Sputnik Explains
When simply knowing is not enough: if you want to be well-informed about political, socio-economic and military affairs all over the world, dig deeper with Sputnik!

Three Reasons Why Washington's Alliances the Weakest They've Ever Been

© AFP 2023 / KENZO TRIBOUILLARDUS President Joe Biden arrives for an EU - US summit at the European Union headquarters in Brussels on June 15, 2021.
US President Joe Biden arrives for an EU - US summit at the European Union headquarters in Brussels on June 15, 2021.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.11.2022
Subscribe
The White House sounded triumphalist on Sunday, claiming on Twitter that under US President Joe Biden, Washington's alliances and partnerships are the strongest they've ever been. Is that really the case?
The Biden administration is touting the US president's approach to the world as a success: according to White House officials, the incumbent facilitated bringing Finland and Sweden to NATO's fold, strengthening the military bloc's security and deepening transatlantic partnership.
However, there's many a slip twixt the cup and the lip: Finland and Sweden's NATO membership is not a done deal; the flow of weapons to Ukraine threatens to further destabilize Europe, and cracks have already appeared in the transatlantic partnership.

Finland & Sweden NATO Membership Not Done Deal Yet

28 of the 30 NATO members have ratified Sweden and Finland’s accession to the bloc, but it's not enough given that NATO's decision-making process requires unanimity. Hungary and Turkey have yet to give Stockholm and Helsinki the nod.
Last week, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban signaled on November 24 that parliament would approve Finland and Sweden's accession to NATO next year. For his part, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan outlined certain conditions under which the two Nordic countries could join the bloc and repeatedly postponed ratification of their applications. Erdogan made it clear that Finland and Sweden should satisfy his demands in time for NATO’s July 2023 summit.
Ankara wants the Nordic states to tighten the screws on what it considers extremist organizations: the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK); the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the PKK's Syrian affiliate; and the Fethullah Gulen movement, also known as FETO. In June, Turkish, Swedish, and Finnish diplomats inked a trilateral memorandum in Madrid to address Ankara's concerns. However, according to Ankara, the Nordic states are not rushing to walk the talk.
  Marines from Sweden (File) - Sputnik International, 1920, 26.08.2022
Analysis
Turkey Remains the Major Deterrent to Finland and Sweden's NATO Aspirations, Analysts Warn
In late October, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesman Omer Celik highlighted, in particular, that Sweden "makes very beautiful, elegant promises at the very highest level," but they have yet to take action. Thus, on November 8, Erdogan once again delayed the ratification of the Swedish and Finnish candidatures to NATO despite Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson voicing a firm stance on fighting crime and terrorism during his November 7-8 visit to Turkey.
The French mainstream media drew attention to Ergodan's notion that the two Nordic states have plenty of time to deliver on their promises "until July [2023]." According to the media, it was a direct reference to the Turkish presidential and parliamentary elections, scheduled for June 2023. This means that one shouldn't expect any immediate progress on the matter.
To complicate matters further, last week Turkey summoned Sweden's ambassador to Ankara over "insulting" images of President Erdogan which were allegedly projected onto the Turkish Embassy building in Stockholm. According to the European media, the protest was supposedly organized by supporters of the Kurdistan Workers Party.
caution sign - Sputnik International, 1920, 05.11.2022
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
Kiev Never Concealed It Could Make Nukes & West is Abetting It, Journo Says

Compromised Security

While tensions are simmering between NATO allies over Sweden and Helsinki's admission, the bloc is continuing to provide lethal weapons to Ukraine and turning a blind eye to Kiev's terrorist attacks on Russian cities, civilian infrastructure, fleet, and potential nuclear false flags.
Emboldened by NATO's silence, the Ukrainian military is continuing to attack the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) after Russian forces established full control over the site several months ago. The International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) chief Rafael Mariano Grossi has repeatedly warned against shelling of the ZNPP, but never admitted that it was the Ukrainian military endangering its safety. Located on the left bank of the Dnepr River, the ZNPP is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe by number of units and output. If the ZNPP is destroyed, the nuclear contamination could eventually reach Moldova, Romania, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, and other European countries.
Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu  - Sputnik International, 1920, 26.10.2022
Russia
Russian Defense Minister Shoigu Briefed Chinese Counterpart on Kiev's 'Dirty Bomb' Provocation: MoD
NATO has also turned a deaf ear to Russia's warning of the potentiality of false flag operations by Kiev involving a "dirty bomb," an explosive device loaded with radioactive material which could be used to stage a false-flag operation in the zone of the special military operation with the aim of pinning the blame on Moscow. The US and its NATO allies have accused Russia of using the issue to further escalate tensions over Ukraine, even though Ukrainian experts openly bragged in February 2022 that Kiev has expertise and materials to build nuclear weapons quickly, let alone a "dirty bomb."
In addition to risking nuclear havoc in Europe, NATO member states appear to have largely depleted their stockpiles of weapons. The US mainstream press admitted on November 27 that the amount of artillery being used is "staggering." The media noted, citing NATO officials, that the Ukrainians were firing 6,000 to 7,000 artillery rounds each day during the summer, adding that the US produces only 15,000 rounds every month.
Similarly, Europeans are scrambling to provide ammo and replacements for the vast variety of weapons systems they have sent to Kiev. Transatlantic bloc officials acknowledge that Kiev now has to cope with "NATO's petting zoo" of arms, which are difficult to both resupply and maintain.
France's President Emmanuel Macron (R) and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz wave upon Scholz' arrival for a lunch at the presidential Elysee Palace in Paris on October 26, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.10.2022
World
France, Germany Vow to ‘Strike Back’ Over US’ Inflation Reduction Act

Rift Deepening Within Western Alliance

Meanwhile, not everything is rosy in the garden of the transatlantic alliance. While the US and its European allies appear to be on the same page when it comes to anti-Russia sanctions and aid to Kiev, inner strife, concerns, and irritation have already started to surface.
The latest European aid package to replenish Ukraine's 2023 budget prompted scandals and internal political struggle. In October, the US resorted to tough criticism of its EU allies over their hesitancy to provide Kiev with extra money.
As a result, Brussels came up with an €18 billion package earlier this month, which was immediately blocked by Budapest. Hungary’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó signaled that Budapest has had enough of the EU's borrowing initiatives. For his part, Orban suggested that EU member states should distribute the sum in a "proportional and fair way," adding that Budapest could provide Ukraine with just 60-70 billion forints ($152-178 million).
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky  - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.11.2022
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
We Have Had Enough: Why Western Leaders, Populations Call for Halting Money Flow to Ukraine
The European Parliament passed the €18 billion loan for Kiev on November 24, but it has to be approved by unanimity in the Council on December 6 before the Commission can disburse the support in early 2023. Last week, Brussels threatened to put billions in EU cash for Hungary in jeopardy, citing Budapest's failure to adopt "promised judicial reforms" as well as its intractability. Time will tell whether Orban will cave in.
Hungary is not the only NATO ally triggering concerns among European leaders: France and Germany have repeatedly accused the US of using the Ukraine conflict and anti-Russia energy embargo to "overcharge" them for liquefied natural gas (LNG). Having abandoned Russian hydrocarbons, the Eurozone is suffering from an energy crunch, inflation, and a looming recession. Earlier, the American mainstream media revealed that European businesses had started fleeing the Old Continent for the US over the unfolding energy crisis and recession fears. EU leaders addressed high US gas prices at the G20 meeting in Bali last week, but remained unheard by Biden.
European countries are also up in arms about Washington's Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) inked by Joe Biden into law in August 2022. The IRA's green subsidies and tax breaks for American manufacturers could put European firms at a disadvantage and threaten to destroy EU industries. The Western mainstream press is warning about certain risks stemming from the increasingly toxic atmosphere within the NATO alliance.
But that is not all: the Western media has also drawn attention to growing irritation about the money flowing into the US defense industry. Since February 2022, the US has provided $15.2 billion in weapons to Kiev, while the EU has sent roughly €8 billion in military equipment to Ukraine. It is expected that Washington will profit hugely from the conflict: having burned their arms stockpiles in Ukraine, the US' European allies will have to step up purchases of new weaponry. The Pentagon is reportedly developing a roadmap to speed up arms sales.
While it appears that Washington has a good reason to feel triumphalist – since it has managed to twist the EU around its little finger – the Western alliance could hardly be called strong and united.
Newsfeed
0
To participate in the discussion
log in or register
loader
Chats
Заголовок открываемого материала