This really is madness:

Ukraine will become a Nato member subject to reforms, says secretary general

Ukraine will become a member of Nato, the military alliance’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, has said.

Allies agree that Ukraine will become a member of Nato. At [the Nato-Ukraine] meeting, we will agree recommendations for Ukrainians … reforms, as we continue to support Kiev on this path to Nato membership.

However, all allies still agree that full membership remains impossible in the midst of war, even while ways to move Ukraine and Nato closer continue, he added.

This month Germany and the Netherlands pledged €10bn for Ukraine, he added. Romania added a F16 training centre for Ukrainian pilots. Allies including the US and Finland are sending more air defences and ammunition to protect Ukrainian cities from Russian attacks.

Stoltenberg also said that Sweden’s pending Nato membership “will make us all safer” and he called on Turkey and Hungary to complete its ratifications.

What, exactly, does Ukraine bring to the table? Not military assets. It is clear that the opposite is the case; Ukraine is gobbling up military assets from NATO stockpiles and budgets. Recent war experience? Yes, true, but I am not sure that should be a decisive factor; war experience, sadly, is easily gotten. The main vector which Ukraine in reality brings to the table is RISK. Putting Ukraine into NATO when Russia has, and continues to make clear, that this is an absolute red-line for them is obviously going to lead to continual conflict, and it could escalate.

Is there some huge need to put Ukraine into NATO despite the huge risk this creates? Not really. It isn’t needed for NATO security. Until the Maidan ‘Revolution’ Ukraine was commited to not being a member of NATO and that state of affairs did not present a risk to NATO countries.

Are Russian objections reasonable? Pretty much:

i) Of course they don’t want a hostile / unfriendly military block taking up a presence on their borders. They might have accepted this with the Baltic states in 2004 but that was when they were weaker. Now, they feel they can object and they are.

ii) Furthermore; there is an extant territorial dispute over Donbas and Crimea. This means the risk is multipled many times.

iii) Russia and Ukraine have a long and intertwined history. It is obvious that Ukraine is an especially sensitive case. Why provoke them?

It seems that all this is being done because the US/UK/Germany/France and NATO as a whole have decided that they can make the rules including in Russia’s backyard. Despite the indisputable fact that the US would block the same thing happening in their backyard. Putting Ukraine into NATO is not a strategic requirement for NATO countries. It doesn’t make NATO safer. It is hugely expensive. It is expensive in terms of lives. It creates massive risk. The only reason they seem to be doing it is to make the point that “we are the boss, here, there and everywhere”. It really is unnecessary.