If there is one Western leader who knows the depth of corruption in Ukrainian politics, then it must be US President Joe Biden. His wayward son Hunter treated the country while dad cemented the 2014 coup in Kiev.
The president knows that cheerful speeches about reforms to join NATO are meaningless platitudes to hide a dysfunctional state he helped create.
Biden has belatedly guest Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in White House next month despite unrest reports its censorship of the media and freedom of expression and the shutdown of the democratic opposition. These offenses obviously do not bother Uncle Sam. But what is problematic – even if it is not said externally – is the incorrigible corruption of Ukraine. And guess who would know all of this?
Joe Biden was the key man in Ukraine’s “reforms” under the Obama administration when he was vice president, following the West-backed coup in Kiev against a democratically elected president in February 2014.
On top of that, the then second US official then used his political influence to get his son Hunter on the board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma with an income of $ 50,000 a month, a fortune in the second poorest country in Europe. – even though Hunter Biden had no relevant professional experience.
Thanks to the largely pro-Democrat news media, this political influence peddling and corruption scandal has been laid to rest – dismissed as a conspiracy theory pushed by Donald Trump and his Republican supporters. The latter are certainly prone to far-fetched theories. Nonetheless, the story of the Bidens being knee deep in corruption in Ukraine is quite real. Even biden boasted in public about how, when he was vice president, he personally ousted the Ukraine prosecutor who was investigating the corruption of the Burisma company on which Hunter Biden sat on board.
This context would explain the latest refusal of Ukraine’s aspirations to join the NATO military alliance. It has not been able to formally apply for membership in years, despite NATO members supplying lethal weapons and military trainers to Ukraine, which is described in alliance lingo as a “enhanced opportunity partner”.
Yet full NATO membership continues to elude the former Soviet republic, much to the frustration of the Kiev authorities.
This week, the White House forced Zelensky to make an embarrassing statement retraction of his version of a phone call with Biden. Zelensky first claimed that the US president supported the idea of giving Ukraine an action plan to join the 30-member bloc. But it turned out that Biden didn’t. Kiev then had to admit that he had misinterpreted the telephone conversation.
The Brussels-based, but US-led alliance states that there are strict qualifying criteria for candidate countries. This concerns in particular the candidate country which is not involved in any current internal civil conflict and which has no dispute with a neighboring state. In addition, to be successfully admitted, potential members must have functioning “liberal democracies” and market economies as well as military standards comparable to existing NATO forces.
It can be argued that Ukraine is failing miserably on all fronts. It has endured a seven-year conflict with the breakaway regions of Donbas to the east as well as major – mostly artificial – grievances with Russia, which supports the republics but does not recognize them as independent. Ukraine’s political economy falls far short of a Western health check due to being mired in corruption and cronyism. Its army has neo-Nazi paramilitary formations like the infamous Azov Battalion. And Zelensky presents a law this does not include ethnic Russians on the list of indigenous peoples of Ukraine.
Zelensky also began issuing presidential decrees to end political opposition. He recently ordered the shutdown of media criticizing his governance in what has been denounced as an attack on free speech.
Western calls for reform have fallen on deaf ears and, on the contrary, Ukraine is sliding into a dysfunctional state.
That said, however, none of NATO’s supposed standards prevented past memberships from being agreed upon.
Countries like Portugal and Turkey were admitted to NATO despite military dictatorships at the time. Turkey and Greece have a long-standing territorial dispute over Cyprus and Mediterranean waters. Newer members from the Balkan region, Albania and North Macedonia, also have a reputation for corruption and territorial disputes with their neighbors.
So what makes Ukraine’s candidacy for the US-led military bloc so problematic? And why has Biden taken firm action this week to quash Kiev’s membership hopes?
The difference lies in Biden’s personal knowledge of the endemic corruption in Ukraine. He knows from the shady involvement and enrichment of his own family that the country is unreformable under the dominant politics of the West-sponsored regime.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken – who was also a key former member of Barack Obama’s administration during the 2014 coup in Kiev – refers to gloomily to Ukraine “internal threatsAs the result of systematic corruption.
People like Biden know intimately how desperate the Ukrainian regime is. Despite the arms offer and lip service to Kiev against “Russian aggression,” the 46th President knows better than anyone how foolish it would be to admit Ukraine into NATO ranks . Because Biden is complicit in the making of this messy state and his irrational Russophobia, which is eager to start a war with Russia.
Ukraine as a thorn in Russia’s side is one thing. Creating a casus belli through NATO is another. Biden understands all too well the danger of the rogue state he cultivated in 2014.
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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.