According to RT, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has just announced that:
In contrast, he declared that:"Alliance officials would put “the entire range of NATO-Russia cooperation under review.” He stated that NATO has decided to “take a number of immediate steps” because “Russia continues to violate Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and its own international commitments.” “We have also decided that no staff-level civilian or military meetings with Russia will take place for now,” Rasmussen added. Russia and NATO had been discussing a possible joint mission to protect a US ship that will destroy Syria's deadliest chemical weapons. However, that plan has been suspended as one of the “immediate steps.” “We have suspended the planning for our first NATO-Russia joint mission. The maritime escort for the US ship Cape Ray, which will neutralize Syria’s chemical weapons. Let me stress, this will not affect the destruction of chemical weapons, but Russia will not be involved in the escort of the US vessel,” Rasmussen said. Nevertheless, NATO is willing to “keep the door open for political dialogue. So we are ready to maintain meetings of ambassadors in the NATO-Russia Council, as we have done today,” Rasmussen said.
"NATO has decided to “intensify our partnership” and “strengthen our cooperation” with Ukraine in order to “support democratic reforms.” “We will step up our engagement with the Ukrainian civilian and military leadership. We will strengthen our efforts to build the capacity of the Ukrainian military, including with more joint training and exercises. And we will do more to include Ukraine in our multinational projects to develop capabilities,” Rasmussen clarified. The way NATO sees it, cooperation between the alliance and Ukraine will “complement the international efforts to support the people of Ukraine” while they are forming their future. “Tomorrow, I will meet the prime minister of Ukraine to make clear NATO’s support,” he stressed".
a) Does Rasmussen really think that Russia will care about any of that?
b) Does Rasmussen know that there is no Ukrainian military to speak of?
The reply to question one is yes, Russia will care about that. But not in the way Mr Rasmussen seems to think. Russia couldn't care less about the canceled activities any more than Putin cares about the G8, but the message this does send Russia is "We are NATO, we hate you, and we will use each and every opportunity to side against you even if that means giving our support to Satan himself!". And if anybody might be tempted to say that I am exaggerating, let me remind you that NATO countries did support the Chechen Wahabis in Chechnia and that they are still supporting the liver-eating reptiles in Syria. I don't know if the rumor that NATO and the Ukies are negotiating a deal to deploy NATO anti-missile missiles in the Ukraine is true, I doubt it, but I suspect that NATO is dumb enough to deploy some kind of forces in the rump Ukraine just to further provoke Moscow. Basically, NATO is doing everything conceivable to provoke, anger and threaten Russia. The question is why does everybody in Europe accept that in peaceful silence?
As for question number two, I am sure that Rasmussen must know the real state of affairs of the Ukrainian military: antiquated rusted hardware (only 4 aircraft at the Belbek military airbase were in condition to take off). And that is assuming that somebody had the needed fuel and a sufficient number of flight-hours to even get to fly them. The Ukie navy? Their subs are held by chains on the pier to prevent them from sinking. As for the ground forces, one expert estimated that roughly 500 men - all in the Airmobile forces - had received a decent basic training. That's it. The rest of the Ukrainian military is basically a huge labor camp which is phenomenally corrupt and does everything but train for war. And it's not even their fault - there are plenty of good officers and soldiers in the Ukrainian army. It's 20 years of total neglect which will do that to any military. So what is Rasmussen talking about when he speaks of engaging and training with the Ukie military? Building it up from scratch? Ok, he can do that. NATO has already done that in the past. In Latvia. See for yourself:
The following is a hilarious video made by some Russian in Latvia who report about a military parade in Latvia. The speaker uses language similar to what one can hear during the yearly Victory Parade in Moscow. It is fantastically funny, but even if you don't understand - just look what the NATO-created "invincible Latvian military" looks like today:
Honestly, and no offense to the Latvian people, seen from Russia this kind of parade looks like a kindergarten graduation ceremony, especially with the participation of a few "NATO allies".
I also remember similar parades in Georgia, when Saakashvili was spending an obscene amount of money on NATO gear and uniforms to create his equally "invincible army". And we all remember what happened in 08.08.08...
NATO has, shall we say, a less than stellar record in building up the military of their "partners" or even full members. Frankly, NATO itself is pretty much a "one mission organization": the mission to provide the US military with a tiny figleaf with the words "our allies" and "our European allies" or even "the international community" written on it.
So how does Mr Rasmussen come across to the folks in the Kremlin? I will tell you, as a harmless but nasty jerk who makes empty threats but hates Russia nonetheless. The Russians will be disgusted, but otherwise unimpressed.
But nobody will ever tell Mr Rasmussen, alas.