The idea to appeal to Congress arose back in June: then MP from European Solidarity, Oleksiy Goncharenko, collected the required number of signatures, but the consideration was postponed to await the results of the meeting between President Volodymyr Zelensky and Joe Biden in Washington.
What does the status of the main US ally outside NATO mean?
According to an explanation on the US Department of State's website, MNNA is a designation under US law that provides foreign partners with advantages in defense trade and security cooperation.
The MNNA status contains the following items:
- No security obligations to the designated country. There is such a clause only in the NATO Charter itself (according to Article 5 on collective defense, an attack on one of the NATO members is considered an attack on all).
- The country receives the right to borrow supplies and equipment for joint research, development, testing.
- The right to deploy US War Reserve Stockpiles of weapons, military equipment, military, military-technical property, ammunition, food on its territory outside of US military facilities.
- May enter into agreements with the United States to jointly organize exercises if the financial arrangements are mutual.
- The right to priority delivery of surplus defense items (if located on NATO's southern or southeastern flank).
- Eligible for consideration for the purchase of depleted uranium ammunition.
- The right to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding or other formal agreement with the US Department of Defense for the purpose of conducting joint research projects in the field of defense equipment and ammunition.
- Allows MNNA companies to bid on contracts for the maintenance, repair, or overhaul of US Department of Defense equipment.
- Allows funding for the purchase of explosives detection devices and other counter-terrorism research and development projects under the auspices of State Department technical support.
Which countries have MNNA status
Currently, 17 countries have the status of the main US ally outside NATO: Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Brazil, Egypt, Israel, Japan, Jordan, South Korea, Kuwait, Morocco, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Thailand, and Tunisia.
In addition, Taiwan is also considered an MNNA without an official designation as such.
Other recent agreements
At this point, Ukraine is not a NATO member, the country has the status of "NATO Enhanced Opportunities Partner" (does not imply the prospect of membership), which the country received on June 12, 2020, and before that, it had the status of "NATO aspirant".
Also during Zelensky's trip to Washington, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry and the United States signed an agreement on the strategic framework for a defense partnership. Last week Ukroboronprom published a comparative table regarding the advantages of the agreement over the MNNA status.