announced we were going to expand NATO, which, as I said, I’m not opposed to in general, but it was premature,” he said. “That was the first move down the slippery slope.”

Still, in Bosnia, the United States and Russia came to an agreement to operate under the same command, thereby avoiding any potential disastrous accidents between the two nations, Perry said.

He doubts that could happen in Syria today.

“You cannot imagine getting that decision today that we got back in 1997, ’96,” he said. [34]

________________

FOOTNOTES

[1] Kathryn Stoner and Michael McFaul, “Who Lost Russia (This Time)? Vladimir Putin,” The Washington Quarterly, Summer 2015, http://twq.elliott.gwu.edu/who-lost-russia-time-vladimir-putin.

[2] “NATO’s Relations with Georgia,” NATO, 7 September 2015, http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/topics_38988.htm?selectedLocale=en.

[3] “Declaration to Complement the Charter on a Distinctive Partnership between the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Ukraine, as signed on 9 July 1997,” NATO, 21 August 2009, http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/official_texts_57045.htm?selectedLocale=en.

[4] “Yanukovych: Ukraine will be a non-aligned state,” Kyiv Post, 23 October 2009, http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/yanukovych-ukraine-will-be-non-aligned-state-51207.html.

[5] “Yanukovych describes current level of Ukraine’s cooperation with NATO as sufficient,” Inerfax-Ukraine, 12 January 2010, http://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/29568.html.

[6] “Yanukovych opens door to Russian navy keeping base in Ukraine,” Global Security, 13 February 2010, www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/ukraine/2010/ukraine-100213-rianovosti02.htm citing RIA Novosti.

[7] “Tanukovysh Says Ukraine Seeks ‘Non-Aliged’ UE ties (Update 2),” Bloomberg, 25 February 2010, http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=a89SZz9MfVt0.

[8] “Ukraine’s Yanukovych: EU ties a ‘key priority’,” Kyiv Post, 1 March 2010, http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/ukraines-yanukovych-eu-ties-a-key-priority-60720.html.

[9] “Cabinet approces action plan for annual national program of cooperation with NATO in 2012,” Kyiv Post, 24 June 2010, http://www.kyivpost.com/content/politics/cabinet-approves-action-plan-for-annual-national-p-70823.html.

[10] “Military Manoeuvers in Ukraine,” Euronews, 4 August 2011, http://www.euronews.com/nocomment/2011/08/04/military-manoeuvres-in-ukraine/.

[11] “Ukraine, NATO to hold security exercises during Euro 2012,” Kyiv Post, 26 March 2012, http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/ukraine-nato-to-hold-security-exercises-during-eur-124954.html?flavour=ful.

[12] John Thys, “Ukraine Joins NATO’s Counter-Piracy Operation,” RIA Novosti (Sputnik), 22 February 2013, http://sputniknews.com/military/20130222/179631923/Ukraine-Joins-NATOs-Counter-Piracy-Operation.html.

[13] “Yanukovych signs decree on Ukraine-NATO annual cooperation programs,” Interfax-Ukraine, 12 June 2013, http://www.kyivpost.com/content/politics/yanukovych-signs-decree-on-ukraine-nato-annual-cooperation-programs-325558.html.

[14] “Ukraine’s parliament votes to abandon Nato ambitions,” BBC News, 3 June 2010, http://www.bbc.com/news/10229626.

[15] NATO considers Ukraine’s behavior ‘unprecedented’,” Kyiv Post, 25 May 2010, http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/nato-considers-ukraines-behavior-unprecedented-67634.html.

[16] Thys, “Ukraine Joins NATO’s Counter-Piracy Operation”.

[17] Ivan Katchanovski, “Political Regionalism in ‘Orange’ Ukraine,” Working paper, http://www.academia.edu/454776/Political_Regionalism_in_Orange_Ukraine, at p. 38 (last accessed on 19 December 2015) as calculated from “Informatsiina skladova evropeiskoi ta evroatlantychnoi integratsii: gromadska dumka,” Natzionalna bezpeka i oborona, Volume 1, 2008, pp. 42-60 and “Sotsiologichne opituvannya: Yakbi nastupnoi nedili vidbuvavsya referendum shchodo vstupu Ukrayni do NATO, yak bi Vi progolosovali? (dinamika, regional’nii rozpodil, 2002-2008),” Razumkov Center, 2009, http://www.uceps.org/ukr/poll.php?poll_id=116, last accessed on 19 December 2015.

[18] Ye. V. Knyazeva, “20 let nezavisimosti: mneneie ekspertov i naseleniya yuga Ukrainy,” in Yezhegodnaya nauchno-prakticheskaya sotsiologicheskaya konferentsiya ‘Prodolzhaya Grushina’, p. 156, http://wciom.ru/fileadmin/file/nauka/grusha_2012/tezisy/soc/knjazeva.pdf.

[19] See, for example, Lowell Barrington, “The Geographic Component of Mass Attitudes in Ukraine,” Post-SovietGeography, Volume 38, 1997, pp. 601-614; Vicki Hesli, William Reisinger, and Arthur Miller, “Political Party Development in Divided Societies: The Case of Ukraine,” Electoral Studies, Volume 17, 1998, pp. 235-256; Stephen Shulman, “Asymmetrical International Integration and Ukrainian National Disunity,” Political Geography, Volume 18, 1999, pp. 913-939; Sarah Birch, “Interpreting the Regional Effect in Ukrainian Politics,” Europe-Asia Studies, Volume 52, 2000, pp. 1017-1042; Paul Kubicek, “Regional Polarisation in Ukraine: Public Opinion,Voting and Legislative Behaviour,” Europe-Asia Studies, Volume 52, 2000, pp. 272-293; Lowell Barrington and Erick Herron, “One Ukraine or Many?: Regionalism in Ukraine and its political consequences,” Nationalities Papers, Volume 32, 2004, pp. 53-86; Dominique Arel, “The Orange Revolution’s hidden face: Ukraine and the denial of its regional problem,” Revue Detudes Comparatives Est-Ouest, Volume 37, 2006, pp. 11-48.

[20] For the results of 12 opinion surveys conducted between 2002 and 2013, see “Ukrainian-NATO Relations,” Wikipedia.org, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukraine%E2%80%93NATO_relations, last accessed 19 December 2015.

[21] “End of Communism Cheered But Now With More Reservations – Chapter 9. Rating the EU and NATO,” Pew Global Research, 2 November 2009, http://www.pewglobal.org/2009/11/02/chapter-9-rating-the-eu-and-nato/ and Simon Shuster, “NATO Too Wary of Russian Threats to Let Ukraine Join,” Time, 4 September 2014, http://time.com/3271057/nato-ukraine-membership/.

[22] Motyl admitted in a November 2014 discussion that in the past opinion polls showed 15-20 percent of Ukrainians maximum supported NATO membership. Just before 2012 support hovered around 25-35 percent. It fell to approximately 15-20 percent in favor of NATO membership in 2013, he noted. “Podcast: A Year of Living Dangerously,” RFERL, 21 November 2014, http://www.rferl.org/content/podcast-a-year-of-living-dangerously/26703995.html, last accessed on 19 December 2015.

[23] “’Post-Orange’ Ukraine: Internal Dynamics and Foreign Policy Priorities,” NATO Parliamentary Assembly, 2011, http://www.nato-pa.int/default.Asp?SHORTCUT=2439, last accessed 19 December 2015.

[24] Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard, pp. 79-80.

[25] Ronald D. Asmus and Robert C. Nurick, “NATO Enlargement and the Baltic States,” Survival, Vol. 38, No. 2, Summer 1996, pp. 121-42.

[26] The list of NATO and EU member-states are as follows (those countries in bold-face type in each list are not member-sates of the other organization). The 28 NATO member countries are: Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States. The 28 EU member countries are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland (UK), Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom.

[27] Charter on a Distinctive Partnership between the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Ukraine, NATO, 9 July 1997, http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/official_texts_25457.htm.

[28] Balázs Jarábik, “A Policy of Pretending,” Carnegie Moscow Center, 25 May 2015, http://carnegie.ru/commentary/?fa=60187.

[29] Sergei Lavrov, “It’s not Russia that is destabilising Ukraine,” The Guardian (UK), 8 April 2014, http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/07/sergei-lavrov-russia-stabilise-ukraine-west.

[30] Garnett, “Russia and the West in the New Borderlands,” p. 98, footnote 42.

[31] Garnett, “Russia and the West in the New Borderlands,” pp. 98-99, footnote 42.

[32] www.bilaterals.org/IMG/pdf/eu-ukraine-association-agreement-english.pdf.

[33]  “Poroshenko posevetoval ne zhdat’ Ukrainiu v NATO esho 8 let,” Vesti Ukraina, 7 November 2015, http://vesti-ukr.com/strana/122612-poroshenko-posovetoval-ne-zhdat-ukrainu-v-nato-ewe-8-let and “V SShA zayavili o perekhode Ukrainy na standarty NATO do 2020 goda,” Vesti Ukraina, 6 November 2015, http://vesti-ukr.com/strana/122485-v-ssha-zajavili-o-perehode-ukrainy-na-standarty-nato-do-2020-goda.

[34] Rebecca Khell, “Former Pentagon chief: US shares blame for poor relations with Russia,” The Hill, 3 December 2015, www.thehill.com/policy/defense/261940-former-defense-secretary-us-shares-blame-for-poor-relations-with-russia.