The forthcoming NATO Summit in Vilnius on July 11-12 seems already infected by a strange policy fatalism.
Hope of a policy breakthrough in Vilnius, Lithuania towards peace in Ukraine, spearheaded by the war-weary East Europeans, seems to have drained away.
There is general acceptance in NATO that the Ukrainian summer offensives in Zaporizhie and again now in Bakhmut have failed to dent Russian defences, with horrific mortality in Ukrainian manpower and enormous destruction of Western-supplied equipment.
The West seems content to let Zelensky go on wasting Ukraine’s increasingly scarce military-age men in a process described by writer Raúl Ilargi Meijer as NATO’s assisted suicide of the Ukrainian nation.
The NATO unspoken strategy seems to be: we know Russia is inevitably winning in Ukraine, but we will make sure we and our Kiev proxies destroy as much as possible of Ukraine’s manpower and national wealth before Russia takes control of the country.
The Kakhovka dam is gone, and what is left of Zaporizhie Nuclear Power Plant seems increasingly at risk of West-assisted Ukrainian sabotage. These two huge assets were the pivots of Ukraine’s industrial and agricultural potential and wealth.
When Russia wins political control over the ruined land of Ukraine, and after it repudiates Western carpetbagging claims to asset ownership there, it will face a huge rebuilding job, comparable to the situation the Soviet Union faced in Ukraine after the 1944-45 vengeful scorched-earth actions by the retreating Nazi divisions.
Meanwhile, Germany under its supine Scholz leadership is de-industrialising, following the loss of cheap Russian gas after the U.S.-conducted sabotage of the Baltic pipelines. German industrialists are taking their capital, management skills and intellectual property elsewhere. France is riven by serious rioting. The EU is distracted and aimless. Western Europe is shrinking in global influence.
In the U.S., only the military-industrial-information complex is doing well. Infrastructure continues to decay. The middle class is eroding and confused. The Democrats are the party of liberal imperialism and the Republicans are still riven between warmongers and America-first nationalist Trumpians. Who knows who will be the next U.S. president, and if he or she can arrest America’s relative decline.
Russia steadily makes reputational headway in what it now describes as the Global Majority (what used to be the Global South). There is an increasingly long queue of governments seeking to join BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
The Russia-China strategic alliance is the linchpin of this growing robust and intellectually confident ideology of multipolarity which is attracting the attention of serious governments around the world.
Russia’s task is to win in Ukraine, as it is doing, but without destroying its reputation with China and the Global Majority.
Russia is bringing down the curtain on 320 years since Peter the Great began trying to make Russia a member of European-Anglophone Club. Russia will never trust the West again.
The history of Western diplomatic treachery during the last 32 years since the 1991 end of Soviet Communism has shown Russians that the U.S.-U.K. agenda was always about much more than defeating Communism: it was about expanding American global hegemony and breaking up Russia as a competing world civilisational state.
There is enough evidence now to satisfy the Global Majority that U.S. regime change and controlling operations in Ukraine since 2013 have been above all cynically aimed at weakening and destabilising Russia. Remembering their own viciously exploited colonial history, the Global Majority are glad these Western efforts are failing.
The Vilnius NATO meeting will produce no new miracles of salvation for the doomed Kiev regime. There will be a lot of tired rhetoric about continuing to defend democratic Ukraine.
Nobody – speakers or listeners – will believe it.
Tony Kevin is a former Australian senior diplomat, having served as ambassador to Cambodia and Poland, as well as being posted to Australia’s embassy in Moscow. He is the author of six published books on public policy and international relations.