First, NATO and Kiev signed a letter of intent in February for cooperation between their special operations forces. Two months later American ambassador and current NATO Deputy Secretary-General Alexander Vershbow said it was time to bring the Ukrainian military “in line with NATO standards.” Barely one week later, though, the U.S. Ambassador to NATO ruled out NATO expansion for the “next several years.”

These muddled messages only cause confusion, provoking Russia while potentially false hope for Ukraine. For that reason, it’s time for Washington to make clear that Ukrainian accession to NATO is not on the table. Here’s why.

First, NATO possesses almost no ability to defend Ukraine. Russia has 270,000 troops and 700 jet fighters positioned on Ukraine’s southern and western borders. And as Russia demonstrated in 2015 when it sent 150,000 troops to surround Ukraine, Moscow can quickly mobilize its military in the event of a conflict.



According to the latest research conducted by the Public Opinion Foundation (FOM), 48 percent of Russians say they are interested in politics, which is the highest figure since 2001. Forty-nine percent of responders said that politics was not at the top of their interests’ list, and 3 percent said it was difficult to give a direct and simple answer to this question. For comparison, in 2010 the share of Russians who said that they considered politics to be an important subject was 30 percent and 64 percent said that they had no interest in politics whatsoever.

The 2016 research also shows that the current events in Syria and Russia’s counter-terrorist operation in this country were the most popular discussion topics among Russians. The situation in Ukraine ranked second, the ongoing price hikes in Russia were in third place and the last Q&A session with President Vladimir Putin was in fourth place.

US State Dept Pledges to Retain Sanctions Until Russia Returns Crimea


Washington will not lift the sanctions imposed after the reunification of Crimea with Russia until Moscow decides to “return Crimea to Ukraine,” the spokesman for the US State Department said.

Crimea, which has a predominately ethnically-Russian population, seceded from Ukraine to rejoin Russia two years ago following a referendum on March 16 in which over 96 percent of voters supported the move.

Ukraine’s interior minister: I could destroy foreign support for Kiev with media bombshell


Ukraine’s interior minister said he could drop a media bombshell that would force foreign sponsors to stop all support for Kiev. The claim comes as the cabinet hangs in peril over the resignation of a reformist economy minister, who quit citing covert corruption.


Aivaras Abromavicius announced his resignation as economy minister last week, saying he doesn’t want to be part of the plundering of Ukraine committed by corrupt officials. The move sparked a political crisis in Ukraine and resulted in the International Monetary Fund warning that it may suspend the multibillion dollar credit line to Kiev, unless it starts a genuine crackdown on corruption.


Dutch vote against EU-Ukraine deal would pressure govt to ‘reconsider’ position – FM


If people vote against the EU-Ukraine association agreement in the upcoming referendum, widely criticized by the Dutch, the government will have to review its position towards the treaty, the country’s foreign minister has warned.

The Dutch nation saying ‘no’ might put an end to the European Union’s Association Agreement with Ukraine, FM Bert Koenders said, adding that he would argue for a ‘yes’ vote.

“The referendum law says the government will have to reconsider if there is a (negative) outcome,” he said as quoted by Reuters. “I’m not going to say anything about the result, but we will then decide what to do.”

Koenders again refuted the idea that the association agreement might become the first step toward EU membership for Kiev – much desired by Ukrainians but worrisome for Dutch voters who fear it would only deepen the immigration crisis in the EU.




The only problem was ‘Igor’ was in fact an unemployed 27-year-old from Kaliningrad, Yury Lobyskin, who had never joined the separatists.

“A German journalist called Dietmar came to see me as well as a film crew from Germany and said ‘let’s film a documentary about you’ saying that you went from Kaliningrad to Donetsk to fight for the separatists,”Lobyskin admitted. ‘Dietmar’ is ZDF political observer Dietmar Schumann, the Rossiya 1 report states.

Caught in the act: German state channel accused of faking Russian soldiers in Ukraine


Ukraine Has No Chance of Winning $3Bln Debt Case Against Russia W


Ukraine owes Russia $3 billion in Eurobonds. The debt was secured by the government of then-President Viktor Yanukovych in late 2013. Moscow has repeatedly stated that Kiev’s inability to pay back the debt by December 20 will mean a default.

On Tuesday, Ukraine’s Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko said that Kiev and Moscow were still in talks, brokered by mediators from Germany, on the issue of the settlement of Ukraine’s debt.

On Wednesday, the International Monetary Fund board recognized Kiev’s outstanding $3 billion debt to Moscow as sovereign.

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