NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

Jens Stoltenberg, the head of NATO, said during a visit to Kyiv that the alliance is united in its goal to stand beside Ukraine for as long as it takes for the country to emerge victorious against its bitter enemy Russia.

NATO’s support for Ukraine has reached new levels after the arrival of tanks and Patriot missile systems. The recent leaked Pentagon document dump shows the extent of the alliance’s participation. (See “UKRAINE TO LOSE WAR: U.S. TRIES TO SAVE FACE AFTER CLASSIFIED DOC LEAK”18 Apr 2023 and “LEAKED DOCS CONFIRM REPORTS NATO TROOPS ARE ON THE GROUND IN UKRAINE” 18 Apr 2023.)

Russia has indicated that the document leak contained little information that it didn’t already know. But the Western alliance insists that its support for Kyiv has not crossed any red line to become a participant.

Stoltenberg joined Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday and said the alliance “stands by you today, in your heroic fight against the Russian invaders and in defense of your country. NATO stands with you today, tomorrow, and for as long as it takes.”

The Financial Times noted that the meeting between the two was significant because Ukraine has still not been accepted into the alliance. Kyiv is beginning to express more frustration that the alliance is not doing enough to move its application along or—at the minimum—offer security guarantees.

The paper said Stoltenberg’s visit was “in part to shore up Zelensky’s commitment” to join the NATO meeting in the summer. Zelensky has hinted in the past that he would not join the meeting in Vilnius until there are some “concrete commitments.”

Stoltenberg said Ukraine belongs in the alliance “and over time, our support will help you make this possible.”

TRENDPOST: NATO continues to dangle membership—and Article 5—in the face of Ukraine but continues to keep Kyiv outside in the cold. (See “UKRAINE’S ACCEPTANCE IN NATO WOULD ASSURE WWIII AND BE ‘CATASTROPHIC’ FOR MANKIND” 18 Oct 2022, “UKRAINE: ZELENSKY TRIES TO JOIN NATO AGAIN AND MAKE WWIII OFFICIAL” 30 Sep 2022, and “NATO PROMISES TO KEEP BLOODYING UKRAINE KILLING FIELDS” 16 Aug 2022.) 

When Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reapplied for membership last September, Jake Sullivan, President Biden’s national security adviser, told reporters that it was not the right time. (Since 2008, NATO promised Ukraine that it will eventually be a member. The main benefit of NATO membership is Article 5 protection, which states an attack on one member is an attack on all.)

Last September, Alexander Venediktov, the deputy secretary of Russia’s Security Council, called Ukraine’s membership a guarantee for WWIII.

“We must remember: a nuclear conflict will affect absolutely the whole world, and not only Russia and the collective West, but in general, any country on this planet. Its consequences will be catastrophic for all mankind,” he said.

Stoltenberg, who visited Ramstein, Germany, after the Zelensky meeting, told reporters that the alliance will “make new announcements of concrete military support to Ukraine.”

Stoltenberg said the “main focus of the alliance, of NATO allies now, is to ensure that Ukraine prevails.” 

“It is to ensure that Ukraine continues to be a sovereign, independent democratic nation in Europe, because that is the only way to also have a meaningful discussion about Ukraine’s future membership,” he said.

Dmitry Peskov, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, said stopping Ukraine’s ascension into NATO was “unconditionally” a goal of the invasion, The FT reported. He said Ukraine’s NATO membership would “be a serious, substantial threat to our country and its security.”

The NATO Lie

Stoltenberg said that Kyiv’s future is in the “Euro-Atlantic family,” and that “all NATO Allies have agreed that Ukraine will become a NATO member.”

NATO requires all 31 members to approve the ascension of new states, so—on the surface—Stoltenberg’s comments were momentous given that it took months for the alliance to approve Finland, and Sweden’s application is still on hold. 

There are clear divisions in the alliance. Generally speaking, small anti-Russian Baltic states want Ukraine to become a full member because these countries want the alliance to fight Russia. But the U.S., Germany, and France have danced around the issue. 

Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán retweeted a Politico article about Stoltenberg’s statement about Ukraine’s future in NATO and wrote, “What?!”

TRENDPOST: We have reported extensively on how Orbán has condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but has resisted pressure from the West to sanction Moscow and provide Ukraine with weapons. (See “DOC DUMP SHOWS HUNGARY’S LEADER SEES U.S. AS A TOP ADVERSARY” 18 Apr 2023, “HUNGARY BLOCKS €18 BILLION PACKAGE FOR UKRAINE, GETS COVID RELIEF FUNDS BLOCKED” 13 Dec 2022, and “ORBAN WINS EASILY DESPITE ZELENSKY’S PUBLIC CONDEMNATION” 5 Apr 2022.)

Orban has made enemies in Brussels, particularly with Poland, over his close ties with Moscow and some political observers say he will have to eventually make a choice between the EU and Moscow.

Hungary has long accused Ukraine of mistreating Hungarian speakers in the Western part of the country, which is similar to the allegations from Russia about Russian speakers in the Eastern part of the country.

TREND FORECAST: Stoltenberg said he was confident that Kyiv will be able to stage an effective counter-offensive and that “they will now be in a position to be able to liberate even more land.”

The Western media’s pro-Ukraine propaganda is going to reach new heights during this counter-offensive because the result of this offensive could sway public opinion in the West. We stand by our forecast that Russia’s military is just too large and advanced for Ukraine to take on. 

There will be an evolution of propaganda headlines during this so-called offensive that will start with swift Ukrainian troop advances and then end with new Russian war crime allegations.

The seven stages of propaganda headlines will be: 1) Ukraine Forces in Lightening Advance, 2) Russian Troops Caught Off Guard. 

But when Ukraine has little to show for it after a few weeks, the headlines will turn to: 3) Russia Commits New War Crimes, 4) Russia Crosses Red Line With New Weapons, 5) More Weapons for Ukraine, 6) NATO Promises Continued Support Despite Setback, 7) Ukraine Prepares for New Fall Offensive.  

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