Ukraine should return on the agenda the issue of accession to NATO

Украина должна возвращать на повестку дня вопрос о вступлении в НАТО

The original on the website of the International centre for policy studies

Today the issue of immediate acquisition of membership in NATO is not relevant for our state due to a number of reasons.

First, it is known the position of the individual member States of the Alliance, particularly Germany, France and some other who believe in delayed arming Ukraine for NATO membership.

Secondly, it is the Russian factor in the wider context, which is directly linked to the first reason listed above. However, this element is important, but at this stage it is not crucial for the discussion in NATO about Euro Atlantic prospects of Ukraine.

Thirdly, it is a complex set of political issues. Among them: political instability, economic problems, corruption, inconsistent and half-hearted reforms, including in the sphere of security and defense, and the like. Despite such a burden, it is difficult for Ukraine to find in the capitals of member States of the Alliance of supporters who would be willing to promote the issue of our membership in NATO.

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The fourth reason is the political and legal nature. In the national legislation of Ukraine is not provided for the pursuit of NATO membership. According to the national security Strategy, Ukraine will deepen its cooperation with NATO with the aim of achieving the criteria necessary for acquiring membership within this organization, based on the long-term goal of joining the European security system, which is based on NATO. The laws of Ukraine “On fundamentals of domestic and foreign policy” and “On fundamentals of Ukraine’s national security” also define the priority of “deepening cooperation with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization with the aim of achieving the criteria necessary for acquiring membership within this organization.”

However, it should not be forgotten that several years ago the question of Ukraine’s membership in NATO was at the centre of political dialogue with the Alliance.

On 21 April 2005 in Vilnius, a decision was made about the transfer of Ukraine’s cooperation with the Alliance in the format of “intensified dialogue with NATO on issues of membership and relevant reforms”.

In the framework of an intensified dialogue was considered a fairly wide range of political, economic, legal, military, financial issues directly related to possible membership of Ukraine in the Alliance (without prejudice to any NATO decision on this matter).

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However, this dialogue was halted in 2008 after the Bucharest summit guarantees that Ukraine will become a NATO member, and bringing the bilateral cooperation in the format of Annual national programmes, which continues today.

But in 2010, after coming to power of President Yanukovych, Ukraine has received “non-aligned” status, and cooperation with the Alliance was rated by going to the level of so-called constructive partnership. So, the dialogue with NATO “on membership and relevant reforms” in Kiev have forgotten completely.

It should also be noted that during the presidency of Yanukovych institutional memory in the Central Executive authorities and other state bodies regarding the content of an intensified dialogue with the Alliance was fully cleaned, in connection with which the information provided by the Ukrainian side during the consultations on reforms to prepare for NATO membership, not used and not applicable in the current reform efforts of the government.

At the same time, given Ukraine’s desire to “deepen cooperation with NATO with the aim of achieving the criteria necessary for acquiring membership within this organization”, and high added value of cooperation with NATO in the framework of the “intensified dialogue on membership and relevant reforms”, Ukraine already today it would be appropriate to put NATO before the issue of the recovery of appropriate expert advice for tips and knowledge important to our state because of the practical implementation of the policy of European and Euro-Atlantic integration.

The decision to resume dialogue on membership and relevant reforms would be a logical component of a new package of assistance to Ukraine from the States-members of NATO, which is scheduled for adoption during the Warsaw summit of the Alliance, which will take place in July 2016.

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This is a potentially important area of cooperation would be worth to include in the draft Annual national program of Ukraine’s cooperation with NATO for 2017, which should start the Ministry.

Adapted to political realities, a dialogue on membership and relevant reforms could have another name. It is not essential. The main thing – content and value added.

Vladislav Yasniuk

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