When Joe Biden served as vice president under President Barack Obama, he was conveniently assigned the Ukraine portfolio on behalf of the administration. His job, in part, was to manage Ukraine’s requests to join NATO and deter Russia’s aggression in the country’s east.
As President years later, Biden was again pressed on the issue following a NATO summit in Brussels. Newly minted President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and reporters had questions about Ukraine’s admission status.
“The fact is they still have to clean up corruption,” Biden said. “In the meantime, we will do all that we can to put Ukraine in the position to be able to continue to resist Russian physical aggression and it will not just depend on me, whether or not we conclude Ukraine can become part of NATO, it will depend on the alliance and how they vote.”
Zelenskyy saw ongoing talks as hopeful and was given reassurance that his people would soon join the alliance, pay their fair share, and protect against the Russian threat.
“Commend @NATO partners' understanding of all the risks and challenges we face. NATO leaders confirmed that Ukraine will become a member of the Alliance & the #MAP is an integral part of the membership process. Ukraine deserves due appreciation of its role in ensuring Euro-Atlantic security,” Zelenskyy tweeted in June 2021.
According to NATO, membership is open to “any other European state in a position to further the principles of this Treaty and to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area.” The principles of the NATO Treaty are centered on combatting Russia.
And yet, Ukraine was repeatedly kept out of the alliance. Instead of the West doubling down to help Ukraine clean up corruption, they dug in their heels by enabling it. They failed to support Ukrainians desperately turning toward the West, away from the East. Unlike many current NATO members, Ukraine has been clamoring to pay their fair share into the alliance for defense.
President Biden is one of the worst offenders. As vice president and while Biden was telling the country to work on its corruption issues, his family was heavily indulging in it.
Through notoriously corrupt Burisma, Hunter Biden was making the Biden family rich and making sure 10 percent of his checks “went to the big guy.” In 2016, Joe Biden made a push to have the prosecutor investigating Burisma for corruption, where Hunter Biden was still getting paid, fired.
“To this day, Burisma’s connection to Hunter Biden has made it much harder for Ukrainian authorities to investigate the company for corruption, current and former officials in Ukraine tell TIME. In that sense, Burisma is still getting its money’s worth for the reported $50,000 per month it paid the younger Biden to sit on its board from 2014 until earlier this year,” TIME reported in 2019.
“Hunter Biden’s role on Burisma’s board in 2014, despite a lack of prior experience in the energy sector, which came while then-vice president Joe Biden oversaw U.S. policy in Ukraine,” POLITICO adds. “Burisma was awarded valuable licenses for natural gas production while its founder, Mykola Zlochevsky, served as Ukraine’s minister of ecology and natural resources under the Russia-aligned administration of Viktor Yanukovych. Both Zlochevsky and Burisma were under suspicion of corruption while Hunter Biden sat on the board.”
For decades, Western politicians and elites used Ukraine as a non-NATO playground to easily line their pockets. After all, this kind of indulgence wouldn't be possible if Ukraine were to officially join the alliance, and therefore, they were kept out – used as a pawn in a dangerous game of real-world Russian roulette.
Now, innocent Ukrainians are paying the ultimate price as Putin bulldozes through their country in his quest to rebuild the Soviet Union.
“We’re defending our country alone. The most powerful forces in the world are watching this from a distance,” President Zelenskyy said as Ukraine's capital city came under siege this week and while Russian soldiers hunted him down. “Who is ready to fight alongside us? I don’t see anyone. Who is ready to give Ukraine a guarantee of NATO membership? Everyone is afraid.”