Analysis, Europe, Side Feature

Q&A: The NATO Summit in Lithuania and its Implications

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries have held their summit in Lithuania, one of the Baltic republics located on the borders of Russia, on the 11th and 12th of July 2023. What was the result of this summit? Why was Ukraine’s request to join NATO rejected? Where will the events of the war in Ukraine lead to?

In order to get a clear answer to the above questions, we review the following:

1- About 90 items were mentioned in the closing statement of NATO, including those related to the Ukraine and Russia wars, and some are related to other issues. It was a comprehensive statement of all international issues that concern America’s hegemony and influence in the world in particular and the West in general over the world. There are items related to Russia, the war in Ukraine, China, the Indian and Pacific Ocean regions and its countries, and the relationship with the European Union, the Middle East, Iran, Iraq, Jordan and Africa. Western transcendence, its global domination, and proving its leadership of the world appeared in the statement, as well as the Western threat to others and its attempt to impose hegemony on them. It started plans for the future to ensure Western hegemony led by America, and even American hegemony in the name of NATO. America almost flies with joy for achieving a great achievement for NATO, but rather imposing its hegemony on its countries, including the European Union, and worked to strengthen it by expanding its area to include Finland and Sweden after Erdogan, Turkey, agreed to their membership. And it worked to direct a severe blow to European attempts, led by France, to get rid of American hegemony and build an independent European force that enhances the strength of the European Union, which has become weak and submissive to America. This was after French President Macron described NATO in November 2019 as clinically dead, and demanded that Europe establishes a force of its own. This worried America, which made it insist on strengthening NATO. Then the Ukraine war came, and it was a golden opportunity for it to prevent Europe from emerging from under America’s control, domination and arrogance.

2- For Ukraine; America has currently refused to include it in the alliance. US President Biden said at the conclusion of the summit: “NATO leaders agreed that Ukraine would be a member after the war” (BBC, 12/7/2023). US State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Stickney said, “The membership of Ukraine in NATO is not possible at the present time, it is not on the table during the war, and Washington’s priority at the NATO summit includes continuing to provide support to Ukraine” (Sky News, Al Jazeera, 11/7/2023). It was stated in the final statement, which was approved by NATO leaders “The future of Ukraine is in NATO…Kiev’s Euro-Atlantic integration exceeded the need for a membership action plan.” The statement said, “We will be in a position to invite Ukraine to join the alliance when the members agree and the conditions are met” (Al-Jazeera, 11/7/2023). NATO leaders did not come to extend an invitation to Kiev or announce a timetable for its accession, which it seeks, but they canceled a requirement to fulfill the so-called Membership Action Plan, which effectively removes an obstacle that was in Ukraine’s way to join it. That is, as soon as the war ends, Ukraine will join NATO, and circumstances may change and NATO countries will be forced to annex Ukraine. Rather, the decision-making position of America will change and it will announce its annexation. Thus, Russia would have failed in all its calculations regarding declaring war on Ukraine.

3- The American position angered the Ukrainian President Zelensky, so he wrote on Twitter angrily as he was heading towards the conference when he learned of the content of the final statement, saying, “It is absurd, unprecedented and unreasonable not to specify a time frame for Ukraine’s membership in NATO. The lack of clarity is a weakness, and not to set an agreed upon time frame means that his country’s membership can become a bargaining card in the end.” The final statements are prepared in the beginning by the decision-maker and then discussed in summits and conferences, then the necessary amendments are made or approved as they are. The members of the US delegation were enraged by Zelensky’s outburst, they urged him to calm down and accept the security assistance that had been promised. The Ukrainian President Zelensky remained silent, and changed his statements, saying: “NATO will give Ukraine security, and Ukraine will make the alliance stronger” (BBC, 12/7/202).

Note that NATO announced in 2008 its commitment to work to annex Ukraine in the future. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said, “The failure of NATO allies to set a timetable for Ukraine’s accession has upset the Ukrainian President Zelensky.” However, he “stressed NATO’s continued support for Ukraine” and announced that “the alliance members agreed on a comprehensive defense plan to confront Russia and support Kiev militarily” (Al-Jazeera, 11/7/2023). America refused to annex Ukraine now, because it does not want to get involved in a direct war, and sends its soldiers to fight there. Article 5 of the Washington Document of NATO upon its founding on 4/4/1949 states that any attack on any member of NATO is an attack on all members. America wants to send equipment and weapons to kill the Russians and the Ukrainians with them in order to defeat Russia, and then Ukraine joins NATO and America’s forces will enter and establish its military bases not far from the Russian capital, Moscow.

4- The statement stressed, as published by many media outlets, some of which published its details and clauses, that “the allies will continue closely together to address the threats and challenges posed by Russia, and that Russia represents the greatest threat to the security of NATO allies and to peace in the Euro-Atlantic region.” Item 34 of the statement states: “In response to a radically changing security environment, we are strengthening the collective defense of the Alliance against all threats and from all directions. Since 2014 (when Russia annexed Crimea and strengthened its presence in eastern Ukraine) and especially at the Madrid Summit 2022, we have taken decisions to strengthen our position and set a clear path for accelerated military adaptation. Today we agreed on significant measures to further strengthen NATO’s deterrence and defense position in all areas, including strengthening forward defenses and the Alliance’s ability to rapidly reinforce any Ally under threat. We will fully implement these measures, denying any potential adversary from any potential opportunities for aggression. At the NATO summit in Madrid in June 2022, NATO’s new strategic concept document was issued, in which Russia was considered the greatest and direct threat to the security of the allies, while China was not considered as such, but it was considered a challenge to the interests and values of the alliance. The statement held “Russia responsible for everything that is happening in Ukraine and the threat to security and peace in Europe, but rather in other parts of the world,” and indicated that “Russia has increased its mobilization in various fields and its presence in the Baltic, Black and Mediterranean Seas, and it maintains great military capabilities in the North Pole, accusing it of carrying out provocative activities near NATO borders, conducting extensive maneuvers without notifying them, and fueling tensions in NATO’s southern neighborhood, especially in the Middle East, North Africa, and the Sahel region. However, the statement said, “The alliance does not seek to confront Russia,” and that the alliance does not constitute a threat to it, but its hostile policies and actions do not make it a partner with us.” (Al-Jazeera, 11/7/2023)

This is in an attempt to confuse Russia and make it delusional that the West may pity it and come to terms with it. It makes it hesitant between hoping for an understanding and a way out of Ukraine’s impasse in a way that saves its face after it became involved and did not achieve its goals, and it became difficult to achieve them, and between despairing of this understanding and floundering in this quagmire for a longer period whose results are not guaranteed. With this mysterious situation, and with the prolongation of the war, as the West, headed by America, seeks to prolong it so that it can achieve its goals. It appears that all Western countries now, and with them Japan, have adopted the American point of view, which is the defeat of Russia and the change of conditions in it, especially its political leadership. On the sidelines of the conference, the leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) issued a statement expressing “support for Ukraine in its self-defense against Russian aggression, no matter how long it lasts” (BBC, 12/7/2023).

5- They praised their nuclear capabilities and announced that they would work to develop them as stated in Article 44. They said: “The strategic nuclear force of the Alliance, especially the American one, is a guarantee of security and deterrence of aggression. The Alliance will take all necessary steps to ensure the credibility and effectiveness of nuclear deterrence. It will include continuing to modernize the alliance’s nuclear capability includes to increase flexibility and adaptability to international developments”. And they issued implicit threats to Russia in the event of its use of nuclear weapons in the war with Ukraine, saying, “Any use of nuclear weapons against the alliance would radically change the nature of the conflict (in Ukraine).” NATO countries confirmed at their last meeting in Article 28 that they would “spend a minimum of 2% of annual GDP on military spending with the aim of maintaining technological superiority and continuing to modernize and reform NATO forces. This means a new arms race” and will work to “modernize NATO for a new era of collective defense and that the members are united in their commitments and their determination to win against any aggressor and to defend all the lands of the Allies through the Allied countries on the ground, in the air and at sea.” As stated in the clauses of the statement, the West, headed by America, is working to develop its nuclear capabilities and threatens to use them and to develop its military capabilities in all fields, while fighting any country working to acquire nuclear capabilities or develop them or develop their own military capabilities. They condemned the nuclear activities of Iran and North Korea and the latter’s experiments to develop its missile capabilities, as stated in the statement in Items 56, 57 and 84.

6- As for China, they referred to it in items 6, 23, 24, 25 and 55, as they condemned “China’s aspirations and declared coercive policies to challenge their interests, security and values.” They considered, “China is vague about its strategy, intentions, and military buildup,” as they see that “China’s malicious hybrid and cyber operations, confrontational rhetoric, and disinformation target allies and harm NATO security.” “It uses its economic clout to create strategic dependencies and enhance its influence and strives to undermine the rules-based international order, including in the space, cyber and maritime domains. It also seeks to control key technological and industrial sectors, critical infrastructure, strategic materials and supply chains.”

They called on China to “play a constructive role as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, condemn Russia’s war against Ukraine, refrain from supporting Russia’s war effort in any way, and stop amplifying Russia’s false narrative blaming Ukraine and NATO for the war against Ukraine.” At the same time, they affirmed their “commitment to openness to constructive engagement with China, including mutual transparency with the aim of protecting strategic interests.” They did not declare China that it poses a threat to the West and NATO, although they condemned its ambitions that threaten their interests and global hegemony, i.e. the West’s domination of the world led by America, and considered its military strategy and intentions vague.

We referred to this issue in the answer to a question entitled “Blinken’s visit to China” on 3/7/2023, so we said: “But one of the important goals of this visit that was not achieved is that America wanted to open a channel of communication between the Chinese and American military, for purposes akin to espionage. As if China realized this and rejected these channels categorically. They focused on regional companies as stated in Article 85, where they referred to “Chinese threats in the Indo-Pacific region.” They considered that developments there directly affect European and Atlantic security, and welcomed “the participation of the partners Japan, Australia and New Zealand and South Korea and strengthening dialogue and cooperation with it.” America is working to exert all pressures on China, and it is using NATO to increase these pressures.

7- The statement touched on the West’s hegemony over the Middle East and Africa, as stated in Article 82 and Article 83, in which it was stated that “the Middle East and Africa are two regions of strategic importance, and we will work to deepen our political participation and our communication in global diplomacy, with our old partners in the Mediterranean Dialogue and the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative. We will also increase our communication with relevant regional organizations including the African Union and the Gulf Cooperation Council. The alliance is implementing capacity building packages for Iraq, Jordan, Mauritania and Tunisia. The Jordanian authorities will be contacted to explore the possibility of establishing a NATO liaison office in Amman”. He focused on “supporting and stabilizing Iraq, and fighting ISIS organization, and at the request of the Iraqi government, we are studying expanding NATO’s mission in Iraq to provide advice to the Iraqi Ministry of Interior on the federal police.” That is, NATO considers this region to be a purely Western sphere of influence, in which America is working to strengthen its influence in it, and America is fooling NATO that it is working for its interest in these two regions, which are witnessing competition between its countries for influence, especially between America, Britain and France.

8- The idea of blocs is one of the most dangerous ideas for the world, as we mentioned in our book, Political Concepts of Hizb ut Tahrir, and it caused world wars in the past, as well as attacks against Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. The Warsaw Pact, which was a competitor to NATO and posed a threat to the West, ended, so NATO had to be dissolved, but America was keen to maintain it to keep its hegemony over Western countries, especially the European Union, and to use it against other countries. That is why this alliance is the most dangerous bloc against the fate of humanity, which has not known a bloc like it in history of its size and strength. It includes countries that possess weapons of mass destruction and industrial and technological capabilities. It is led by America, the largest and most dangerous colonial state. It used nuclear weapons in Japan, and it insists on expanding and strengthening it; to increase the threat of the outbreak of devastating wars in the world and to extend its influence everywhere and impose its hegemony on all countries of the world. Work to strengthen and expand it is a crime against humanity, and it causes destructive and aggressive wars, as its countries dare to attack others because behind them are many countries that will support them, and the human and material losses become many times greater. There is no remedy for this problem except by fighting the idea of blocs and the idea of the existence of NATO and that there is no justification for its existence because it is aggressive. This is by creating a global public opinion on that. Hence, the world has become in need of a state to save it from this situation. There is only the Islamic Khilafah (Caliphate) State that is qualified to carry out this mission that will be good for humanity and mercy for the worlds.

[وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةً لِّـلْعَالَمِينَ]

“And We have not sent you, [O Muḥammad], except as a mercy to the worlds.” [Al-Anbiya: 107]

30 Dhul Hijjah 1444 AH – 18/7/2023 CE