Nato will not fight against a nuclear superpower because of Ukraine

April 10, 2017

In two years, Russia has been caught violating all the key provisions of Minsk Agreements. Now Russia has practically killed "Minsk" by introducing ruble in ORDLO, recognising local documents and especially by expropriating Ukrainian enterprises. This means that Russia’s strategy has changed. The previous strategy was to use "Minsk" to have Berlin, Paris and Washington pressure Ukraine into re-integrating ORDLO on conditions that would obliterate Ukraine’s sovereignty. This did not work. They also failed to provoke Ukrainian troops to reckless action. And now Ukrainian Armed Forces are stronger than before. This means that it is far more complicated for Russia to start an offensive now, than it was in January 2015.

Thus, I believe they changed the strategy. For different reasons, they did something similar in Abkhazia. The new strategy is based on dividing. They have created a situation, where Poroshenko had to order an official blockade. And the result will entail losses for Ukraine. One can argue whether the consequences of this are exaggerated, but in any case, there will be economic damage, and Russians can increase this damage.

We have to understand that Ukraine has no opportunity to join either NATO or anything of the kind while the conflict with Russia continues. There is no scenario according to which 28 member states could agree to guarantee security to Ukraine, as they guaranteed to Latvia, if there emerges a conflict and Russia opposes this status. This is political reality, and Ukraine should take this. The focus should be on increased efficiency of support of Ukrainian Armed Forces by NATO and the allies.

James Sherr

Visiting Senior Fellow

2010–date: Senior Fellow, Russia and Eurasia Programme, Chatham House

2008–2010: Head, Russia and Eurasia Programme, Chatham House

1995–2008: Fellow, Advanced Research & Assessment Group, UK Defence Academy

1986–2008: Lecturer in International Relations, Lincoln College Oxford

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