Ukraine President Orders Russian Border Closed, Applying For EU Membership In 2020
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) September 25, 2014
Though the ceasefire in East Ukraine is hanging by a thread, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has decided to order a closure of the Ukraine-Russian border and announced that he is pushing to have Ukraine join the European Union with a membership application in 2020 – two moves that will no doubt infuriate Russia.
The first, shutting down the Ukraine-Russian border, is likely a prelude to a new offensive in the east either by the Ukraine military or its problematic “volunteers.” The second, applying for EU membership, is a rather definitive answer in the negative as to whether Ukraine would join the Eurasian Economic Union or even just remain neutral.
A decree published on the presidential website ordered the government “to settle… the issue of temporarily closing checkpoints on Ukraine’s state border with the Russian Federation to cars, sea and pedestrian traffic.” It added that the 2,000-kilometre (1,200-mile) land frontier with Ukraine’s giant northeastern neighbour may be closed “to other forms of traffic” if necessary.
The presidency said Poroshenko also told a meeting of judges that Ukraine would make a formal EU membership bid in 2020 that was made possible by this year’s signing of a landmark political and economic association pact.
Combine it all with the NATO membership application and it’s clear the government in Kiev has made its choice to align with the the US/EU – marking the expansion of NATO from Berlin all the way to the Russian border.
The late US grand strategist George Kennan had a theory on how this would play out, that NATO expansion would lead to a “new cold war, probably ending in a hot one” should any NATO policymakers be so deranged to pursue it. Let’s hope Kennan was wrong.