NATO's two-day summit was held from July 11 to 12 at the Lithuanian capital Vilnius. Jens Stoltenberg, the alliance's secretary-general, confirmed that Ukraine is being placed on a "path forward" during the first day of the summit. He also announced that Sweden will be allowed into NATO immediately.
According to Stoltenberg, Ukraine's membership is being fast-tracked "from a two-step process into a one-step process." He added: "This will move Ukraine closer to NATO." (Related: Ukraine's defense minister claims his country is a "de facto" member of NATO.)
The NATO secretary-general also told members of the media that the alliance has agreed to put 300,000 troops, including "air and naval assets," on standby. He continued: "The most important thing we can do is continue to provide weapons, ammunition and military support to Ukraine."
But investigative reporter Leo Hohmann warned that the decision to fast-track Ukraine's NATO membership will practically guarantee World War III, adding that "the West has now fully played its hand."
"If one [NATO member] country gets attacked by a non-NATO country, all of NATO is pledged to join in the fighting under a collective defense clause known as Article 5. But what if one NATO member provokes an invasion from Russia or some other country? Then all of the other members are pledged to come to the aid of that one nation that provoked war," he wrote.
Hohmann also denounced Stoltenberg's assurances of Ukraine being admitted into NATO, as "it gives Russia no incentive to end the war." This is because Russia "now knows that as long as there is a sovereign country called Ukraine, it will be on a path to joining a military alliance dedicated to the destruction of Russia, or at the very least greatly weakening it."
"By surrounding a nuclear-armed world power the likes of Russia, NATO is acting in the most reckless and provocative manner possible for a military alliance that is designed with a collective 'defense' clause," Hohmann noted.
According to him, the 31-member NATO "has more than doubled in size since its founding in 1949. The alliance has, in recent years, added former Eastern Bloc nations on Russia's border as members. Hohmann pointed out that the inclusion of the said nations directly violated verbal assurances made by former Secretary of State James A. Baker III.
A January 2022 article by the Guardian – incidentally published a month before the Russia-Ukraine war broke out – expounded on this "betrayal." The piece said Baker, state secretary under former President George H.W. Bush, promised Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev back in February 1990 that NATO would not expand eastward if Moscow accepted Germany's unification. While Russia did accept the unification of East and West Germany, NATO did not hold up its end of the bargain.
Seventeen years later, Russian President Vladimir Putin brought up the accusations during a 2007 speech at the Munich Security Conference. The Russian leader accused the West of forgetting and breaking assurances, leaving international law in ruins. According to the Guardian, the betrayal claim "matters desperately to Russia since it fuels distrust [and] feeds Russia's cynicism about international law."
Hohmann ultimately warned: "In the eyes of Putin and any red-blooded Russian patriot, the very existence of Russia now depends on the total defeat of Ukraine. Look for Putin to ratchet up his war machine exponentially, because he now has zero incentive to end this war peacefully."
"Ukrainian and Russian leaders wanted to sit down and resolve their differences peacefully in April 2022. But the governments of the U.S. and the U.K. already had something else up their sleeves, which did not in any way involve peace."
Watch this video discussing Ukraine's streamlined yet unclear path to NATO membership.
This video is from the Maverick News channel on Brighteon.com.