By Dave DeCamp 

July 3, 2024  Antiwar.com 

NATO is expected to announce that it’s stationing a civilian official in Ukraine.

Ukraine will be told that it is too corrupt to join NATO at the alliance’s summit in Washington next week, The Telegraph reported on Tuesday.

The report cited a US State Department official who said Ukraine needed to take “additional steps” before talks on its NATO membership could progress. “We have to step back and applaud everything that Ukraine has done in the name of reforms over the last two-plus years,” the official said.

“As they continue to make those reforms, we want to commend them, we want to talk about additional steps that need to be taken, particularly in the area of anti-corruption. It is a priority for many of us around the table,” the official added.

President Biden has frequently cited corruption as a reason for not admitting Ukraine into NATO, but that has not stopped him from spending over $100 billion on military and economic aid for the Ukrainian government with virtually no oversight.

The position is expected to be outlined in a NATO communique issued during the summit. During last year’s NATO summit, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was looking for a clear roadmap to membership, but the alliance’s communique only offered a vague statement that it would invite Ukraine to join “when Allies agree and conditions are met.”

NATO is poised to make some gestures to show support for Ukraine, including the stationing of a senior civilian official in Kyiv, according to The Wall Street Journal. The idea is to show support for future Ukrainian NATO membership without actually offering an invitation.

The Journal also reported that the alliance will announce the establishment of a new command in Wiesbaden, Germany, to oversee military aid and training for the Ukrainian military. The idea is to have the alliance take over duties currently overseen by the US so they could continue in the event that a future US president wants to reduce US involvement in the proxy war.

The report said the steps to “Trump proof” the Ukraine proxy war have taken on a new urgency after President Biden’s poor performance in the first presidential debate. Former President Donald Trump has expressed skepticism about the war and said he would work out a deal to end it but hasn’t articulated a plan. He also backed House Speaker Mike Johnson as he moved forward an additional $61 billion in spending on the proxy war.