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HomeInformationEwa Stenberg: Ukraine's Path to NATO

Ewa Stenberg: Ukraine’s Path to NATO

NATO Members Divided on Ukraine’s Bid for Membership

The tensions between NATO members are palpable as Ukraine’s bid for membership in the alliance is met with a range of reactions. The Baltic states, notably Estonia, have been vocal in their support for Ukraine’s entry, while the US remains strongly opposed.

US and Baltic States Push for Ukraine’s Entry, US Remains Opposed

At the recent NATO summit in Vilnius, the alliance reached a compromise to further strengthen ties with Ukraine, without granting full membership. This decision has left many wondering what the best approach is to achieving peace and security.

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NATO Reaches Compromise, Further Strengthens Ties with Ukraine

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed his frustration at the lack of a timetable for Ukraine’s entry into the alliance, tweeting that it was “unprecedented and absurd”. However, US President Joe Biden has drawn a hard line against bringing a belligerent country into NATO, which the White House sees as risking war with Russia. The US has contributed the most to Ukraine’s defense and strengthening of military presence in Eastern Europe, yet Biden insists on democratic reforms before any membership can be granted.

Zelenskyy Frustrated by Lack of Timetable for Membership

At the summit, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg declared that Ukraine is now closer to the alliance than ever before. The country has received security assurances from the G7 countries, as well as a shorter process for membership, a major aid package and a newly formed council where Zelenskyy participates at the same level as other NATO heads of state and government.

Biden Draws Hard Line, Insists on Democratic Reforms

The discussion within NATO has raised fundamental questions about how to create peace. Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas draws on Winston Churchill’s quote that “trying to appease a dictator is like feeding a crocodile and thinking you’ll be eaten last”. On the other hand, Russia’s nuclear capabilities present a high risk if hard measures are taken. Most countries have chosen to walk a balance between full confrontation and surrender – for example, many initially refused to supply Ukraine with combat aircraft but are now reconsidering this decision in light of their determination to defend themselves.

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