Russia, Not NATO, Has the Upper Hand in Ukraine,

Ali Demirdas, professor of international affairs at the College of Charleston

NATO’s pledge to defend Ukraine in its row with Russia raises the question as to whether the transatlantic alliance could keep its commitment. History, technical issues, changing global political order, intra-alliance problems, and a lack of public support in the West for a war with Russia are rendering NATO unable to counter Russia in Ukraine, as well as the rest of eastern Europe, making a Russian victory ever more likely.

NATO’s Black Sea littoral states Romania and Bulgaria, in particular, are expected to play a crucial role in the Ukraine-Russia conflict. Yet, they are aware that the benefits of getting along with Russia outweigh being NATO’s battering ram against Russia.

Bulgaria is predominantly dependent on Russian gas. Bulgaria’s pro-Russian president Rumen Radev has emphasized positive relations with Moscow to secure his country’s energy needs. The Bulgaria-Russia rapprochement has grown to a point where Washington felt compelled to threaten Sofia with sanctions for its involvement in the Turk Stream pipeline that carries Russian gas from Siberia to the Balkans. Läs artikel