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A declaration of suicide or a path to a civilized world? (Polemics about an anti-NATO book)

March 24, 2009

A roundtable “Ukraine in Search of Consensus: NATO Membership or Neutral Status?” organized by the Democratic Initiatives Foundation was held in Kyiv on March 24. During the roundtable experts and politicians discussed whether there is an understanding in society about Ukraine’s integration development in a European and Euro-Atlantic vector.
The polemics during the roundtable were about the anti-NATO book “Declaration of Suicide: Why Does Ukraine Need NATO?”, published in the Russian language by the Folio Publishing House with a print run of 3,000 copies.

Opponents and authors of the publication Heorhiy Kryuchkov, Dmytro Tabachnyk, Petro Symonenko, Serhiy Hrynyvetskiy and Petro Tolochko were invited to participate in the debate.
At the same time, a presentation of the publication is planned for March 27 in Brussels, which elicited a number of questions to the participants of the roundtable, one of them being: “Who invited people with diehard anti-NATO sentiments to Europe and who is funding their trip?”
The authors of the book are renowned Ukrainian politicians and scholars. They affirm “the pernicious nature of overall European interests in the destruction of Ukraine neutral status and its accession to the North Atlantic Alliance.”  
Below you will find quotes from the book and commentary by the participants of the roundtable.


“Declaration of Suicide: Why Does Ukraine Need NATO?”


Dmtyro Tabachnyk, people’s deputy of Ukraine, Party of Regions faction:


“It is totally natural that history and the current actions of the alliance are a tracing paper of Hitler’s grand design to create an aggressive military-political bloc that would ensure the hegemonic plans of the Third Reich. The policy of the Nazis did not only demonstrate the tragedy of “small allies” as in the French Entente, but also an entire set of aggressive aims around which military blocs were formed with the ambition of ruling the planet. The line of historic continuity can be further extended – one should not be fooled by the incantations of NATO in defense of democracy throughout the world. After all, even their general rhetoric is not much different from the propragandistic clich?s that Hitler and Ribbentrop came up with” (Article 192).


“There is nothing about seizure of foreign territories or expansion in public documents of Hitler’s diplomacy, only words about the protection of European values. Any statements from Wilhelmstrasse are acceptable as the grounds of the NATO press release on the bombardment of peaceful Yugoslavian cities or an explanation of the need for military action beyond the zone of the bloc’s responsibility” (Articles 192-193).


Petro Tolochko, academician at the National Academy of Sciences:

“Patriots will agree to any aggravation of relations between the US and Russia without any convincing arguments to the benefit of Ukraine’s path to joining NATO” (Article 339).


“By joining a strictly organized military alliance such as NATO, Ukraine will not only lose it national sovereignty, but also risks losing its civilized identity” (Article 345).


Vyacheslav Bohuslayev, General Director of Motor-Sich


“As a consequence of the breakdown in cooperation between Russian and Ukrainian enterprises of the military-industrial complex, Ukraine’s defense industry will discontinue its existence and weapons for the Armed Forces of Ukraine will have to be imported… By joining NATO the military-industrial complex stands to lose from US$ 3-7 billion a year” (Article 384).


“Accession to NATO essentially means surrendering national sovereignty in the military and political sphere and, in the future, the economy.”


Neutrality is an illusion. Ukraine must be a participant of the collective security system

The NATO issue continues to be one of the most provocative in discussions leading up to the next elections in the country. The political forces are surrendering to it in order to mobilize there electorate. Those forces that do not want to see the country in a civilized Europe and interested in Ukraine remaining under the Russian sphere of influence are clearly against NATO.
They are not only showing their opposition, but are launching a powerful anti-NATO campaign, understanding the significance of Ukraine’s accession to the Alliance. Experts and politicians that participated in the roundtable “Ukraine in Search of Consensus: NATO Membership or Neutral Status?” believe the release of the book “A declaration of suicide or a path to a civilized world?” is a part of such a campaign.


As Director of the Democratic Initiatives Foundation Ilko Kucheriv stated, the value of the publication is that it contains arguments that opponents of NATO traditionally put forth. The main them is that Ukraine does not need NATO and that this organization poses a threat to the country. Kucheriv called on experts to discuss what consequences and threats Ukraine may expect if it does not join NATO and what path is the best for citizens of Ukraine to follow.




Meanwhile, Professor Olekskiy Haran of the School of Political Analysis at the University of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy pointed out that this book clearly was written to present arguments as to why Ukraine should not join NATO and presented them on the level of propaganda in the times of the Soviet Union. The famous slogan that the U.S. is seemingly attempting to bring down the Soviet Union actively used by the Communists is to this day being rebroadcast, but by neo-Communists. Member of the Communist Party of Ukraine and one of the authors of the book Heorhiy Kryuchkov was a mouthpiece of this slogan.

In the opinion of Professor Haran, the arguments put forth in the book are beyond criticism. The authors compare the anti-Comintern pact created in the 1930s against the Soviet Union with today’s NATO and Ukraine and the new states that were recently accepted as members of NATo with puppet regimes that in their time were created by Germany or Japan.

As Haran stressed, what is more deplorable is not the publication of this book which could go unnoticed in Ukraine, but its presentation at the NATO headquarters in Brussels. Anti-NATO propaganda is not only being conducted in Ukraine, but also in the West. One expert affirmed that those people that earlier underestimated the importance of reaching a western target audience have today begun actively exploiting such propaganda.


In his turn, Borys Tarasiuk, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on Issues of European Integration, described this publication as “a collection of myths about NATO”.

As the people’s deputy stressed, the issue of Ukraine’s integration in NATO is fixed at the legislative level, which is why any talks about neutrality and Ukraine’s accession or non-accession to NATO is merely political speculation that is being more vocally manifested as we get closer to the elections.

Tarasiuk said the book’s rhetoric is deplorable, which is why its authors did not show up for the discussion. The VR committee chair reminded: “Somehow one of the authors of this bestseller announced live on the air that Ukraine’s accession to NATO will cost the state 30 billion. I asked: “Hryvnia, Euro, dollars, tugrics and where did you come up with that sum?” He was at a loss for words.” 

The parliamentarians also emphasized that they consider Ukraine’s neutrality a speculative topic. Tarasiuk noted that World War II proved that neutrality did not save neutral countries from the fascists. “Neutrality is an illusion”, all the more that Russia’s Black Sea Fleet is stationed on the territory of Ukraine.

According to Tarasiuk’s calculations, expenses to ensure neutrality are four times higher than expenses on defense and a collective security system. With its territorial size, Ukraine cannot handle such a burden. Tarasiuk stressed that there is only one solution – Ukraine’s participation in a collective security system.


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