The question of whether Ukraine should join NATO is often asked. Many Western officials have questioned Ukraine’s suitability to contribute to NATO’s collective defense, especially since the country has already sent soldiers to fight in U.S.-led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Some also worry about a larger Russian military presence in Europe. In 2008, Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded eastern Ukraine and provided military aid to separatist rebels.
NATO has long responded to Russian military threats, and it served as a bulwark against Soviet aggression during the Cold War. NATO has committed to support non-member states only during humanitarian crises, but not to deploy its forces to defend Ukraine. Despite this, Ukraine has formed a close partnership with the alliance since 1992. A commission was established to facilitate cooperation between the two sides. The country maintains a relationship without formal membership, but this is still an important issue for many.
In addition to defending its western flank, Ukraine also plays a vital role in the security of the Black Sea region. It has also contributed to NATO-led missions for decades. The recent COVID-19 crisis brought into focus the synergies between NATO and Ukraine. The Ukrainian military provided medical supplies to the alliance during the outbreak of the deadly pandemic. Moreover, Ukraine’s unique Antonov cargo plane fleet made it possible for all other alliance members to receive urgent medical supplies.
While it’s possible that Ukraine can join NATO, the possibility of it happening in the near future is remote and unlikely. First, Ukraine must apply to all 30 countries in the alliance. After all, Russia cannot veto the decision of its neighbors. Then, once the EU has approved the application, NATO can begin working toward the integration of Ukraine in its military. It’s an important step toward closer relations with the U.S. and Europe.
The Ukraine has long been interested in NATO. In the past, the country had a special interest in military training and assistance. In 1997, it was among the first to join the Alliance for Peace. In 2004, the two countries established a “distinct partnership” to develop the relationship between the two. A distinctive partnership is important to Kyiv and NATO. The alliance’s military helps Ukraine protect the European continent from any enemy threats.
The question of whether Ukraine will join NATO has been a topic of discussion in Europe since its founding. The country announced in 2002 that it would become a member of NATO, but little else. The Orange Revolution in 2004 pushed Kiev to take a more serious stance. In 2006, the Ukrainian parliament passed a bill defining the principles of state policy regarding national security. The focus of the bill is on Ukraine’s integration into the European economic and security system. Its membership in NATO and EU is not guaranteed.
While Ukraine may have a rocky history, it has joined NATO and other alliances. While the United States and Germany were early members, it is not a member of NATO. This is a major concern for many in the West, and has made the EU a tense member of the alliance. This does not mean, however, that the Ukrainian government has joined NATO. It has, however, given the EU and NATO member states the right to defend Ukraine.
But, the stance of NATO and Russia is in conflict. Both countries are against the idea of expanding the alliance eastward and have expressed their desire to join NATO. Although Ukraine and Russia are now at odds, they still have a great deal in common. The two nations have agreed to cooperate with each other and with NATO. But the US and the UK are not. And Ukraine wants to be part of the alliance, but it is not in a position to join the group.
In 1999, the Ukrainian government submitted its National Security Bill, which defines the principles of state national security. The bill focuses on integration into the European economic and security system and on building a strong relationship with the U.S. and the EU. As such, Ukraine is moving toward Europe and away from Russia, but the debate remains on whether it will join the alliance has a lot to do with its membership. So far, both the UK and Ukraine have been in discussions with NATO.