UKRAINE - NATO Bucharest Summit Bites

Arno Froese

Theres’s a cliche that backroom negotiations at big summits sometimes feel as if they’re taking place in a “hall of mirrors.”

In the case of the 2008 Nato summit in Bucharest, where Ukraine was first offered the now red-hot issue of joining the Western alliance, it was also literally true.

The Nato summit was held in Nikolai Ceaușescu’s People’s Palace (now the Palace of the Parliament). It’s a fairytale-turned-nightmare monument to the ego and self-promotion of the late Romanian dictator. 

Professional historians and diplomats please correct me because, first, this is 14 years ago; second, I wasn’t covering this angle; and, third, even the official communique from the summit only listed it as item 23: but I can’t help recall how US president George W. Bush was pressing his fellow Nato delegates to give Ukraine and Georgia Nato membership.

The European end of the Nato equation (then led by Angela Merkel, Gordon Brown, Nicolas Sarkozy) pushed back, until the final communique offered them the aspiration of joining a compromise half-way house called the “Membership Action Plan.”

“Nato welcomes Ukraine’s and Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations for membership in Nato. We agreed today that these countries will become members of Nato. Both nations have made valuable contributions to Alliance operations. 

Fatefully, the words that probably still echo inside Putin’s head are those in the second sentence, that, “these countries will become members of Nato.” Putin invaded Georgia later that same year. The three-day summit ended on 8 April 2008, the Russian invasion of Georgia in August.

Fourteen years on, and he has invaded Ukraine too.

Was Bush right, to want to offer immediate membership? Or was Europe right, to offer it as a distant prospect?

I don’t know the answer to that—and there were certainly no answers on offer in that endless hall of mirrors., 17 March 2022

Arno's Commentary

The excerpt from the article by Matthew Tempest, published by EU Observer, reveals some of the roots of the present Russian war against Ukraine. The ending of the war is hidden for all practical purposes; only time will tell. 

It is our opinion that this Russian war on Ukraine will become a major contributing factor toward closer unity of the so-called Western world—particularly Europe. This forced unity is expected to produce a significantly stronger military capacity for the EU and the rest of the European nations. 

We reiterate, however, that our responsibility as Christians is to support and pray for His Church in Ukraine, as well as Russia. We cannot look into the invisible world, and often do not understand all its implications. Doubtless, scores of people on both sides will cry out to the Lord and be added to His Church—may it be completed soon.

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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