There are several burning questions with no clear answers. We will explore the subject and present some grossly overlooked facts that preceded the current seemingly manufactured crisis situation in Crimea. Before things spiral into the abyss it’s very important that everybody keep cool heads considering time and time again we are told by the Harper Government that the Canadian Government is acting for the benefit of the “Ukrainian people”.
Is Stephen Harper and John Baird’s opaque “Cold War” lies and misrepresentation of the facts regarding Ukraine leading to war with Russia or is this just self-fulfilling grandstanding by the PMO or simply a dangerous campaign stunt aimed at pandering for votes hatched within the Harper Party itself?
Is the Canadian media’s lack of due diligence in omitting facts by repeating press releases from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and reports from RFE/RL’s Ukraine/Russia/Middle East dis-information propaganda arm Radio Svoboda fueling an unnecessary rush to war?
Do these events truly signify that the Harper Government has officially ceded Canada’s sovereignty and turned over control to foreign entities?
Unfortunately there is to this point no recognition of events leading to the formation of the Government Harper’s going to visit – overturning of an agreement made on 21 February 2014.
An action motivating the Russians, but to this point totally ignored in the words of John Baird – though not in those of Christopher Westdal, a former Canadian ambassador to both Ukraine and Russia.
This is very troubling since it really brings into question the legitimacy of Stephen Harper and John Baird among others. Another troubling aspect is the complicity with which the Canadian media conglomerates have decided to report on the subsequent events. Not only that, but if there was a voice within Ottawa that knew the truth, the secretly passed lifelong gag order officially titled “Order Amending the Schedule to the Security of Information Act P.C. 2014-165 February 28, 2014” that was quietly announced on 12 March 2013 via the Canada Gazette website would see them imprisoned for up to 14 years.
NATO’s Relations with Russia and Ukraine
R. Craig Nation
Elihu Root Professor of Military Studies
Director of Russian and Eurasian Studies
U.S. Army War College
1. The New NATO.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was conceived and maintained during the decades of the Cold War as an association for collective defense in the face of a clear and present external threat. With the disbanding of the Warsaw Pact on 1 July 1991, NATO appeared to many to be an alliance without a mission. In an era of revolutionary transformations, where the familiar certainties of bipolarity no longer held sway, the future of the Alliance was inevitably placed in discussion. Immanuel Wallerstein, speaking from the far left wing of the American political spectrum, pressed the conclusion to its logical extreme: “A Cold War instrument, it is not clear why NATO is now needed … The United States should stop obstructing the creation of a European army, allowing NATO to wither away.”1
The American commitment to European defense lies at the heart of the transatlantic bargain that defines NATO. It is an expensive commitment, which absorbs nearly half of total U.S. military spending.2 Washington reacted to the end of the Cold War by significantly reducing its troop presence in the European theater, lowering the number of effectives from over 300,000 in 1991 to approximately 100,000. Simultaneously, however, it made clear that at the institutional level no other organization could substitute for the Atlantic Alliance as the anchor of a new European security order. From a European perspective, though the imminent d0anger of the Cold War period was no longer in place, as a forum for defense cooperation and a means for keeping the U.S. engaged in the Old Continent the Alliance remained essential.
Survival demanded adaptation, and at its Copenhagen session in 1991 the North Atlantic Council took a first step toward revitalization with a declaration on “NATO’s Core Security Functions in the New Europe” that reiterated collective defense and transatlantic cooperation as essential responsibilities.3 As if in answer to Wallerstein, the need to keep other European security forums subordinated to NATO leadership was clearly stated, a priority that coincided with the U.S.’s March 1992 Defense Planning Guidance concept, which specified that “we [the U.S.] must attempt to prevent the emergence of any kind of exclusively European defense forces, that could finish by threatening NATO.” 4
The Atlantic Council summit in Rome on 7-8 November 1991 culminated a first phase of adaptation. The Council sought to redefine NATO’s military responsibilities with the publication of a New Strategic Concept that encouraged the creation of multilateral formations, coined the phrase “interlocking institutions” to emphasize the complementary role of other leading European institutions (such as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe [OSCE], the Western European Union, and the Council of Europe) in the security sector, and placed a new emphasis upon mobile forces and peace operations.5 NATO’s “intact validity” as the keystone in Europe’s security arch was clearly stated.6 Finally, the Council sought to confront the potential for a security vacuum to develop in post-communist central Europe by announcing the creation of a North Atlantic Cooperation Council (NACC) as a forum for formal association between NATO and the emerging democracies of central and eastern Europe.7
At Rome the Alliance staked a course toward expanded out of area commitments and engagement to the east. Much of its subsequent development has been consistent with that course. In Sintra, Portugal on 30 May 1997 the NACC was reestablished as the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC), with “increased ability to give focus and weight to discussions concerning multilateral political and security-related issues.”8 With 46 members (19 NATO full members plus 27 partners) the EAPC has become a vital pillar of NATO’s aspiration to play an inclusive, pan-European role.
The NACC’s Partnership for Peace (PfP) program was launched at NATO’s Brussels summit in January 1994. Today, under EAPC auspices, it too has expanded to include partnership programs with 27 partners. PfP seeks to promote transparency in national defense planning and budgeting, democratic control of armed forces, and readiness to operate in peacekeeping and humanitarian operations under UN or OSCE auspices as well as with NATO. It includes ambitious NATO/PfP national and “In the Spirit of PfP” exercise programs and NATO School SHAPE programs open to partner participation. Over the years it has become ever more ambitious, establishing the norm that partners should be contributors as well as recipients, moving from broad-based multilateral dialogue to bilateral relations between individual partners and the Alliance in the form of Individual Partnership Programs, and establishing a Planning and Review Process to draw partners closer to the Alliance by helping them to meet interoperability standards.9
The 1995 Dayton Peace Accords assigned NATO forces, designated as an Implementation Force (IFOR) and after renewal of the mandate as a Stabilization Force (SFOR), significant peacekeeping responsibilities in Bosnia-Herzegovina. In 1999, after diplomatic pressure failed to convince Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic to call off his campaign of repression and ethnic cleansing in Kosovo, NATO waged a full-scale air war to impose a peace settlement. Since June 1999, Kosovo has been occupied by a NATO-led Kosovo Peacekeeping Force (KFOR), with extensive responsibilities for maintaining public order. In 1997 the Alliance also launched a first round of enlargement by agreeing to bring Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary into the fold as full members, and adopted a Membership Action Plan to assist new candidates in their efforts to prepare for eventual affiliation.10
These varied initiatives had a purposeful logic. The new NATO would not be limited to collective defense responsibilities, but rather actively engaged in peace keeping and peace enforcement operations on Europe’s unstable periphery. It was moreover pledged to future rounds of enlargement on the basis of an “open-door” approach defined by rigorous accession criteria. Not least, the Alliance was committed to a process of internal reform and adaptation that sought to strengthen its European pillar and accentuate its character as an inclusive, collective security forum. NATO’s fiftieth anniversary observances in Washington during April 1999 marked an important culmination for these trends, formally welcoming Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic as new members and promulgating an ambitious new Strategic Concept.11
2. NATO, Russia, and Ukraine.
The Russian Federation articulated strong objections to NATO’s enlargement decision. In part to placate these discontents, and in part to sustain the momentum of enlargement by making the process more inclusive, NATO paralleled its accession talks with Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic with an attempt to craft special relationships with both Moscow and Kyiv. NATO’s ties with Russia and Ukraine may be depicted as a triangle, with each leg representing a significant set of bilateral interactions. But the relationship as a whole has a larger importance, and is integral to the effort to recast NATO’s post-Cold War responsibilities.
The Russian Federation has been in a state of perpetual crisis since the breakup of the USSR in 1991, and its international stature has declined radically. Russia nonetheless retains all the objective attributes of a great world power. With 80 percent of former Soviet territories it remains the world’s largest state, and largest single national repository of strategic raw materials. It is the world’s second ranking nuclear power, and despite the much publicized decline of its conventional forces, is still a major conventional military power. Russia has inherited the Soviet Union’s status as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and possesses a critical geostrategic situation, at the core of the Eurasian heartland.
Ukraine has a population of 52 million, renowned agricultural potential, important coal, mineral, and timber resources, a substantial industrial infrastructure, and an important geographical position between the Russian Federation, the Black Sea, and central Europe. Though its experience of independence has been difficult and to some extent disappointing, it is widely viewed as a pivotal state in a region undergoing fundamental transformations.
NATO’s ties with the Russian Federation, burdened by a legacy of rivalry and distrust, are of particular salience. The Alliance’s agenda for a transformed Euro-Atlantic security order cannot be fulfilled without Russian engagement. Ukraine defines a “European Choice” as the central pillar of its foreign policy, but it is constrained by a legacy of backwardness, and by a complex relationship with its Russian neighbor. Though it is a troubled polity, as a major regional power Ukraine is too important for the Alliance to ignore.
At the very origin of the Atlantic Alliance, NATO’s first Secretary General Lord Ismay is reported to have quipped that it was founded “to keep the Russian out, the Germans down, and Americans in.”12 None of these observations are relevant to the Alliance’s role today. Europe is no longer dependent upon the United States for core security in the way that it once was. Russia is not capable of projecting a geostrategic threat comparable to that once posed by the Soviet Union. A stronger and more purposeful Germany, willing and able to play its natural role as a bridge between East and West, would serve everyone’s best interests. As analysts like Wallerstein correctly point out, under the altered circumstances of the post-Cold War, the traditional premises of collective defense and containment are no longer sufficient to support the imposing edifice of Atlanticism.
Revolutionary changes in the security environment have not made the Alliance irrelevant, but they have posed new priorities. The fundamental challenge of the current era is not deterrence, but rather engagement on behalf of a greater Europe and Euro-Atlantic community “whole and at peace.” NATO has come toward that challenge by launching a process of internal reform, redefining core missions, and committing to enlargement. The cultivation of special relations with Russia and Ukraine, former enemies situated well outside of the Alliance’s traditional area of competence, is an integral part of the effort. If these relationships develop and prosper, the Alliance’s potential as a collective security forum can be realized to the full, and its vocation as a “zone of peace” will be greatly expanded. With Russian support, the enlargement process can go forward gradually and consistently, without becoming a source of geostrategic friction. Not least, a NATO-Russia partnership could become a critical pillar of a new world order actually worthy of the name. Positive association will provide incentives for Russia’s ongoing domestic transformation, and eventually allow the doors of the Alliance to be opened to Russia itself.
NATO’s effort to create and sustain special relationships with Russia and Ukraine faces significant challenges, but much is at stake. Should the effort fail, Europe risks to see the emergence of a new line of division between East and West that will inevitably become a source of strategic tension. Success will mean a major step toward the promise of a more peaceful world order for which victory in the Cold War once seemed a harbinger.
Ukraine Between East and West
1. A Pivotal State?
Western policy toward Ukraine has moved through several phases. Speaking in Kyiv during August 1991, on the very eve of the Soviet breakup, U.S. President George Bush cautioned Ukrainians that “freedom is not the same as independence,” and that Americans “will not aid those who promote a suicidal nationalism based on ethnic hatred.”13 After 1991, relations were dominated by the problem of the arsenal that Ukraine had inherited from the USSR, which briefly made it the world’s third-ranking nuclear power. Kyiv’s reluctance to cooperate with the nuclear non-proliferation regime (to sign the non-proliferation treaty and the START I agreement, to associate with the Lisbon Protocols, and to commit to a process of denuclearization) created considerable tension.14 In the wake of Ukraine’s bout with hyperinflation in 1993-1994, pessimistic evaluations and predictions of imminent breakdown were widespread.15
With the U.S. shift toward a more assertive Russian policy after the “Zhirinovskii Shock” of December 1993 (when the Liberal Democratic party led by ultra-nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovskii won the largest tally in voting by party list for the lower house of a new Russian parliament), and especially following the election of new Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma in June 1994, Ukraine’s stature improved considerably. Kuchma committed Ukraine to denuclearization, sought to revitalize a domestic reform agenda, and strove for balanced relations between Russia and the West.16
From 1994 onward Ukraine has enjoyed the status of privileged partner, and the commitment “to see an independent, secure, democratic Ukraine survive, succeed and prosper” has been inscribed as a vital interest.17 Ukraine has come to be perceived as a “pivotal” state–one of a handful “whose futures [are] poised at critical turning points, and whose fates would significantly affect regional, and even international, stability.”18 As “the linchpin of stability in post-communist Eurasia,” it has become a centerpiece of Western policy.19
The case for casting Ukraine as a pivotal rests upon four premises. The first is that the consolidation of Ukrainian sovereignty is essential to prevent the recreation of something like the former Soviet superpower around its Russian core. Russian national security policy clearly articulates the goal of voluntary re-association of former Soviet states.20 As long as Kyiv maintains a commitment to full sovereignty, however, the premise of “geopolitical pluralism” in post-Soviet Eurasia is likely to prevail.21 “The West,” notes Taras Kuzio, “has increasingly come to understand and appreciate the strategic significance of Ukraine as the main post-Soviet country capable of preventing the re-emergence of a new Russian-dominated union.”22
Second, the point at which Russia comes to understand that Ukraine cannot be either won over, subverted, or subordinated to some kind of renewed association is also the point at which Moscow will be forced to abandon imperial fantasies and commit to the arduous but essential tasks of democratization and domestic reform. According to Zbigniew Brzezinski, the fundamental political struggle underway within post-communist Russia “is over whether Russia will be a national and increasingly European state or a distinctly Eurasian and once again an imperial state,” and “it cannot be stressed enough that without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be an empire, but with Ukraine suborned and then subordinated, Russia automatically becomes and empire.” 23 Ukraine’s progress in consolidating sovereignty is thereby defined as the key determinant of the geostrategic orientation of its menacing Russian neighbor.
Third, a stable Ukraine is perceived to be important in its own right, as a large and potentially powerful state that cannot be allowed to become detached from a process of modernization and development in the region as a whole. Ukraine borders on no less than seven central and eastern European states, all of which confront comparable challenges of democratization, adaptation to the world economy, and institutional reform. Its transformation is an integral part of post-communist transition in the central European corridor stretching from the Baltic to the Black Seas. Ukraine has been associated with the Central European Initiative since June 1996, it is an associate of the Forum of Black Sea Cooperation, and it pursues close bilateral relations with its regional neighbors. Ukraine’s historical and cultural ties with Poland and Russia make it a potential bridge between East and West.24 “In time,” writes Adrian Karatnycky, “a stable and democratic Ukraine, linked to democratic Europe, could act as a conduit for democratic ideas to the east; a Western-oriented Ukraine, with its large Russian population, could engage Russia to the West.”25
Finally, Ukraine is increasingly perceived to be critically situated in the emerging battle to dominate energy transport corridors linking the oil and natural gas reserves of the Caspian basin to European markets. The economic viability of Caspian resources has yet to be conclusively demonstrated, but considerable competition has already emerged over the construction of pipelines. Whether Ukraine will provide alternative routes helping to diversify access, as the West would prefer, or “find itself forced to play the role of a Russian subsidiary,” remains to be seen.26 Its relevance in the effort to exploit the Caspian energy knot is not in doubt.
A heightened perception of Ukraine’s strategic importance has been manifested in intensified military-tomilitary contacts with both the U.S. and its key allies. Since 1996 Ukraine has been the third leading recipient of U.S. foreign aid, after Israel and Egypt, in addition to receiving considerable World Bank and International Monetary Fund support, and the largesse has borne fruit. In 1993-1994, with its economy in tatters, separatist movements on the rise, and relations with the Russian Federation in a downward spiral, the potential for a Ukrainian civil war, or external conflict with Russia, was widely assessed as acute.27 Today, the threat of overt hostilities seems to be minimal. Ukraine has moved peacefully through two democratic electoral cycles. >From June 1996 it has been governed on the basis of a democratic constitution. In September 1996 Kyiv began to issue its own national currency (the hyrvnya), and in January 1997 it published a National Security Concept that emphasized the goal of integration with the Western post-Cold War security system. 28 Ukraine retains considerable support from a potent diaspora, and it has established a strong international profile.
2. Ukraine’s Dilemmas of Sovereignty.
Despite these accomplishments, Ukraine remains a troubled polity, whose prospects for long-term stabilization are cloudy. Although the country possesses great potential wealth, its legacy from seventy years of Soviet power has been heavy.
Ukraine’s economy was closely integrated with the Soviet command system, and it has inherited almost all of the flaws associated with that system in full measure. The agricultural sector continues to suffer from a bitter experience under Soviet power, including a cumbersome collective farm structure that has proven difficult to dismantle. Much of Ukraine’s industrial infrastructure is outmoded and non-competitive, energy-intensive, and highly polluting. A significant portion of Soviet military-related industries were located in Ukraine, and this sector, which was formerly highly protected, has been hit hard by the loss of Soviet markets. The years of independence have seen chronic disaffection and demoralization among the industrial work force. There is also a near total energy dependence upon former Soviet suppliers, particularly the Russian Federation and Turkmenistan.29
Under post-independence Prime Minister Vitold Fokin Ukraine adopted a go-slow approach to reform, on the premise that its first priorities must be the consolidation of independence and nation-building. The result was a virtual economic meltdown in 1993-1994, including hyperinflation and collapsing living standards. In September 1994 Kuchma worked out a Systematic Transformation Facility with the IMF, and in the early years of his tenure applied it with some success. The recent past has seen considerable slippage, however, and overall Ukraine’s economic transition has been abysmal, including a 60 percent decline in GDP since 1991. Privatization has not been decisively advanced, large state budget deficits have become chronic, state subsidization of non-profitable enterprises remains the norm, and living standards continue to decline. Dislocations occasioned by economic hardship will remain a possibility, and some analysts foresee little economic future for Ukraine beyond the status of an “agricultural periphery to a more advanced Russia.”30
Lacking any real experience of independent statehood prior to 1991, Ukraine has also confronted the difficult challenge of building and sustaining a national identity. Underdeveloped national consciousness has been manifested by an aggravated and sometimes antagonistic regionalism. 31 The most serious tensions have derived from a divide between Ukraine’s westernmost districts, committed to an agenda for a strongly delineated Ukrainian national idea, and the heavily Russified eastern and southern regions whose population has tended to favor closer association with the Russian Federation. According to the census of 1989, 22 percent of Ukraine’s population is of Russian descent. A significantly higher percentage may be classified as Russified Ukrainians, for whom the Russian language (or a Russian-Ukrainian melange) continues to serve as a primary vehicle of communication (nearly 50 percent of the Ukrainian population cites Russian as its first language). Fully aware of the potential problem represented by their country’s large Russian minority, the governments of Leonid Kravchuk and Leonid Kuchma have striven, with some success, to propagate an agenda for an inclusive Ukrainian civic nationalism. 32 Strongly contrasting regional identities persist, however, and in the event of a severe national crisis could become fonts of instability.
The Russian factor in Ukrainian domestic politics is focused in several distinct areas. First in order of extent is the Donbas, the densely populated heart of eastern Ukraine and its mining, metallurgical, and chemical complexes. The five districts of eastern Ukraine contain 34 percent of the country’s population, but they are responsible for over 45 percent of total industrial production. Only 32 percent of residents list Ukrainian as their mother tongue, compared to 66 percent who name Russian. In the core districts of Donetsk and Luhansk, native speakers of Ukrainian number 3 percent and 7 percent respectively. Since 1992, a local political agenda has been cultivated calling for the elevation of Russian to the status of an official language, dual citizenship arrangements, open borders, and closer association with the Russian Federation.
Southern Ukraine also contains districts with a significant Russian profile. The Black Sea littoral around the cities of Odesa and Kherson was originally settled by Russians in the era of Catherine the Great, and given the designation “New Russia,” a term of reference that has found resonance with contemporary Russian nationalists.
The Crimean Peninsula, historically a part of Russia and only annexed to Ukraine at the behest of Nikita Khrushchev in 1954 (to honor the three-hundredth anniversary of Russian-Ukrainian association) is probably the most significant focus for Russian nationalism inside Ukraine. Approximately 70 percent of Crimea’s population of 2.7 million is Great Russian, 22 percent Ukrainian, and 8 percent indigenous Crimean Tatars. Russian nationalism has been powerfully manifest in Crimea, and has found an echo within the Russian Federation, particularly around the status of the port city of Sevastopol. The Russian national movement in Crimea has not, however, been overtly supported by the Russian state. Elections in the spring of 1994 brought the pro-Russian Republican Movement of the Crimea to power behind president Iurii Meshkov, but Moscow refused to rally behind the movement’s separatist agenda and looked away as Kuchma pushed Meshkov aside and abolished the Crimean presidency in March 1995.
Western Ukraine presents a strong contrast to the Russified east and south. Focused on the city of L’viv, whose baroque central square is regaled by a statue of the Polish national poet Adam Mickiewicz, dominantly Uniate Christian, attached historically to the central European cultural zone, and only brought within the confines of the Soviet Union at the end of the Second World War, western Ukraine functions as the motor of an assertively anti- Russian Ukrainian national consciousness. Under Gorbachev, the Ukrainian Popular Movement in Support of Perestroika (Rukh) based in western Ukraine became the driving force of an Ukrainian independence movement. Since Kuchma’s election in 1994 over Rukh candidate Viacheslav Chornovil the movement has split, with one wing evolving into an almost purely western Ukrainian regional party, calling for an aggressive Ukrainianization of national institutions and greater distancing from the Russian Federation.
Ukraine contains other, smaller pockets of local and regional identity. The Zaporizhzhia district north of the Sea of Azov has a large, politically mobilized Cossack population. The Trancarpathian region (the Zakarpatska district) contains a complex ethnic mix, including a large Ruthenian minority that has resisted Ukrainianization. Chernivtsi district, formerly part of the Habsburg domains and only detached from modern Romania during the Second World War, also defends an autonomous regional identity and central European vocation. None of these smaller sub-regions is likely to threaten national unity on its own. The multiple fault lines that fracture Ukraine, however, could become considerably more unstable against the background of a generalized national or regional crisis.
A yearning for order and lost security are powerful forces pushing a portion of Ukraine’s electorate toward extremist alternatives. By 1996, one-third of the Ukrainian population was asserting support for a “Pinochet style” regime and some cities even saw the birth of Pinochet fan clubs. In the parliamentary elections of 29 March 1998, the Communist party of Ukraine became the country’s largest party with 28 percent of the vote, in a parliament (Verkhovna Rada) dominated by parties of the left, and in the 1999 presidential vote communist candidate Simonenko carried 40 percent of the national tally.33 Kravchuk and Kuchma have responded to these trends in approximately the same manner as their Russian counterparts, by crafting a presidential regime in which the executive branch possesses extraordinary power that it uses to override a hostile but effectively impotent parliamentary assembly. Like Russia, Ukraine is structured as a corporatist regime, where powerful collective entities and interest groups, working hand in glove with the presidential entourage and “party of power,” combine to constitute a power elite. Kuchma has been successful in neutralizing opposition through a combination of cooptation and divide and conquer tactics. His personal entourage has come to consist almost entirely of old friends and associates from Dnipropetrovsk, and his regime has become renowned for pervasive corruption. Kuchma’s reelection was marred by abusive use of the national media on behalf of the incumbent and coerced bloc voting, and procedures were criticized by OSCE and Council of Europe observers.34 If democratization remains a watchword of Western strategy, the case of Ukraine might give security planners pause.
3. Relations with Russia.
Of all the challenges that independent Ukraine confronts, its relationship with the Russian Federation is the most significant, both for its own future and for the future of central and eastern Europe.35 Ukraine, like Europe as a whole, cannot be secure if confronted by a hostile Russia. But Moscow will not easily be persuaded to abandon all pretenses to a “privileged” relationship with its former eastern Slavic dependency.
Economic relations between Russia and Ukraine are significant for both sides. Levels of interdependence at the moment of independence were high. Ukraine, for example, furnished over 65 percent of Soviet metallurgical capacity and 40 percent of agricultural resources, while nearly 80 percent of Ukrainian energy resources derived from Soviet sources. Dependence on Russian energy sources was to some extent balanced by the fact that the main pipeline connecting Russian natural gas fields to the European market transits Ukraine, but Kyiv is also heavily reliant upon transit revenues. Since independence, Russia has not shied away from using Ukraine’s energy dependency, the substantial debt that it has brought in its train, and general commercial dependence, as a source of strategic leverage. Kyiv has sought to reduce that leverage by negotiating higher transit fees for natural gas transfers, converting Odesa into a Black Sea oil terminal to allow diversification of supply, and rationalizing a highly inefficient oil refining capacity. The result of Russian pressing and Ukrainian resistance has been a considerable amount of strategic friction.
The issues of sovereignty over Crimea and control of the former Soviet Black Sea fleet based in Sevastopol have been particularly troublesome. On 28 May 1997 the Ukrainian-Russian intergovernmental Black Sea Accords granted Moscow outright possession of 50 percent of the fleet, allowed it to purchase an additional 32 percent of the Ukrainian share in exchange for Ukrainian debt relief, and granted Moscow a twenty year lease (with the option to renew for an additional five years) over naval facilities in Sevastopol, with Ukraine retaining possession of one bay.36 On 31 May 1997 a Ukrainian-Russian Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership extended mutual guarantees of territorial integrity. These agreements were in principle a breakthrough in Russian-Ukrainian relations, providing a blueprint for resolving the thorny issue of the fleet in the context of de jure Ukrainian sovereignty over Crimea. Despite the best of intentions, however, some things have been left unclear. The question of Sevastopol has great emotional resonance with Russian national opinion and has become a cause célèbre for the nationalist rightwing and its allies in the State Duma. It would be surprising if at some point in the future it was not raised again. There are also important strategic issues at stake, which technical agreements over access cannot resolve. Some kind of permanent naval basing in Crimea is vital to a continued Russian naval presence in the Black Sea. There is significant in-place military shipbuilding capacity in Sevastopol that Moscow will be loath to give up. And Crimea remains an important source of leverage in bilateral relations.37
Less concretely, but perhaps most fundamentally, a potent strain of Russian national sentiment continues to regard Ukraine as an inseparable part of a larger family of eastern Slavic nations, artificially separated from the Motherland by hostile Western powers seeking “the weakening of Russia’s strategic and economic situation in Eurasia.” 38 The most consistent expression of an alternative agenda in contemporary Russia is the geopolitical school, which portrays the entire Eurasian land mass as an organic whole within which Russian hegemony and the elusive “Russian Idea” have been historically sanctioned sources of unity and order. According to the argument, the disbanding of the Soviet imperium, inspired by the vain idea of “joining” the West, has led to a national catastrophe that only a renewed Eurasian orientation can reverse.39 Ukraine is regarded as an integral part of the eastern Slavic cultural space and of the Eurasian heartland. It is indeed a “linchpin” of regional order, but one that Russia is urged to reclaim as part of a long-term strategy to reassert itself as a protagonist in world affairs. So long as Ukraine remains economically fragile and socially unstable, such aspirations will have an objective foundation. It has been easy to make the case for Ukraine’s pivotal status as the “keystone” in the central European arch of post-communist states in transition, but difficult to define a convincing agenda for progressive change.40 Until considerably more progress toward democratic consolidation and economic reform has been made, the possibility of civil unrest, regional conflict, and backsliding on the issue of sovereignty cannot altogether be ruled out. Though the dire forecasts of 1994 have not come to pass, Ukraine’s global balance of eight years of postcommunist transition is negative, and dramatic improvement is not in sight.41
Ukraine’s fragility creates a certain imbalance in Western strategy, which rests upon a rhetorical commitment to democratic consolidation, but which must deal with a weak state not always amenable to external direction. Alexander Motyl suggests that, although Ukraine’s transition has not been notably more troubled than those of other post-communist polities in the central European corridor, it must nonetheless be described as “a mess.”42 A central question for Western policy is whether it is prudent to place so much strategic weight upon an arch in such a state of disrepair.
4. Ukraine and the West: The Role of NATO.
Despite its many problems, Ukraine clearly aspires to draw closer to the West. Russia is and will remain too weak to use coercive means to force any kind of “regathering” of purportedly Russian lands. The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) has revealed severe limitations as a forum for regional cooperation, and with Western encouragement Ukraine has become an active member of the so-called GUAAM Group (Georgia, Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Moldova) inside the CIS seeking to balance Russian influence. Bilateral relations between sovereign state actors are likely to continue to dominate the international relations of post-Soviet Eurasia. On this level, the Russian Federation can hope to exercise considerable leverage in defense of its national interests. It cannot realistically aspire to block an ongoing process of engagement with Western institutions.
Ukraine’s relationship with these institutions, and particularly the European Union (EU) and NATO, is mixed. Kyiv has repeatedly stated that its long-term strategic goal is integration with Europe. But Ukraine is a weak state, ill-prepared to contemplate full membership in European forums in the foreseeable future. The EU, with its agenda for enlargement already overloaded, has purposefully kept Ukraine at a distance.43 NATO has stepped into the breach, and in the process become Ukraine’s key institutional link to a larger European reality.
NATO has sought to address the dilemma of engaging a strategically vital but structurally fragile Ukraine by crafting a special relationship, parallel with but not identical to that defined for Russia by the May 1997 NATORussia Founding Act.44 The idea seems originally to have been put forward by the Ukrainians themselves, inspired by the fear “that Ukraine would be the compensation Russia received for acquiescing in NATO’s inclusion of the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland.”45 It was enthusiastically greeted by the Alliance, and has been pursued in a pragmatic, purposeful, and generally successful manner.
The Ukraine-NATO Charter on a Distinctive Partnership, concluded on 9 July 1997, differed from the Russian prototype in important ways. Unlike the Founding Act, it involved no formal or informal concessions from either side, and in its original form created no standing body equivalent to the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council. It was in essence a political declaration that pledged the signatories to consultation and cooperation, without specifying what forms these initiatives would take.46
NATO’s special relationship with Ukraine has been enthusiastically pursued by both sides. In May 1997 a NATO Information and Documentation Center was established in Kyiv, where it has become a focal point for explaining the benefits of association with NATO to the general public. In December 1997 a Memorandum of Understanding on civil emergency planning was concluded, defining terms of cooperation in disaster preparedness and relief. Enthusiastic participation in PfP exercises has been a cornerstone of the relationship. Over 5000 Ukrainian officers have taken part in PfP activities to date, a number of interoperability directives have been fulfilled with PfP financial assistance, and a PfP Training Center is under construction at Yavoriv.47 A NATO Liaison Office in Kyiv facilitates PfP activities, and in March 2000 the Ukrainian parliament approved the PfP Status of Forces Agreement and its additional protocol, as well as the Open Skies Treaty promoting transparency in arms control. The dynamic of NATO-Russian relations has mandated the creation of an institutional focus for cooperation, designated the NATO-Ukraine Commission and broadly paralleling the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council. Achievements have been acknowledged by the January 2000 visit to Kyiv by NATO Secretary General Lord George Robertson, and by a March 2000 session of the North Atlantic Council conducted in the Ukrainian capital.
The NATO-Ukraine Distinctive Partnership has been free from most of the political tensions that have marred NATO-Russian relations. Ukraine has expressed a commitment to political neutrality that for the moment precludes aspirations to full membership, and Russia has not articulated strong objections to cooperation at lower levels.48 Moscow and Kyiv have in fact shared certain understandings concerning the role of NATO in the region, including opposition to the stationing of nuclear weapons on the territories of new member states, support for the evolution of the Alliance from a military organization devoted to collective defense toward a political forum devoted to collective security, and an agenda for the gradual construction of a pan-European security system into which NATO can be incorporated as a significant, but not necessarily dominant part.49
Neither dialogue with the EU nor the Ukraine-NATO Charter can serve as panaceas for Ukraine’s unresolved problems, or be considered as ends in themselves. The NATO-Ukraine Distinctive Partnership has been successful because it has unfolded within clearly defined limits. By cultivating a special relationship with Ukraine with excessive zeal, the Alliance would risk to reinforce Russia’s sense of alienation and exposure, thereby conjuring up the very kinds of assertive behavior it seeks to prevent. By pressuring Kyiv to function as the keystone of a NATO-led containment posture (or giving the impression that something like this is occurring) it could exacerbate instability within Ukraine itself, and East-West division internationally. In the absence of egregious Russian misconduct, NATO’s strategic challenge is not to “win” Ukraine, but to provide reliable security assistance to a weak polity struggling to reinforce its sovereignty and a focus for the aspirations of a “European Choice.”
Ukraine is and will remain militarily exposed. It has surrendered its nuclear arsenal at Western insistence and is under pressure to foreswear the manufacture of medium range (300-500 kilometer) ballistic missile systems.50 Much of the country is a broad plain that lacks natural defensive barriers and is open to invasion from three sides. Though Kyiv was successful in establishing viable national armed forces in the wake of the Soviet breakup, subsequent military reforms have been half-hearted. Today’s Ukrainian armed forces are chronically underfunded, severely demoralized, plagued by a disproportionate number of officers in the ranks, and still not effectively subordinated to civilian control. Downsizing continues (750,000 Soviet soldiers were stationed in Ukraine in 1991, by 1998 force levels were at 360,000, and current plans call for a draw down to 320,000). Given the weak national economic base, the Ukrainian armed forces nonetheless remain large and unwieldy, “characterized by inertia and a general adherence to the status quo.”51 Ukraine has for the time being been denied the option that Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic have pursued–to reduce and restructure its national forces to complement rather than replicate NATO’s capacity in the context of a realistic prospect for eventual full membership.52
Meaningful security guarantees for Ukraine can only be provided by NATO, but there will be serious political and operational constraints to any large-scale use of Alliance forces in the Eurasian steppe. Moscow has committed itself to a national military strategy that emphasizes reliance upon tactical nuclear weapons in a phase of conventional weakness.53 Assertive military commitments in areas immediately contiguous to the Russian border will therefore pose considerable risk. Moscow is willing and able to assert meaningful pressure in close proximity to its frontiers, and in the central European corridor it can be counted upon to do so if vital interests are perceived to be at stake. Zero-sum competition for Ukraine’s heart and mind is therefore a dangerous game. “Washington’s inclusion of the region near Russia’s borders as vital US security interests or targets for expanding US influence,” writes Sergo Mikoyan, “will make managing regional conflicts in these areas more difficult, if not impossible.”54
A good example of such difficulties was provided by the August 1997 joint military exercise scheduled to be conducted under Partnership for Peace auspices and designated “Operation Sea Breeze.” The operation was originally scripted, at Ukrainian request, to depict a landing by alliance forces on the Crimean coast near Sevastopol in response to a secessionist threat. After vehement Russian protests, objections from the Crimean regional parliament, and demonstrations in the streets, the exercise was called off and rescripted.55 Deploying and sustaining ground forces in a hostile environment in southern Ukraine would be difficult under the best of circumstances. In the real world, impetus to undertake such a deployment would break down quickly in the face of strong political objections.
Bolstered by U.S. forward deployments, NATO forces have the capacity to respond to a Ukrainian request for assistance in the direst emergencies. This capacity is important and needs to be maintained and cultivated–the centrality of NATO in planning for military contingencies in Eurasia remains intact. In the absence of a real and present Russian threat, however, efforts to recast Ukraine as a geopolitical barrier are neither prudent nor necessary.
Russia has not manifested any desire to retake Ukraine by assault, and the ramifications of any such attempt would be devastating. Although they are complex and sometimes contentious, social and cultural relations between Russians and Ukrainians within Ukraine and across the Russian-Ukrainian state boundary, with the partial exception of western Ukraine, are also essentially benign. Worst case scenarios involving communal or interstate violence are always possible, but highly unlikely.
Post-communist Ukraine is too fragile domestically to function as “an embattled outpost of the West.”56 Attempts to mobilize Ukraine against Russia would contribute to domestic division and make the task of nationbuilding more difficult. They are also likely to provoke unpalatable international consequences. Russian responses to Ukrainian attachment to NATO need not be limited to central Europe. The Russian periphery is vast, and an important strain of geopolitical analysis emphasizes the need for an eastern orientation and the cultivation of strategic alliances with India, China, and the Islamic Middle East. “Winning” Ukraine at the price of reinforced strategic partnership between Russia and China would not be a good bargain for the West.57
NATO’s best option is to reiterate support for the consolidation of sovereignty within Ukraine and the other new independent states and to engage on behalf of military modernization and security cooperation, but to avoid creating illusions about the prospects for full association until such time as national standards can be realistically achieved, and the regional security environment, including relations with Russia, has stabilized. This is best stated straightforwardly, rather than disguised behind false premises. Association with NATO is a positive option for Ukraine and the West, but full membership is for the moment neither practicable (Ukraine is nowhere near being ready to meet NATO membership criteria) nor politically desirable.
The most serious threats to stability today are located within Ukraine itself, in the potential for social and political unrest provoked by economic stress and political frustration. Cooperation in the security sector should not blind Western strategists to the long-term importance of encouraging democratization, development, and the growth of civil society as prerequisites for national consolidation. NATO’s policies toward Ukraine should be designed first of all to support these goals.
The economic instrument of power will be crucial. Efforts to encourage appropriate international aid and assistance, promote investment, and sponsor Ukraine’s integration with the world economy have often been frustrating, but they cannot be abandoned. In comparison with the extent of IMF, World Bank, governmental and private assistance set aside for the Russian Federation, Ukraine’s needs are modest and they can be met. Incentive packages tied to continuing reform effort will be an important impetus for positive change. Military support, including miliary-to-military contacts, nation assistance, and security assistance programs, can also make a contribution. The U.S. has taken the lead in this regard, concluding military support agreements with a number of new independent states including Ukraine in July 1993, Azerbaijan in July 1997, Kazakhstan in November 1997, and Georgia in March 1998. The U.S. and Ukraine have conducted senior leadership visits and exchanges as well as port calls; organized student visits between U.S. and Ukrainian military schools and colleges (under the IMET program); and pursued a partnership program between the Ukrainian National Guard and the National Guard of California. Ukrainian officers attend officers training programs at the George Marshall Center in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, and over the past five years Ukraine has been an important contributor to U.N. and CIS peacekeeping operations. Together with Azerbaijan and Georgia it is preparing a specialized peacekeeping battalion. These varied initiatives reflect a serious commitment to help with a painful process of military downsizing and modernization. If sustained, they will also help to keep Ukraine anchored to the West as a security partner.58
The Russian Federation
1. The New Russia.
The Russian Federation that emerged in 1992 from the ruin of Soviet power was stripped of nearly all the elaborately constructed defenses that its Soviet predecessor assumed as a natural right. The USSR was a force unto itself in international affairs, and it left behind few if any real allies. Soviet military power was the product of an extraordinary mobilization that could not be maintained indefinitely. Under the successor regime of Boris El’tsin the Russian armed forces were drawn into domestic political struggles as an ally of the “party of power,” partially discredited as a result, starved for funds, and in effect allowed to languish by a mistrustful leadership for whom international stature was not a high priority. With the collapse of the Warsaw Pact, the central European buffer bought so dearly during the Second World War was swept away. Simultaneously, declarations of independence in the Baltic states, Ukraine, Moldova, the Transcaucasus, and Central Asia led to the surrender of nearly all the territorial acquisitions of Russia’s imperial and communist leaders from the seventeenth century onward. Viewed in conventional terms and from Moscow’s perspective, the break up of the USSR was a strategic disaster that left Russia ill-prepared to engage with a victorious and assertive Euro-Atlantic community.
El’tsin’s reform-oriented supporters originally sought to address the growing imbalance of power through bandwagoning association with a triumphant West. According to new Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev, Russia’s transition would make it an integral part of an enlarged community of Western states stretching “from Vancouver to Vladivostok,” committed to a strategic partnership with the U.S., but without sacrificing the prerogatives that geostrategic weight, cultural tradition, and economic potential made its just due.59 These were extravagant hopes, and they would soon be proven vain. Suspicion of Russia’s intentions and concern for its long-term potential were too deeply rooted in the West to dissipate overnight. Russia was too big and too troubled to integrate into existing Western institutions without fundamentally changing their nature. At the same time, Russia’s reduced stature made it difficult for her to attract substantial concessions in exchange for strategic allegiance. For its own part, Moscow yearned for a symbolic parity with the leading Western powers that her underlying power indices did not justify nor in fact permit.
Russia’s unprecedented rapid retreat from great power status has reduced her importance in the context of Western grand strategy, but with over 20,000 nuclear warheads, the great northern kingdom remains too potent to ignore.
2. Russia and NATO.
The strategic evolution of the Atlantic Alliance has been at the core of Russian concern over current Western security policy. Between 1948 and 1989, central Europe was transformed into something like a prepared battlefield for the third world war. In spite of intense militarization, however, the Soviet Union’s western marches were relatively stable. NATO’s intentions, declared and in fact, were strictly defensive. Moscow’s greatest concern was not a conventional military threat, but rather the potential spill over effect of instability within the Warsaw Pact. The Soviet glacis in central Europe, built around the 20-plus divisions of the Groups of Soviet Forces in Germany, was formidable, and an adequate guarantee against external aggression. On these terms, and despite chronic wrangling, Moscow could coexist comfortably with a hostile but essentially passive NATO.
The original aspirations of Soviet reformers in the Gorbachev era were summed up by the popular phrase “the Common European Home.” 60 So certain was Gorbachev of the declining relevance of force in an interdependent world, of the need for cooperative forums for the pursuit of mutual security, and of his country’s European vocation, that he was willing to accept widely disproportionate arms reduction agreements and unilateral concessions in order to bridge the East-West divide.
Moscow’s inability to realize these aspirations during the first decade of post-Soviet reform may be ascribed to two causes. First, and most essential, is the travail of transition within Russia itself. The corrupt, demoralized, quasi-authoritarian, and war-torn regime that El’tsin has bequeathed to his successors has little that is positive to offer. Until such time as its internal demons are put to rest it will be condemned to watch from the sidelines as the European project unfolds.
Western policy also shares some of the responsibility for Russia’s failure. Though the West has maintained a rhetorical commitment to “partnership” with the new Russia, it has not sustained pro-active policies sufficient to overcome Russia’s suspicions about the real intentions of its former Cold War rivals. The Russians’ institution of choice as the foundation for a new European security order was the OSCE, where the Russian Federation is fully represented and U.S. influence is to some extent diluted, and whose idealistic charter (the 1990 Charter of Paris) is grounded in the premises of mutual security.61 NATO’s activist agenda from 1990 onward effectively precluded the possibility for the OSCE to evolve in this direction. In place of an inclusive but weak and unthreatening OSCE, whose main function would be to provide a forum for dialogue and consensus building, the Western community elevated an ambitious, U.S.-led, only partially representative, and militarily potent Atlantic Alliance bearing the legacy of adversarial relations inherited from the Cold War.
Moscow could not have been expected to rejoice in the perpetuation of what it has consistently viewed as an unrepentant Cold War rival. It nonetheless took up a seat at the NACC in December 1991, and, with some reluctance, joined the PfP in June 1994. The precipitating event in the transformation of Russian threat perceptions was the emergence of the agenda for NATO enlargement.
So far as the decision to enlarge can be reconstructed, it seems to have derived from a meeting of U.S. President William Clinton with Lech Walesa of Poland and Vaclav Havel of the Czech Republic at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. during April 1993; to have been embraced by a small group of presidential advisors and pushed through the interagency process behind the scenes; and to have been promulgated as policy without any kind of public debate or consensus in place at the January 1994 NATO ministerial in Brussels. The decision was affected by a U.S. desire to address the concerns of key European allies, but driven forward by U.S. domestic political concerns.62
The decision to expand the Alliance also contained important symbolic and strategic implications. Territorial adjustments and shifts in spheres of influence normally follow decision in warfare. The absorption by NATO of what had once been a Soviet-dominated buffer zone seemed to be a clear vindication of the West’s claim to “victory” in the Cold War. Russia’s position has been that its own leaders took the initiative to end the Cold War, and that a tacit agreement not to enlarge NATO into the area of the former Warsaw Pact was an integral part of the negotiations that allowed for the peaceful unification of Germany. Part of the strategic logic of enlargement has always been that of deterrence against the potential revival of a Russian threat, interpreted in Moscow as a regeneration of a familiar containment posture designed to hem Russia in and keep her weak. No great power can be expected to rejoice when a potent military coalition draws closer to its historically exposed frontiers. Not surprisingly, the strategic implications of enlargement were regarded by Russian elites with dismay, and opposition to the initiative became a rare point of consensus across a badly fragmented political spectrum. It is not clear that any amount of Russian agitation could have reversed the momentum of enlargement once the process had been set in motion. In the event, Moscow’s immediate reactions reflected the general confusion and lack of direction that have characterized nearly all aspects of her tortured post-communist transition. In August 1993, during his first visit to Warsaw as Russian President, El’tsin stated publicly that Polish membership in NATO would not run counter to Russian interests (an assertion that was subsequently reiterated by Foreign Minister Kozyrev).63 The rest of the foreign policy establishment, however, was quick to correct the presidential “misstatement.” Thereafter Russian officials were consistent in condemning enlargement as a threat, a betrayal of the trust that made possible a peaceful winding down of the Cold War, and an attempt “to consolidate victory in the Cold War” at Russia’s expense.64
What to do about the accession process once it had begun was quite another matter. The various counter measures that were suggested–to break off arms control negotiations, to adopt a more demanding stance in the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) talks, to increase support for Cuba and other anti-American regional powers, to cultivate strategic partnership with the People’s Republic of China, to use economic instruments and other sorts of pressure to block a second round of accession possibly including Ukraine and the Baltic States–were by and large rejected as unfeasible, or as steps toward self-imposed isolation.65 As a result of Russia’s critical weakness the battle of enlargement had in effect been lost in advance, and “to wave one’s fist in anger after the fight is over is nothing more than an empty gesture.”66 The only viable course of action, summarized by Kozyrev’s successor Evgenii Primakov as “keeping damage to a minimum,” was to go on record as opposed to enlargement while simultaneously accepting a limited engagement with NATO in the hopes of maintaining some kind of leverage and influence.67 On this less than promising foundation, Russia moved to discuss the entangling commitment of what would become the NATO-Russia Founding Act.68
Serious negotiations on the Founding Act began in January 1997, and concluded with the signing ceremony of 27 May 1997. Despite Russian efforts to make the agreement as formal as possible, the Act was not a legally binding document, but rather “the fruit of compromise resulting from reciprocal concession” containing “numerous ambiguities.”69 The document itself consists of a preamble and four thematic sections devoted to principles, mechanisms for consultation, areas for cooperation, and political-military issues.70 The preamble states the longrangegoal of building a new NATO reaching out to a democratic Russia, and underlines that henceforward neither party will view the other as a political enemy. In the section devoted to principles, explicit mention is made of the U.N. Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Helsinki Final Act, and additional OSCE documents, thus placing NATO-Russian cooperation in the larger framework of ideas and institutions associated with a nascent cooperative security regime.
The key mechanism for cooperation defined by the agreement is the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council (PJC), which is tasked to convene monthly on the ambassadorial level and bi-monthly on the level of foreign and defense ministers. The weight that the PJC is expected to carry is however left unclear, and it is expressly stated that neither side will have the right to exercise any kind of veto-power. The document names a wide range of areas where cooperation is deemed to be possible, including conflict prevention, joint peacekeeping operations, exchanges of information, nuclear security issues, arms control, conversion of military industries, disaster assistance, and the fight against drug trafficking and terrorism. The precise responsibilities of the Council in regard to these themes is not specified.
The final section addresses the military-security issues occasioned by NATO’s eastward expansion, including its impact on the conventional balance of forces in Europe, prospects for the permanent basing of NATO forces on the territory of new members and a related build-up of military infrastructure, and the issue of nuclear weapons. A number of implicit trade-offs and compromises paved the way for agreement in these domains. The question of conventional force limits was left to be fixed by the ongoing CFE negotiations. An American “three nos” pledge (no need, no intention, no plan) was offered to placate concern about the stationing of nuclear weapons. This amounted to little more than a pious declaration of good intentions, but both sides were willing to live with it on the basis of a shared conviction that “any such stationing would make very little military sense.”71 NATO managed to insert a statement of approval for the modernization of military infrastructure, deemed necessary to permit the deployment of large contingents. Russia achieved some face-saving concessions, but in the end NATO gave up almost no option in which it was seriously interested, maintained a strict definition of the Act as an informal and non-binding arrangement, and reiterated the assertion that Russia was receiving nothing more than a consultative voice. If damage limitation was Moscow’s first priority, the results must have been disappointing.
The essence of the Founding Act has been described as “the commitment to develop consultation, cooperation and joint decision-making, including an enhanced dialogue between senior military authorities.”72 In the first year of its existence the PJC made some progress toward achieving these goals. The foci of interactions were the regular sessions of the PJC and Joint Military Commission, accompanied by numerous high-level consultations between ambassadors, foreign and defense ministers, and chiefs of staff. The PJC convoked expert groups and working sessions on a wide range of issues such as peacekeeping, civil emergency planning, nuclear issues, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, retraining of retired military personnel, air traffic safety, and arms control. A NATO Documentation Center on European Security Issues was opened in Moscow in January 1998, and negotiations on reciprocal Military Liaison Missions were concluded successfully. During June 1998 a conference was convened in Moscow to commmorate the first anniversary of the Founding Act and explore areas for further collaboration.
Association under the aegis of the Founding Act did not disguise Russia’s more fundamental opposition to NATO enlargement. Nor were Russian representatives entirely satisfied with the limited prerogatives that the PJC offered them. Even prior to Kosovo, Russian evaluations of the work of the Council were primarily skeptical. Complaints were raised of the purely “titular” function of Russian representatives at the military liaison mission, and of Moscow’s exclusion from Alliance planning and decision-making.73 The disillusionment associated with these frustrations should not be underestimated. Gregory Hall describes Russia’s “consistently and resoundingly negative” reactions to the limitations of the PJC as the basis for a decisive “shift in orientation away from the West.”74 The PJC nonetheless seemed to be demonstrating its relevance as a forum for dialogue and association. Foreign Minister Primakov evaluated the experiment cautiously but fairly in remarking that: “The past year has shown that we are able to cooperate on the basis of constructive engagement and confidence, and we have achieved quite a lot.”75
If the PJC was both promising and in some sense necessary, it was also inevitably fragile. In the course of 1999 the frail sprouts of Russia-NATO collaboration were nearly swept away by the storm provoked by NATO’s military intervention in the Yugoslav province of Kosovo.
3. Russia, NATO, and the Kosovo Crisis.
The emergence of the Kosovo Liberation Army as the armed wing of Kosovar Albanian resistance to Serbian oppression in 1997-1998 should not have come as a surprise. A decade of egregious violations by the government of Slobodan Milosevic had left Kosovo’s Albanian majority deeply embittered, and the failure of the strategy of passive resistance crafted by shadow president Ibrahim Rugova was patent. Western capitals were nonetheless caught unprepared as violence in the province escalated through the summer and autumn of 1998. Original U.S. condemnations of the KLA as a “terrorist” organization were quickly set aside in favor of a campaign of coercive diplomacy designed to force Milosevic to pull in his horns.76 When this campaign failed to produce the desired result, the U.S. and its NATO allies, acting through the Alliance, sought to impose settlement with a campaign of graduated bombing strikes. Milosevic’s reaction to the air strikes was to up the ante by moving to expel the Albanian population from Kosovo en masse, thereby provoking a major humanitarian disaster and directly challenging NATO’s credibility. The Alliance, perhaps unintentionally, found itself locked into a large-scale air campaign with disruptive strategic implications.
Russian objections to NATO’s intervention in the Kosovo conflict were concerned more with the precedent established than the outcome on the ground. Although Moscow has often positioned itself as a supporter of Serbian positions in the protracted Balkan conflict, it has not been willing to make meaningful sacrifices, or to court substantial risks, in support of its erstwhile ally.77 In Kosovo, however, the example of unilateral intervention by NATO, on behalf of one side in a civil conflict within a sovereign state, without UN or OSCE approval, in the name of an extremely broad and easily manipulated “doctrine” of humanitarian intervention, and in defiance of Russia’s expressed preferences, posed special challenges.
In the first phase of the conflict Russia distanced itself from the NATO initiative, pillorying the U.S. as a “new goliath” for whom “force is again the only criterion of truth,” and suspending all relations with the Alliance under the terms of the Founding Act in protest.78 With the appointment of Viktor Chernomyrdin as Russian special mediator on 14 April 1999, however, hostile rhetoric was moderated. Together with the European Union’s senior Kosovo envoy, Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari, Chernomyrdin played a critical role in the negotiations that brought an end to the conflict on the basis of UN Resolution 1244 on 10 June. But Russian concerns about the implications of the NATO action remained intact. Moscow’s engagement in the mediation process, and willingness to participate in the KFOR were born, like acquiescence in NATO enlargement, less of enthusiasm than of a desire to limit damage.
Despite its diplomatic efforts, Moscow’s request for a separate occupation zone inside Kosovo was turned down. In reaction, an expanded Russian airborne company was brought in from Bosnia-Herzegovina on short notice on 11-12 June to occupy Priština’s Slatina airport in advance of the arrival of the KFOR contingent. The tense standoff that followed was resolved diplomatically, but the incident could easily have given rise to an armed confrontation between Russian and NATO forces–a measure of the risks involved in the strategic cat and mouse game being played out in the Balkan conflict zone. Russia emerged from the Kosovo conflict highly concerned for its strategic implications, frustrated by what it perceived as marginalization in the peacekeeping operation, and with relations with NATO in tatters.
Russia’s retrospective objections to Western policy in Kosovo have been consistent and intense.79 The decision to intervene militarily is first of all excoriated as an example of the low regard in which Moscow is held in Western capitals. The issues in Kosovo were not unambiguous. If Serbian repression was extreme, it came in response to real provocations, and in no way could the U.S. or its major allies be said to have had vital interests at stake. Unilateral intervention, in defiance of Russia, was the result nonetheless.
The Kosovo conflict is also portrayed as an integral part of a policy continuum where Russia’s own national interests are at stake. The core issue is “what Europe itself will become in the new century, with whom and in what direction it will evolve.”80 Moscow’s greatest fear is the emergence of a consolidating western Europe subordinated to the U.S. and expanding against Russia–an enlarged Euro-Atlantic community from which the Russian Federation would be effectively excluded. In order to avoid such an outcome, maintaining leverage within the central European corridor is vital. Russia is a traditional Balkan power, and it has close cultural and political ties to the region. Moreover, deeply rooted instabilities guarantee that local actors will continue to search for external sponsorship. Southeastern Europe is one of the only European regions where Moscow can still aspire to play the role of a major power, and engagement in the region has become a critical foundation for its entire European policy. NATO’s intervention in the Kosovo conflict, inspired by what Viktor Kremeniuk has called the effort “to create a Europe where Russia has no place,” is therefore interpreted as a major challenge.81
The precedent of unilateral action outside of the UN framework was particularly disturbing. The Security Council veto remains one of the few levers of power that a weakened Russia is able to call on to shape the international environment to its advantage. Well prior to the Kosovo crisis the U.S. had consistently maintained that as a regional security forum NATO should not be constrained by an absolute requirement for a UN mandate, and that under special circumstances independent action might be unavoidable. The U.S. position was not consistently supported even by its closest allies, however, and it was usually assumed that such action would only be forthcoming in the most extreme cases. In the case of Kosovo, much of the pressure for independent action was selfimposed by the extraordinary ultimatum presented to Serbia at the Rambouillet negotiating sessions.
Moscow has also portrayed the Kosovo conflict as a “trial run” for a strategic worst case scenario–the use of NATO forces, operating from forward bases in central Europe obtained as a result of the enlargement process, as an instrument for military intervention in a conflict on the Russian periphery, or even within the federation itself. In the wake of Kosovo, NATO was widely depicted in Russian strategic discourse as “the primary and by far the most serious threat not only to Russian national interests but also to the very existence of the Russian Federation as an independent and sovereign state.”82
The efficiency of NATO’s air war against Yugoslavia only served to reinforce Moscow’s heightened sense of threat perception. Though Yugoslavia’s conventional forces do not seem to have been degraded by the air campaign to the extent originally announced, and though without Russian mediation the war could have been much more protracted and difficult, NATO had demonstrated its capacity to function effectively as a war-fighting alliance.83 The conduct of the air war was operationally impressive, and the Alliance’s overwhelming technical edge left Serbia virtually defenseless. If Operation Allied Force was intended to intimidate, it must certainly have achieved its purpose.
Russian reactions to the Kosovo crisis have been conditioned by national weakness and limited options. Moscow did not have the capacity to prevent a decision for the use of force. Once that decision had been made, its goal became to limit damage and avoid isolation. NATO’s own strategic miscalculations were of some service in this regard. The original choice for limited bombing strikes was premised on the assumption that after two or three days of punishment, Milosevic would make discretion the better part of valor and cave in to Alliance demands. When this scenario did not play out, Russian influence in Belgrade became a significant asset in the search for a negotiated solution. Chernomyrdin’s ability to pressure Belgrade was critical to the endgame that brought the war to a close, but even here Russia was able to glean precious little advantage. Its core demand for a zone of occupation was refused, the role to which it was assigned under KFOR was modest, and it was made clear to all that NATO would call the shots on the ground inside the occupied province.
4. The Aftermath of Kosovo.
In August 1998 Russian financial markets collapsed, shattering hopes for a long awaited economic recovery. In March 1999, NATO began its air war against Yugoslavia, and in the following summer Russia launched a new military offensive against the rebellious province of Chechnya. On New Year’s Eve 2000, El’tsin resigned as Russia’s President, and in March 2000 acting President Vladimir Putin was formally elected to a five year mandate. Putin’s popularity had soared on the wings of public support for the crackdown in the northern Caucasus, widely perceived as a long overdue gesture of national reassertion. The conjuncture of these events–the discrediting of El’tsin’s reform cause as a result of fiscal collapse, the aggravation of threat perception provoked by Kosovo, the accession of a younger and more dynamic ruler, and Russia’s harsh self-assertion in Chechnya–has given rise to a new climate of relations between Russia and the West with sobering military and strategic implications.
In the months following the Kosovo imbroglio the Russian Federation issued the texts of a new National Security Concept and National Military Strategy. Although they had been in the making for some time, the texts coincided with the reformulation of priorities associated with post-Kosovo re-evaluations.84 Both documents reflect a competitive, “statist” interpretation of Russian national interests and represent a clear rejection of the liberal policies that inspired Russian security policy at the outset of the El’tsin era.85
The first variant of a national security policy issued by the Kozyrev Foreign Ministry in February 1992 placed the emphasis upon Russia’s aspiration to join the “civilized” West.86 The 1993 version of a Russian military doctrine abandoned the traditional Soviet negation of first-use nuclear options, but it did not single out external threats for special mention.87 El’tsin’s 1997 national security concept was more outspoken in asserting the need for a “multipolar” world order, but the concept presumed Russia’s role as a major power acting in concert with its peers. The 1997 Concept down played external threats, and emphasized the primacy of internal dilemmas born of poor economic performance, social frustration, and the slow pace of reform.88 In sharp contrast, the revised Concept, approved by Acting President Putin on 10 January 2000, highlights external threats, and specifically cites NATO unilateralism as a threat to world peace.89
The most challenging assertion to emerge from the texts is a new emphasis upon the role of Russia’s nuclear forces, both as a foundation for deterrence and as a means for prevailing in theater contingencies where vital interests are perceived to be at stake. In the 1993 Military Doctrine, first use of nuclear weapons was accepted in the case of attack by a nuclear armed adversary, or by a state allied with a nuclear power, and in the event that the “existence” of the Russian Federation was put at risk. The 2000 version sanctions the first use of nuclear weapons to “repulse armed aggression” by a conventionally armed adversary, even if that adversary is not bound to a nuclear armed ally. These assertions are unfortunately not merely rhetorical flourishes. Russia maintains a large tactical nuclear arsenal, and in June 1999 Russian military exercises simulating a response to conventional attack against the Kaliningrad enclave culminated with a Russian counter-attack spearheaded by tactical nuclear strikes.
President Putin was propelled into power by the “short, victorious war” in Chechnya, he has publicly committed to a doubling of the military budget, and he has stressed the importance of rebuilding Russian military power. The road back to military credibility will be a long one, but in the wake of Kosovo, the commitment seems to have been made.
Putin’s military initiatives have been accompanied by renewed commitment to pragmatic cooperation with the West, by a reassuring rhetoric of accommodation, and by an effort to reestablish a Russia-NATO connection. Russia remains significantly engaged with NATO in both SFOR in Bosnia-Herzegovina (with a commitment of 3,250 troops) and KFOR in Kosovo (where it commits some 1,200 troops), and it has cautiously revived its dialogue with the Alliance under the aegis of the Founding Act.90 A visit to Moscow by Secretary General Robertson in February 2000, including a meeting with President Putin, concluded with a joint statement pledging to “pursue a vigorous dialogue on a wide range of security issues.”91 Progress promised to be slow, and lack of clarity about long-term goals remained intact. On 5 March 2000, Putin provocatively remarked to the BBC’s David Frost that he “would not rule out” the possibility of Russia’s eventually joining NATO, moving Robertson to respond that “at present Russian membership is not on the agenda.”92
Expectations must be modest, but there is a viable agenda for renewed NATO-Russia collaboration. At present, much of Russia’s military hierarchy perceives the Alliance as a threat. Expanded military-to-military contacts can help dilute such perceptions and groom a new generation of Russian officers more accustomed to collaboration. Official representation for NATO in Moscow would represent an important step forward. With its own substantial military traditions and priorities firmly in place, Russia is not likely to embrace PfP in the way that its Ukrainian counterpart has done. It would however benefit from a renewal of dialogue in areas such as nuclear safety, civil emergency procedures, peace operations, and officer retraining. There is a great amount of work to be done in fixing common understandings concerning doctrinal issues, regional threats, and world order concerns.93
Cooperation is proceeding in other areas as well. Negotiations leading toward a revision of the CFE treaty were sustained despite the distractions of Kosovo and Chechnya, and on Putin’s watch they have been brought to a successful conclusion (though the war in Chechnya has prevented Russia from coming into compliance with new flank limits, and blocked U.S. ratification).94 The Russian Duma has also been brought around to ratify the START II strategic arms control treaty, though with the significant condition that the U.S. give up the effort to revise the 1972 SALT I Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
Putin has repeatedly asserted his desire to improve relations with Europe, and there is no need to doubt his sincerity. The European Union is Russia’s largest trading partner, with over 45 percent of total trade, and commercial transactions are on the rise. It is also the single most important source of direct foreign investment in Russia. Russia ranks sixth among EU trading partners, and in key sectors such as energy its role is critical.95 Over half the grants made under the EU’s TACIS program are earmarked for the Russian Federation, and many (in the areas of military training, nuclear safeguards, chemical weapons conversion, and crime prevention) are security related. The EU signed a Partnership and Cooperation agreement with Russia on Corfu in 1994, and in 1998 a Russia-EU Partnership Council was created. As a member of the OSCE, the Council of Europe, the EAPC, and the PJC, Russia is already integrated into Europe’s overlapping institutional structure and does not risk isolation. Moscow cannot afford a decisive break with the West, and it is not in her interest to pursue or provoke one.
The halcyon days of “strategic partnership” are nonetheless a thing of the past. Kosovo has substantiated a focused threat that Russia will seek to neutralize with a long term commitment to rebuilding the foundations of national power, including military power. Chechnya has weakened the Western commitment to assist Russia, and outstanding issues such as the American commitment to national missile defense and the NATO enlargement agenda remain divisive. U.S. engagement on behalf of the new independent states is a source of continuing aggravation and concern. Transatlantic friction could also come into play, should Russia turn back to the old Soviet effort to leverage divisions within the Alliance to its own advantage.96
NATO’s war in Kosovo and Russia’s second round of fighting in Chechnya have probably put paid to any hopes of making the Russian Federation a functioning part of a recast Euro-Atlantic security system in the near future. The line of division that separates the Russian Federation and the West, including the “grey zone” in central Europe, but also the faultline between the U.S. European and Central Commands stretching through the Caucasus and Caspian Sea into distant Central Asia, will remain a volatile and conflict prone shatterbelt where a traditional politics of force and intimidation may have a future as well as a past.
Numerous countervailing tendencies make it unlikely that inevitable friction will sweep out of control. Russia is nowhere near to being in a position to contemplate the use of force outside the immediate vicinity of its frontiers. The interests of its dominant oligarchy do not include suicidal confrontation with great power rivals that it cannot hope to overcome. Military exposure may be rhetorically decried as intolerable, but military effectiveness is a function of many attributes, including social cohesion and morale, leadership, economic viability, technological sophistication, and national purpose, that post-Soviet Russia has not been able to sustain. The currently preferred option of increased reliance on the nuclear option is an essentially defensive expedient. In cases where Russian and Western interests have clashed, Moscow has been careful to avoid confrontation. Weakness and a concomitant lack of alternatives have pushed it, almost inexorably, toward policies of accommodation.
The most salient short-term threats to Russian national interests lie along the Federation’s southern flank. The most pressing long-term security dilemma may well concern relations with China in the Far East. On the European front, although flash points are not lacking, security challenges are likely to be much less pressing. Indeed, one might argue that despite its current weakness, Moscow confronts fewer direct challenges on its western marches at the present moment than ever before in its long history.
The West should take account of the relatively benign regional security environment in crafting its own policies. The harsher edges of Russia’s current strategic discourse give no cause for alarm–exaggerated selfassertion and distancing rhetoric are typical defensive mechanisms for weak states confronted by the real and imagined pretenses of the strong. The Putin leadership has made clear its desire to pursue a pragmatic relationship with the U.S. and its European allies. The case of Chechnya, though tragic, does not threaten the West. Russia will continue to angle for influence in the post-Soviet space, but is not in a position to use force to achieve its goal. The nuclear card in her current security doctrine bespeaks weakness, not strength. Even the NATO enlargement agenda, if pursued gradually and in the context of a positive and expanding NATO-Russian relationship presided over by a dynamic PJC, need not become confrontational. The vision of a Europe whole and at peace, embedded in a stable Euro-Atlantic community and open to cooperation with its neighbors, is a positive vision for Moscow as well.
NATO’s Relations with Russia and Ukraine: Promise and Limits
Three years have passed since the conclusion of the NATO-Russia Founding Act and NATO-Ukraine Agreement on Distinctive Partnership, enough time for the respective special relationships to demonstrate both strengths and limitations. The agreements have clearly contributed to the overarching goals that inspired them: “to engage with Russia and Ukraine … to help them through their post-communist transition rather than abandon them to it, and to demonstrate to former adversaries that membership in European institutions was neither a dream nor a false promise.”97 The agreements are not sufficient unto themselves, however, as mechanisms for helping Kyiv and Moscow turn the corner of transition, or to integrate with the West. The NATO-Ukrainian partnership has been dynamic and successful, but on a limited scale. NATO-Russia ties have been troubled, though in the end, even under the severe strains of the Kosovo crisis, they have not snapped. The framework provided by the NATO-Russia Founding Act and NATO-Ukraine Charter is vitally important to the effort to forge a new Euro-Atlantic security order, but much more will be required if the process is to be seen through to a successful conclusion. The NATO-Ukraine relationship functions well within the parameters defined by Ukrainian neutrality. Kyiv needs Western assistance to promote the modernization of its armed forces, and leverage to sustain sovereignty against subtle Russian pressure. It needs reassurance in the face of the severe dislocations provoked by a difficult post-communist transition, and access to European institutions to sustain popular morale in a time of hardship. NATO has been able to offer technical assistance, positive engagement in Euro-Atlantic security structures, and long-term prospects for closer association. Its engagement with Ukraine helps reinforce geopolitical pluralism in post-Soviet Eurasia, wards off the perception of an emerging security vacuum, and makes the Alliance a relevant actor in a vital geostrategic area.
The limits to NATO-Ukrainian cooperation derive both from Ukraine’s domestic weakness, and concern for possible Russian reactions. The threat of domestic instability will remain on Ukraine’s agenda for some time to come, and in the best of circumstances Kyiv will require a decade and more to prepare for accession to Western institutions. The Russian factor is more troublesome in the short term. In the wake of the first round of NATO enlargement, Foreign Minister Primakov spoke dramatically of a “red line” equivalent to the former Soviet border, beyond which NATO could not be allowed to penetrate. Pragmatic cooperation has already breached that line, but there is no sign that Russia has any intention of abandoning its strong opposition to Ukrainian membership in NATO. For the time being, and in view of NATO’s desire to avoid confrontation with the Russian Federation, the NATO-Ukraine relationship must remain limited to nation assistance and security coordination, useful but not decisive in defining a new European security architecture.
The NATO-Russian relationship got off to a promising start, with strong backing from Russian President El’tsin. In the wake of Kosovo, and under the new direction of Putin, relations have become clouded. Putin has nonetheless initiated an attempt to rebuild the foundation of cooperation suspended during the Kosovo operations, and it is vital for the effort to succeed. NATO-Russian relations are hampered by a legacy of hostility and mistrust, Russia has little to offer the Alliance that is not of essentially symbolic value, and the search for accommodation severely constrains NATO’s range of available options. The work of the PJC has been uneven and its real achievements are modest. Nevertheless, some kind of formal relationship with the Russian Federation is absolutely necessary if a comprehensive Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian security structure is ever to take form. Russia is a once and future great power, it is led by an astute and purposeful leader, and it has the capacity to disrupt Western security planning if its interests are not taken into account. Cultivating positive ties with Moscow will be difficult, but the effort must be made.
Whether Russia itself will be amenable to such a relationship remains to be seen. Policy council in Moscow is divided, between optimistic evaluations of the potential for collaboration with the West, and pessimistic assessments, particularly well represented within the military hierarchy, that stress the limits of such aspirations and the need for more autonomous national policies. NATO has excluded bringing the Russian Federation inside the Alliance’s decision-making cycle, and it has not hesitated to act in defiance of Moscow if circumstances are perceived to require it. These choices reduce the amount of leverage that the Alliance can hope to assert upon a hesitant Russian partner. Under Putin Moscow seems to be returning to the familiar Soviet strategy of weakening NATO by playing off inevitable transatlantic disagreements. Frustration over the course of events in Kosovo, opposition to Washington’s national missile defense program, and recent debate over the European commitment to strengthen the European Security and Defense Identity provide grist to the mill of these efforts. If the Founding Act can be made to function in accordance with its original charter, it will provide space for a more self-confident Russia “to play upon allied rivalry or discord,” and for the NATO allies “to enlist the Russians by one means or another in stratagems to influence the outcome of debates.”98 Resulting friction will be a part of the price that the Alliance must pay to keep Russia engaged.
Rebuilding NATO-Russian relations on the basis of the Founding Act represents the immediate task at hand. Russia cannot simply be brought whole into Western institutions, nor is it clear that it would desire to move in that direction even if it could. Constructive engagement with the West is the only reasonable option. But NATORussian cooperation is fated to remain tentative and fragile. There is a danger, which the Kosovo crisis exposed, in trying prematurely to institutionalize a relationship that lacks underlying substance. That substance needs to be created, by emphasizing a wide variety of interactions and building on small, positive initiatives.
The materials for constructing a more hopeful relationship are at hand. The momentum of NATO-Russian collaboration is hardy, and will be furthered. The goal, in the words of U.S. Ambassador to NATO Alexander Vershbow, should be “as much cooperation between NATO and Russia as possible.”99 The successful conclusion of a revised CFE treaty despite the Kosovo episode is a sign of the prospects for pragmatic cooperation in areas where both sides share mutual interests. Russian participation in SFOR and KFOR works well on the tactical level and provides a positive example of collaborative effort. To fully realize the promise of Russian cooperation with the West, however, major impediments, such as the issue of further rounds of NATO expansion, will need to be resolved. Progress in working toward negotiated solutions for unresolved flash points in the Baltics, Ukraine, Moldova, the Balkans, and the Black Sea and Transcaucasus region will likewise be critical. NATO’s relations with Russia and Ukraine are too frail to bear the weight of these overlapping agendas left to their own devises. They are necessary but not sufficient conditions for the emergence of the kind of Euro-Atlantic collective security system that the Alliance favors. As such, however, they are absolutely vital. NATO’s cooperation with Russia and Ukraine should be pursued without unrealistic expectations, but diligently, consistently, and for the long haul.
1 Immanuel Wallerstein, “Foes as Friends?,” Foreign Policy, No. 90, Spring 1993, p. 156.
2 Werner J. Feld, The Future of European Security and Defense Policy, Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 1993, p. 8.
3 “NATO’s Core Security Functions in the New Europe: Statement Issued by the North Atlantic Council Meeting in Ministerial Session in Copenhagen on 6 and 7 June 1991,” NATO Communiques 1991, Brussels: NATO Office of Information and Pres, 1992, pp. 22.
4 Cited in P. E. Tyler, “Pentagon New World Order: US to Reign Supreme,” The International Herald Tribune, 9 March 1992, pp. 1-2. After premature release, this document was repudiated by the administration of George Bush.
5 “Rome Declaration on Peace Cooperation,” in NATO Communiques 1991, Brussels: NATO Office of Information and Press, 1992, pp. 26-27.
7 The idea for the NACC had its origins in a joint declaration by U.S. Secretary of State James Baker and German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher on 10 May 1991. See “Partnership with the Countries of Central and Eastern Europe,” in NATO Review, Vol. 39, No. 4, June 1991, pp. 28-29.
8 “The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Transition,” AUSA Background Brief, No. 81, April 1999, p.7.
9 Jeffrey Simon, “Partnership for Peace (PfP) After the Washington Summit and Kosovo,” Strategic Forum, No. 167, August 1999.
10 Current Membership Action Plan participants are Albania, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
11 The Alliance’s Strategic Concept,” NATO Review, No. 2, Summer 1999, pp. D7-D13.
12 Cited in Geir Lundestad, “ ‘Empire’ by Integration: The United States and European Integration, 1945-1996,” in Kathleen Burk and Melvyn Stokes, eds., The United States and the European Alliance since 1945, Oxford: Berg, 1999, p. 34.
13 Remarks by the President in Address to the Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Washington, D.C.: Office of the White House Press Secretary, 1 August 1991.
14 Nadia Schadlow, “The Denuclearization of Ukraine: Consolidating Ukrainian Security,” in Lubomyr A. Hayda, ed., Ukraine in the World: Studies in the International Relations and Security Structure of a Newly Independent State, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998, pp. 271-283.
15 See F. Stephen Larrabee, “Ukraine: Europe’s Next Crisis?,” Arms Control Today, Vol. 24, No. 6, July-August 1994, pp. 14-16.
16 Paul Kubicek, “Post-Soviet Ukraine: In Search of a Constituency for Reform.” Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics, Vol. 13, No. 3, September 1997, pp. 103-126, and Kataryna Wolczuk, “Presidentialism in Ukraine: A Mid-Term Review of the Second Presidency,” Democratization, Vol. 4, No. 3, Autumn 1997, pp. 152-171.
17 “Ukraine at Five: A Progress Report on U.S. Policy,” speech by Strobe Talbott, Acting Secretary of State, to The Washington Group 1996 Leadership Conference, Washington, D.C., 11 October 1996, p. 2, cited from http:www.state.gov/www/regions/nis/10-11tal.htlm.
18 “Introduction,” in Robert Chase, Emily Hill, and Paul Kennedy, eds., The Pivotal States: A New Framework for U.S. Policy in the Developing World, New York: W.W. Norton, 1999, p. 4. The authors limit their attention to the “traditional” Third World, but the concept is relevant to states such as Ukraine.
19 John Edwin Mroz and Oleksandr Pavliuk, “Ukraine: Europe’s Linchpin,” Foreign Affairs, Vol. 75, No. 3, May-June 1996, p. 62.
20 Derek Mueller, Jeronim Perovic, and Andreas Wenger, “The New Approach to Russian Security in the Context of the Programme for Change,” Aussenpolitik , No. 1, 1998, pp. 28-31, and Leonid Maiorov and Dimitri Afinogenov, “Vazhneishie napravleniia integratsii,” Nezavisimaia gazeta, 5 February 1998.
21 On geopolitical pluralism see Zbigniew Brzezinski, “A Plan for Europe,” Foreign Affairs, Vol. 74, No. 1, January-February 1995, p. 31.
22 Taras Kuzio, “Ukraine and NATO: The Evolving Strategic Relationship,” The Journal of Strategic Studies, Vol. 21, No. 2, June 1998, pp. 2-3.
23 Brzezinski, “A Plan for Europe,” p. 31, and Zbigniew Brzezinski, “The Premature Partnership,” Foreign Affairs, Vol. 72, No. 2, March-April 1994, p. 80.
24 The Polish-Ukrainian relationship has been in this regard somewhat neglected. See Ian J. Brzezinski, “Polish- Ukrainian Relations: Europe’s Neglected Strategic Axis,” Survival, Vol. 35, No. 3, Autumn 1993, pp. 26-37.
25 Adrian Kartnycky, “The Ukrainian Factor,” Foreign Affairs, Vol. 71, No. 3, Summer 1992, p. 107.
26 James Sherr, “Ukraine’s New Time of Trouble,” in Charles Dick and Anne Aldis, eds., Central and Eastern Europe: Problems and Prospects, Camberly: Conflict Studies Research Center Occasional Paper No. 37, December 1998, p. 115.
27 See the summary of U.S. intelligence assessments predicting severe social and political instability in Ukraine in Daniel Williams and R. Jeffrey Smith, “Dire U.S. Forecast for Ukrainian Conflict,” The International Herald Tribune, 26 January 1994.
28 For the text see Uriadovyi Kur’ier, 4 February 1997, pp. 5-6.
29 Gwendolyn Sasse, “Fueling Nation-State Building: Ukraine’s Energy Dependence on Russia,” Central Asian and Caucasia Prospects Briefing No. 17, London: The Royal Institute of International Affairs, April 1998.
30 John Jaworsky, Ukraine: Stability and Instability, McNair Paper 42, Washington, D.C.: Institute for National Security Studies and National Defense University, August 1995.
31 Andrew Wilson, Ukrainian Nationalism in the 1990s: A Minority Faith, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997 develops the argument expertly.
32 William Zimmerman, “Is Ukraine a Political Community?,” Communist and Post-Communist Studies, Vol. 31, No. 1, 1996, pp. 43-55.
33 Nadia Diuk, “Ukraine: A Land In Between,” Journal of Democracy, Vol. 9, No. 3, July 1998, pp. 97-111.
34 “Kutschma klare Wahlsieger in der Ukraine: Internationale Beobachter registrieren zahlreiche Verstösse,” Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 29 November 1999.
35 John Morrison makes the apt observation that the Russian-Ukrainian relationship represents for eastern Europe what the German-French relationship represents for western Europe. John Morrison, “Pereyaslav and After: The Russian-Ukrainian Friendship,” International Affairs, Vol. 69, October 1993, p. 677.
36 James Sherr, “Russia-Ukraine Rapprochement?: The Black Sea Fleet Accords,” Survival, Vol. 39, No. 3, Autumn 1997, pp. 33-50.
37 E. Cherkasova, “Sevastopol: Eshche raz o territorial’noi probleme,” Mirovaia ekonomika i mezhdunarodnye otnosheniia, No. 9, 1999, pp. 108-114.
38 Aleksei Bogaturov, “Rossiia i ‘geopoliticheskii pliuralizm’ zapada,” Svobodnaia mysl’, No. 12, 1994, pp. 83-84.
39 The most cogent statements of the position are by Aleksandr Dugin, Misterii Evrazii, Moscow: Arktogeia, 1996, and especially Osnovy geopolitiki: Geopoliticheskoe budushchee Rossii, Moscow: Arktogeia, 1997.
40 For the “keystone” metaphor see Sherman W. Garnett, Keystone in the Arch: Ukraine in the Emerging Security Environment of Central and Eastern Europe, Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Endowment, 1997.
41 See Dominique Arel, “Ukraine: The Muddle Way,” Current History, Vol. 97, No. 621, October 1998, pp. 342-346.
42 Alexander J. Motyl, “Making Sense of Ukraine,” The Harriman Review, Vol. 10, No. 3, Winter 1997, pp. 1-7.
43 See the account in Sherr, “Ukraine’s New Time of Troubles,” pp. 128-131.
44 For the text see “Charter On a Distinctive Partnership Between the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Ukraine,” NATO Review, No. 4, July-August 1997, pp. 5-6.
45 Margarita M. Balmaceda, “Ukraine, Russia, and European Security: Thinking Beyond NATO Expansion,” Problems of Post-Communism, Vol. 45, No. 1, January-February 1998, p. 23.
46 Olga Alexandrova, “The NATO-Ukrainian Charter: Kiev’s Euro-Atlantic Integration,” Aussenpolitik , No. 4, 1997, pp. 325-336.
47 Jeffrey Simon, “Partnership for Peace (PfP): After the Washington Summit and Kosovo,” Strategic Forum, No. 167, August 1999, pp. 1-9.
48 Lidiia Leont’eva, “Aspekti psikhologichnoi borot’bi: U konteksti konteptsii natsional’noi bezpeki Ukraini,” Viis’ko Ukraini, 7 August 1997, p. 17.
49 Taras Kuzio, “Nato Enlargement: The View From the East,” European Security, Vol. 6, No. 1, Spring 1997, pp. 48-62.
50 Roman Popadiuk, American-Ukrainian Nuclear Relations, McNair Papers No. 55, Washington, D.C.: Institute for National Security Studies, October 1996.
51 John Jaworsky, “Ukraine’s Armed Forces and Military Policy,” in Hayda, ed., Ukraine in the World, pp. 223-247.
52 Stephen A. Cambone, “NATO Enlargement: Implications for the Military Dimension of Ukraine’s Security,” The Harriman Review, Vol. 10, No. 3, Winter 1997, pp. 8-18.
53 Vladimir Belous, “Key Aspects of the Russian Nuclear Strategy,” Security Dialogue, Vol. 28, No. 2, June 1997, pp. 159-171.
54 Sergo A. Mikoyan, “Russia, the US and Regional Conflict in Eurasia,” Survival, Vol. 40, No. 3, Autumn 1998, p. 116.
55 Dmitri Zaks, “Russians Bristle at NATO Sea Breeze,” The Moscow Times, 26 August 1997.
56 Anatol Lieven, “Restraining NATO: Ukraine, Russia, and the West,” The Washington Quarterly, Vol. 20, No. 4, 1997, p. 70. The argument, supportive of engagement with Ukraine but tempered by restraint, is developed at greater length in Anatol Lieven, Ukraine & Russia: A Fraternal Rivalry, Washington, D.C.: U.S. Institute of Peace, 1999.
57 Bruce Russett and Alan C. Stam, “Courting Disaster: An Expanded NATO vs. Russia and China,” Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 113, No. 3, 1998, pp. 361-382.
58 Col. Stephen D. Olynyk, USAR (Ret.), “The State of Ukrainian Armed Forces,” The Officer, November 1997, pp. 25-28.
59 Andrei V. Kozyrev, “Russia and Human Rights,” Slavic Review, Vol. 51, No. 2, Summer 1992, pp. 282-296.
60 G. Vorontsov, “Ot Khelsinki k ‘obshcheevropeiskomu domu’,” Mirovaia ekonomika i mezhdunarodnye otnosheniia, No. 9, 1988, pp. 40-45.
61 Charles Krupnick, “Europe’s Intergovernmental NGO: The OSCE in Europe’s Emerging Security Structure,” European Security, Vol. 7, No. 2, Summer 1998, pp. 30-51.
62 Jonathan Eyal, “NATO’s Enlargement: Anatomy of a Decision,” International Affairs, Vol. 73, No. 4, 1997, pp. 706-710, and James M. Goldgeier, Not Whether But When: The U.S. Decision to Enlarge NATO, Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, 1999.
63 Kozyrev asserted that “Russia will have no objection if NATO does not take an aggressive stance in respect of Russia. This [Polish membership in the Alliance] is a matter of Poland and NATO.” Cited from Vasilii Safronchuk, “NATO Summit Seen As Shame for Russia,” Sovetskaia Rossiia, 9 July 1997, p. 3.
64 See S. Rogov, “Rasshirenie NATO i Rossiia,” Morskoi sbornik , No. 7, 1997, pp. 15-19.
65 Igor Maslov, “Russia and NATO: A Critical Period,” Mediterranean Quarterly, Vol. 9, No. 1, Winter 1997, pp. 1-15, and Aleksei Podberezkin, “Geostrategicheskoe polozhenie i bezopasnosti Rossii,” Svobodnaia mysl’, No. 7, 1996, pp. 90-97.
66 Iu. P. Davidov, “Rossiia i NATO: Posle bala,” SShA: Ekonomika, politika, ideologiia, No. 1, 1998, p. 3.
67 Primakov’s remark is cited rom S. Kondrashev, “U nas svoe litso, i my nigde ne skatyvalis’ k konfrontatsii,” Izvestiia, 23 December 1997, p. 3. See also Alexander A. Sergounin, “Russian Domestic Debate on NATO Enlargement: From Phobia to Damage Limitation,” European Security, Vol. 6, No. 4, Winter 1997, pp. 55-71, and for a summary of the preferred Russian strategic response N. N. Afanasievskii, “Rossiia-NATO: Kurs na sotrudnichestvo,” Orientir, No. 7, 1997, pp. 9-11.
68 For a lucid and thorough evaluation of Russian reactions to NATO enlargement see J. L. Black, Russia Faces NATO Expansion: Bearing Gifts or Bearing Arms?, Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2000.
69 Youri Roubinskii, “La Russie et l’OTAN: Une nouvelle étape?,” Politique etrangérè, Vol. 62, No. 4, Winter 1997, p. 553.
70 For the text in English and Russian see “Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security Between NATO and the Russian Federation,” European Security, Vol. 6, No. 3, Autumn 1997, pp. 158-168, and “Osnovopolagaiushchii Akt o vzaimnykh otnosheniiakh. Severoatlanticheskogo dogovora,” Krasnaia zvezda, 29 May 1997, p. 3.
71 Hans-Henning Schroeder, ” ‘… it’s good for America, it’s good for Europe, and it’s good for Russia …’: Russland und die NATO nach der Unterzeichnung der ‘Grundakte’,” Osteuropa, Vol. 48, No. 5, May 1998, p. 447.
72 Fergus Carr and Paul Flenly, “NATO and the Russian Federation in the New Europe: The Founding Act on Mutual Relations,” Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics, Vol. 15, No. 2, June 1999, p. 99.
73 Articulated in A. Kvashnin, “Rossiia i NATO zainteresovany v rasshirenii voennogo sotrudnichestva,” Krasnaia zvezda, 4 September 1998. See also the critique in P. Ivanova and B. Khalosha, “Rossiia-NATO: Shto dal’she?,” Mirovaia ekonomika i mezhdunarodnye otnosheniia, No. 6, 1999, pp. 5-15.
74 Gregory B. Hall, “NATO and Russia, Russians and NATO: A Turning Point in Post-Cold War East-West Relations?,” World Affairs, Vol. 162, No. 1, Summer 1999, p. 25.
75 Cited in Kav’er Solana, “NATO-Rossiia: Pervyi god stabil’nogo provizheniia vpered,” Novosti NATO, Vol. 2, No. 2, April-May 1998, p. 1.
76 R. Craig Nation, “US Policy and the Kosovo Crisis,” The International Spectator, Vol. 33, No. 4, October 1998, pp. 23-39.
77 See V. K. Volkov, “Tragediia Iugoslavii,” Novaia i noveishaia istoriia, No. 5, 1994, pp. 22-31, and R. Craig Nation, “La Russia, la Serbia, e il conflitto jugoslavo,” Europa, Europe, Vol. 5, No. 4, 1996, pp. 171-192.
78 A. Matveyev, “Washington’s Claims to World Leadership,” International Affairs, Vol. 45, No. 5, 1999, p. 53.
79 See the evaluations in Dmitri Trenin, ed., Kosovo: Mezhdunarodnye aspekty krizisa, Moscow: Moskovskii Tsentr Karnegi, 1999.
80 V. Kuvaldin, “Iugoslovenskii krizis i vneshnepoliticheskaia strategiia Rossiia,” Mirovaia ekonomika i mezhdunarodnye otnosheniia, No. 9, 1999, p. 22.
81 See Kremeniuk’s intervention in “Balkanskii krizis i vneshnepoliticheskaia strategiia Rossiia,” SShA-Kanada: Ekonomika, politika, kul’tura , No. 10, October 1999, p. 42. This round table discussion provides a interesting survey of Russian perspectives on the Kosovo conflict.
82 Viktor Gobarev, “Russia-NATO Relations After the Kosovo Crisis: Strategic Implications,” The Journal of Slavic Military Studies, Vol. 12, No. 3, September 1999, p. 11.
83 For the controversy over the effectiveness of NATO’s air war inside Kosovo see “The Kosovo Cover-Up,” Newsweek, 15 May 2000, pp. 22-26.
84 For the texts see “Voennaia doktrina Rossiiskoi Federatsii: Proekt,” Krasnaia zvezda, 9 October 1999, pp. 3-4.
85 Celeste A. Wallander, “Wary of the West: Russian Security Policy at the Millennium,” Arms Control Today, Vol. 30, No. 2, March 2000, pp. 7-12.
86 See the text in International Affairs, No. 3, April-May 1992.
87 See the text in Izvestiia, 18 November 1993, pp. 1-4.
88 “Kontseptsiia natsional’noi bezopasnosti Rossiiskoi Federatsii,” Rossiiskaia gazeta, 26 December 1997, pp. 4-5.
89 “Kontseptsiia natsional’noi bezopasnosti Rossiiskoi Federatsii,” Nezavisimaia Voennoe Obozrenie, 14 January 2000, and “Russia’s National Security Concept,” Arms Control Today, Vol. 30, No. 1, January/February 2000, pp. 15-20.
90 Susan LaFraniere, “Russia Mends Broken Ties With NATO,” The Washington Post, 17 February 2000, pp. A1 and A23, and Michael Wines, “Russia and NATO, Split Over Kosovo, Agree to Renew Relations,” The New York Times, 17 February 2000, p. A11.
91 “Join Statement On the Occasion of the Visit of the Secretary General of NATO, Lord Robertson, in Moscow on16 February 2000,” NATO Review, Vol.48, Spring/Summer 2000, p. 20.
92 Cited from http://www.stratfor.com/CIS/commentary/0003080103.htm.
93 Dmitri Trenin, “Russia-NATO Relations: Time to Pick Up the Pieces,” NATO Review, Vol. 48, Spring/Summer 2000, pp. 19-22.
94 Colonel Jeffrey D. McCausland, “Endgame: CFE Adaptation and the OSCE Summit,” Arms Control Today, Vol. 29, No. 6, September/October 1999, pp. 15-19.
95 Heinz Timmermann, “Russland: Strategischer Partner der Europeischen Union? Interessen, Impulse, Widersprüche,” Osteuropa, No. 10, 1999, pp. 991-1009.
96 See Iu. P. Davydov, “Rossiia-NATO: O poiskakh perspektivy,” SShA-Kanada: Ekonomika, politika, kul’tura, No. 1, 1999, p. 21.
97 NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson, “Rebalancing NATO for a Strong Future,” ROA National Security Report; The Officer, March 2000, p. 1.
98 Michael Brenner, Terms of Engagement: The United States and the European Security Identity. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1998, p. 88.
99 “U.S. Ambassador to NATO On NATO-Russian Relations,” Security Issues Digest, No. 91, 10 May 2000, p. 4.