03 Main Reasons Why Some Countries Stand Behind Ukraine

David Kipre

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Since the beginning of the Russian military assault a few months ago, Ukraine can count on the support of the whole international arena. The governments of some twenty countries have already sent or announced military or humanitarian aid, some even both.

Every day, announcements of new sanctions against Russia follow one another. This is a way for the international community, especially the European Union, to put pressure on Vladimir Putin, since the beginning of the invasion launched on Thursday 24 February against its Ukrainian neighbor. 

In addition to these severe economic penalties, the governments of these twenty countries around the world have also officially announced aid to Ukraine. They are of two types: military and/or humanitarian.

Some are sending weapons, others fuel, others tents or funds for the delivery of several tons of equipment, including medical. Among these countries, we can mention Germany, France, Romania, the USA, etc

But the question is to know the motivations of these countries to come to the support of Ukraine.

Indeed, what they do not say is that Ukraine is a key piece of their own strategy of economic domination. A strategy entirely at the service of their multinationals, and where the working class has nothing to gain.

For these countries, the control of Ukraine has three main objectives: to strengthen NATO, to weaken Russia, and to control the gas routes.

1-Consolidate NATO

NATO  is a military alliance created in 1949 to face the “Soviet threat”. However, the organization did not disappear with the fall of the USSR. On the contrary, it has continued to grow, gradually integrating all the former socialist countries: Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic in 1999, the Baltic States, and almost all of the Balkans between 2004 and 2020.

Today, NATO is the largest military organization in the world, bringing together the majority of European and North American countries. And while originally it could only use force in self-defense, this status has changed. From now on, it is authorized to intervene wherever the interests of its members, led by the United States, are threatened, including outside its territory.

For the countries that support Ukraine in this war, the enlargement of NATO to include Ukraine, the largest country in Europe, is an objective of primary importance. In 1997, Zbigniew Brzezinski, one of the most influential American strategists, wrote that NATO’s collaboration with Ukraine “could become the geostrategic pillar of Europe”.

2-Weakening Russia

In the 1990s, just after the fall of the USSR, Russia was largely under the control of NATO countries, especially the United States, and did not worry them much (American companies did pretty much what they wanted in the country). This changed with the arrival of Putin to power in 2000.

He tried to bring Russia back to the rank of great power by favoring Russian oligarchs over foreign investors. Naturally, this did not please the United States.

The U.S., therefore, set out to weaken Moscow by all means, including preventing it from creating an independent economic bloc with Ukraine.

“Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be an empire,” explained strategist Brzezinski in 1997.

“For Moscow to re-establish control over Ukraine, a country of fifty-two million people with abundant resources and access to the Black Sea; is to secure the means to become a powerful imperial state again.”

The integration of Ukraine into NATO also aims to weaken Russia. A 2008 Report to the US Congress states that Ukraine’s membership would be “a guarantee against possible Russian attempts to revive its ’empire’”.

This desire to weaken Russia is all the more relevant now that Russia is getting closer to China, the other major rival of the United States. Trade agreements between the two countries continue to grow.

In 2019, during a visit by the Chinese president to Russia, the two powers agreed to gradually dispense with the dollar in their trade.

3-Controlling gas routes

The proposed Nord Stream II gas pipeline is more than 1,000 kilometers long and will link Russia to Germany. It would double the delivery of natural gas to Europe. The NATO countries, which are competing with Russia for the position of the world’s leading supplier, take a very hostile attitude to the construction of this pipeline.

In 2018, for example, Donald Trump commanded the outright abandonment of the project and accused Germany of being in Russia’s pocket. He then passed a law threatening sanctions against any company linked to the project.

If the above-mentioned countries are so interested in Ukraine, it is not to “protect Ukrainians from the Russian threat”. It is above all to defend their own economic and geostrategic interests.

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