Ukraine must put on the agenda the question of joining NATO

Author : Vladyslav Yasnyuk

Source : 112 Ukraine

The dialogue with NATO "on membership and relevant reforms" is completely forgotten - expert
11:35, 22 April 2016

Read the original text at ICPS.

To date, the question of immediate NATO membership is not relevant to our country for several reasons.

Firstly, it is a known position of individual member states of the Alliance, in particular Germany, France and a number of others that are convinced of the ill-timed possibility of Ukraine’s membership.  

Secondly, it is the Russian factor in the wider context, which is directly related to the first reason, as stated above. However, this element is important, but at this stage it is not decisive for the discussions regarding Euro-Atlantic prospects of Ukraine.

Thirdly, it is a complex set of internal political problems. Among them are the political instability, economic problems, corruption, inconsistent, and half-hearted reforms, including in the sphere of security and defense. In spite of such cargo, Ukraine is hard to find the supporters among the member states of the Alliance, who would be willing to promote the issue of our membership in NATO.

Related: Poroshenko: “Ukraine ready to join development of Black Sea flotilla under NATO guidance”

The fourth reason is the problem of the political and legal nature. The national legislation of Ukraine does not provide the course of gaining NATO membership. According to the National Security Strategy, Ukraine will deepen cooperation with NATO in order to achieve the criteria necessary for the acquisition of membership in the organization, on the basis of a long-term goal of joining the European security system, which is based on NATO. Laws of Ukraine "On the principles of domestic and foreign policy" and "On National Security of Ukraine" define priority of deepening of cooperation with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in order to achieve the criteria necessary for the acquisition of membership in this organization.

Nevertheless, we should not forget that a few years ago, the issue of Ukraine's membership in NATO was the focus of political dialogue with the Alliance.

Related: Stoltenberg: We discussed Ukraine and Afghanistan during Russia-NATO consultations

April 21, 2005 in Vilnius, it was decided to transfer the cooperation of Ukraine with the Alliance in the format of "Intensified Dialogue with NATO on gaining membership and relevant reforms."

As part of the intensified dialogue a fairly wide range of political, economic, legal, military, financial matters was considered; they were directly related to possible membership of Ukraine in NATO.

However, this dialogue was discontinued in 2008 after receiving guarantees on the Bucharest Summit that Ukraine will become a member of NATO.

But in 2010, after coming to power of President Yanukovych, Ukraine has received a "non-bloc" status, and cooperation with the Alliance was rated by clicking on the level of so-called constructive partnership. Thus, the dialogue with NATO "on membership and relevant reforms" was completely forgotten.

Related: Parliament Speaker: Ukraine-NATO roadmap opens prospects for joining the Alliance

During the presidency of Yanukovych, the “institutional memory” concerning intensified dialogue with NATO was cleaned.  That is why the current government is not making any reform efforts in terms of this issue.

Given the course of Ukraine to "deepen cooperation with NATO in order to achieve the criteria necessary for the acquisition of membership in the organization", as well as high value-added cooperation with NATO within the framework of "Intensified Dialogue on membership and relevant reforms," ​​Ukraine today should rise a question of the reconstruction of relevant expert advice. Ukraine needs some knowledge relevant to the country due to the practical implementation of the policy of European and Euro-Atlantic integration.

Related: Percentage of Ukrainians wanting to join NATO dropped in 2016, - survey

The decision to resume the dialogue on membership and relevant reforms could become a logical part of a new package of aid to Ukraine by the NATO member states, which is scheduled for adoption during the Warsaw summit of the Alliance (July 2016).

This is a potentially important area of ​​cooperation. It should be included in the draft annual national program of NATO-Ukraine cooperation. Adapted to the political realities, a dialogue on membership and relevant reforms might have another name. It is not critical. The main thing - its content and added value.

Related: Ukraine to develop radiolocation stations according to NATO standards together with Turkey

Related: NATO: We won’t strike any deals with Russia

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