NATO countries are supplying lethal weapons to Ukraine, Kiev says. Why would the Alliance push Kiev to military escalation despite a ceasefire agreement reached in Minsk? Radio VR is discussing it with Vladimir Kozin, the Head of the Group of Advisers to the Director of Russian Institute for Strategic Studies and Professor of the Russian Academy of Military Sciences.
Addressing a news conference on Sept, 14, Ukraine's defense minister Valery Heletey indicated that he had discussed weapons deliveries in bilateral meetings with NATO defense ministers during NATO summit in Wales. "We reached agreements in closed talks, without media, about… those weapons that we currently need, … those weapons are already on the way to us — that's absolutely true, I can officially tell you," he said.
According to the NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO would not send "lethal assistance" to non-member Ukraine, but member states may do so.
Vladimir Kozin, the Head of the Group of Advisers to the Director of Russian Institute for Strategic Studies and Professor of the Russian Academy of Military Sciences, says:
President Poroshenko, soon after the meeting between the Ukrainian and NATO diplomats on the sidelines of the recent NATO summit in Wales, in Newport, the UK, openly declared to the world that Ukraine would be happy to get not only nonlethal, but lethal weapons as well as five Western nations, members of the NATO have already expressed their desire to supply lethal weapons to the Kiev regime.
So, the threat is imminent, the threat is looming and it is a very risky game.
But isn't there any international legislation, defining the limits to weapons supplies?
Yes, there are some important official documents passed by the EU and the OSCE (the Organization to Security and Cooperation in Europe) that prohibit sending huge quantity of arms into the areas where conflicts are underway. Everybody knows that there is a huge conflict inside the Ukrainian territory. So, following these resolutions and official documents of the EU and of the OSCE, all countries should abstain from selling arms to the Ukrainian regime, because it would mean the expansion of the armed conflict and no peaceful resolution of the current stalemate.
So, NATO countries are acting in contradiction with those legal norms?
Yes, they simply turn a blind eye to those papers, many of them, because almost all the NATO member states are, at the same time, members of the EU and are participating in the OSCE. So, they are simply turning a blind eye to these documents they have put their signatures on. They are simply neglecting them. That is not very good and should be debated at the UN Security Council and at the OSCE deliberations, and in the framework of the EU.
So, if I get you right, now NATO is discussing an option of sending lethal weapons to Ukraine. This might indirectly imply that the sophisticated weapons, which NATO might supply to Ukraine, need to be accompanied by military counselors, military personnel….
I don’t think that NATO alliance will send their GI’s, their military personnel to Ukraine, especially to the southeastern areas of that country. But in terms of counselors, advisors, experts and what not, plus the military hardware, they will definitely send them to Kiev. For example, I have recently watched a TV footage of a modern tank of the Ukrainian troops seized by freedom fighters in Donbas. And inside that tank I saw electronic equipment with a label, reading The Thales Company, the UK.
So, it means that not only nonlethal weapons, but electronic equipment, plus reconnaissance data, intelligence information will be shared with the current Kiev regime. That will not be a proper option, it will run counter to all the international efforts and all the accords and agreements reached so far in Kiev, in Geneva, in Berlin and the last case in Minsk.
At the early stages of the Ukrainian conflict there's been a lot of speculation about Academi – the US private military company – sending its personnel to Ukraine. But we were always criticized for, like they were saying, not supplying enough evidence of their involvement in the conflict. Do we have any evidence now?
Yes, recently, when a ceasefire was reached during the Minsk consultations on September 5, we have seen the reports from the area that when a ceasefire was violated by the Kiev troops, the freedom fighters have spotted a number of volunteers from the Western countries, even from the US, Poland and some others.
Actually, the freedom fighters and Russia also confirm that the Russian volunteers are in Donbas, but there is a striking difference between the Western volunteers and the Russian volunteers, and the other foreigners, who are fighting on the side of Donbas. Why? Because the Donbas freedom fighters are defending their own land, their homes, their families.
But the volunteers from the West who are taking part in the hostilities on the Kiev’s side, they are participating in the genocide, in a military internal aggression of the current regime on the Ukrainian citizens, mainly peaceful citizens. The ratio between the losses amongst the civilians and the freedom fighters is probably around ten to one.
So, that means that the Western nations are pouring arms and sending their volunteers to defend Kiev regime deliberately, to suppress the desire of a very tiny community for independence and for the rule of law. In this case, the NATO member countries do not understand that the people in Donbas are sick and tired of this intervention of Kiev into their domestic affairs. They will never join Ukraine again. So, they would like to create a separate state within the administrative borders of their land.
So, should we understand that NATO is really after a military scenario in Ukraine? And in that sense, what would be their ultimate goal? Are they after a long simmering conflict? Are they after a military confrontation with Russia?
Well, actually, they are only talking about a ceasefire and a peaceful solution, but, at the same time, they are dreaming of enhancing the current regime illegally entrenched in Kiev and they would like to make Ukraine a 100% pro-Western nation, a member of NATO alliance and a hostile nation towards the Russian Federation.
When I approached a former CIA officer, now retired, during an international conference in Moscow and asked him – what is the length of your forecasting in your covert operations all over the world, how far do you foresee in your planning. And he replied — around one year. So, one year is not sufficient in planning this kind of thing on the world arena.
So, I think that the US and NATO made a very grave mistake, actually, a blunder. It is an error, it is a very huge blunder that they are helping this regime in Kiev to survive, to entrench and to resort to heavy weapons against its own citizens, against its own people.
I hardly imagine that during the current referendum in Scotland or in Catalonia in Spain the central government would ever dream of using heavy weapons against the people who are participating in the referendums and would like to secede.
How do you think Russia needs to react?
Russia has to react very cautiously, but, at the same time, very firmly. The Russian Federation should not pull back its military forces from the common Russian-Ukrainian border, be it in Crimea or be it very close to Donbas, Lugansk and Donetsk republics. Russia has to read all the international agreements before they are signed very carefully, and even between the lines, because sometimes unbiased experts and specialists are very much surprised at the formulas that are used in that Poroshenko’s peace plan and even in the Minsk protocol, signed recently.
The Russian Federation should also attract the world community at large, enthusiastically, explaining its stance and the rationality behind its policy, and explain the proper outcome from this tragic impasse. So, there are a lot of vistas, opportunities to find a proper resolution to this crisis. But the only remedy, the only cure — all in this particular case right now, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, etc, is not only a ceasefire or the end of hostilities, but also pulling back all the Ukrainian regular troops and irregular formations from Donbas beyond the current administrative border, separating Donbas from the rest of Ukraine.
That is the solution for this crisis. The other way around, to use military might or to try to emplace dubious papers and suggestions, and peace plans will lead all of us to nowhere. Unfortunately, in this case the confrontation will continue, the military hostilities will prevail over the political solutions. So, I would like to stress once again that the total withdrawal of Ukrainian troops from Luhansk and Donetsk people’s republics, to leave them alone and to leave them as they wish is necessary.
If Poroshenko is fostering another plan, to try to win their hearts and minds by a positive experience of the Ukrainian economy etc, why not? He should do it, he should implement these incentives, these plans by not by the military force and not by military attacks and genocide. Unfortunately, the multiple rocket launcher system Grad has been already used after the Minsk protocol, plus heavy artillery against the residential areas. And we have a great number of killed in actions and wounded in actions, especially amongst the civil population”.