President Zelensky’s anger was such that he denounced the former leaders of Germany and France, Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy, who had blocked his country’s entry into the United Nations Treaty Organization. North Atlantic (NATO) at their 2008 peak.
MembershipNATO could have protected his country against Russian attacks under the collective defense guarantee of article 5 of this alliance of countries in Europe and North America.
In a video broadcast around the world, Mr. Zelensky invited
Mrs. Merkel and Mr. Sarkozy to visit Boutcha to see what the policy of concessions to Russia has led to in 14 years […]to see with their own eyes the tortured Ukrainian men and women.
Those words reminded Mr. MacKay of the fateful summit in Bucharest, Romania, where Canada and some of its allies discussed a plan for Ukraine to join theNATO.
Stephen Harper’s Conservative government, which included Peter MacKay as Minister of Defence, fully supported this expansion.
The refusal of Sarkozy and Merkel
I remember French President Nicolas Sarkozy was in a corner with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and they were having a rather heated discussionsaid Mr. MacKay in an interview this week.
As the meeting resumed, Mr. MacKay recalled that Mr. Sarkozy and Ms. Merkel objected to Ukraine having access to a plan that would have allowed it to become a member of theNATO.
And it was over […]. This plan melted like snow in the springhe asserted.
France and Germany denied that the Atlantic Alliance consensus was necessary to move forward.
Mr. MacKay’s reflections provide insight into Canada’s role in the chain of geopolitical events that culminated in the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the global condemnation of the aggression ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Two years later, Ukraine abandoned its plan to join theNATOunder former President Viktor Yanukovych, but it became a foreign policy priority again in 2017 under then-President Petro Poroshenko.
History might prove Canada right given what followed the Bucharest summit, i.e. Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, the eight-year war in the east of the Donbass with Russia as well as the alleged war crimes since the start of the invasion on February 24.
I think it was a decision that had very negative consequences that we are witnessing right now in Ukraineacknowledged Mr. MacKay, referring to the Bucharest summit.
When news about Boutcha started circulating, Mr MacKay rummaged through an old box of documents and retrieved a blue notebook stamped with gold lettering that dates back to the 2008 peak. He claimed to have experienced a feeling
disturbing in memory of this summit.
The Bucharest summit focused mainly on the mission of theNATO in Afghanistan, where Canada and its allies were grappling with a new wave of violence sparked by a revolt by the Taliban and al-Qaeda.
The expansion of theNATO further east in Europe – which Putin had fiercely opposed – was also discussed.
There were concerns, particularly for Ukraine, over allegations of poor governance and corruption in government, and there were also constant hints of very harmful Russian influence.Mr. MacKay said, recalling a lively discussion.
However, Canada had taken an unequivocal position. While the meeting was underway, on April 2, 2008, Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a statement in which he affirmed that Canada supported the candidacy of Ukraine and Georgia for the process that was to lead to their separate membership whole at theNATO.
Shuvaloy Majumdar, once director of the team of former Harper government foreign minister John Baird, said Canada, several European countries and the US administration of George W. Bush were among those calling for the expansion ofNATO.
Canada was an early leader at that time. It was German opposition that hurt Ukraine’s membershipsaid Mr. Mujumdar, who now works for Mr. Harper’s consulting firm and heads the foreign policy program at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute think tank.
Germany and other countries [étaient] more focused on reconciliation, on energy, and they were living in a fantasy world in terms of energy transition, whether nuclear or other renewablessaid Mr. Mukumdar.
Peter MacKay, however, believes that the West can redeem itself with Ukraine, especially since Russian forces have partially withdrawn from the country.
variant this scenario by equipping Ukraine with massive amounts of air defense weapons, including fighter jets, according to MacKay.
The former minister also believes that the Russian forces are regrouping to carry out another attack, even if their soldiers are wounded and demoralized.
It goes without saying that Vladimir Putin wants to recreate the Soviet Union, an idea he has had in mind for a very long time.said Peter MacKay.
He tested the limits of theNATO and saw that Ukraine was the most vulnerable and desirable country due to its location.