Today the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted the bill No. 6470, which provides for the return of the course of Ukraine to join the North Atlantic Alliance (NATO). This legislation is important because it declares the intentions of Ukraine in relation to NATO, which already has changed, experts say. However, a key aspect remains the same – the prospect of membership in the Alliance for Ukraine yet.
The Verkhovna Rada legislated rate for membership in NATO – the bill
Bill No. 6470 “On amendments to some legislative acts of Ukraine (regarding the foreign policy of Ukraine)” was supported by 276 deputies. The document provides for amendments to the laws of Ukraine “About fundamentals of domestic and foreign policy” and “About bases of national security of Ukraine” to restore the policy of Ukrainian membership in NATO as a strategic foreign policy priority of the country.
In the explanatory note to the draft law, the authors argue the need for it because, as the experience of some neighbouring countries, the structures of collective security are seen as most effective in matters of security, preservation of territorial integrity and sovereignty. NATO is the most effective of such organizations.
According to the author of the draft law, the implementation of the prospect of membership in the Alliance depends mainly on Ukraine and is associated with a number of formal steps. Legislating the rate for membership in NATO is one of them.
“Ukraine has sufficient political and legal preconditions for full institutional convergence with the North Atlantic Alliance, including the famous decision of the Bucharest NATO summit 2008 on a clear recognition of the future membership of Ukraine in this organization, the necessity of which is undeniable imperative time”, – stated in the note.
The authors of the project note that this position is shared by more than half of Ukrainians. Indeed, according to the survey conducted by the Kiev international Institute of sociology, if a referendum on Ukraine’s accession to NATO took place in February 2017, and participated in the voting, all those who are undecided, and 57% of them were “for” and 43% against.
This bill declares the intention of Ukraine – experts
NATO membership was a priority for Ukraine, but it still was not enshrined in law. Today’s decision of the Parliament, this aspect was fixed, told “Today” the expert of Institute of social and economic research, Mykola Kapitonenko.
The priority of the received document is the internal political context, said the Director of the Institute of socio-political designing “Dialogue” Andriy Miselyuk. After former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych refused to Ukraine’s course for NATO membership in favor of the non-aligned status, the current government is making consistent steps, confirming Ukraine’s course towards European and Euro-Atlantic integration, he said. This bill is needed to, first, clearly define the course, and secondly, to speed up work on reforming the country in accordance with the required criteria in order for the issue of membership could be considered, said Miseluk.
So, the new requirements and standards will be introduced in a number of areas, said Kapitonenko.
“For example, even the defence reform or fighting corruption or building of effective state institutions – all this theory will now be subject to the standards and requirements of NATO membership. That is, the criteria will be clearer and the government policy is not only external but also internal – will work to achieve this goal,” he said.
Prospects of Ukraine’s membership in NATO yet
In April 2017, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg during a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine Ivanna klympush-Tsintsadze, in the framework of her visit to the headquarters of NATO in Brussels confirmed that Ukraine remains on the agenda of the Alliance.
“Ukraine in strengthening the defense of the state, bring the army into compliance with NATO standards, but we all know that, in addition to technical and administrative standards, there is also “home” NATO standard, which must be implemented by the Ukrainians – is the change of consciousness,” said then klympush-Tsintsadze
However, according to experts, in the near future regarding the prospects of membership in NATO Ukraine is not.
“In the short term, it is recognized by the officials of NATO, and the Ukrainian policy there is no question about Ukraine’s accession to NATO can not be, – says Andrew Miseluk – If we’re talking about some specific decisions by the Alliance – they will not. They have repeatedly stated that Ukraine carried out transformations in order to meet the criteria to catch up to NATO standards. Because in the interests of Ukraine itself, to carry out the transformation,” he said.
As noted by Mykola Kapitonenko, when making decisions in the Alliance uses the principle of consensus. And in Ukraine, positions of member countries diverge. Moreover, this leaves open the question of what Ukraine can be useful to NATO if the member countries to protect her, the expert said.
In the short term, the membership issue is unlikely to rise. But today’s decision we outlined our determination to achieve this
“As for Ukraine, it is the same there is no position they can within NATO strongly disagree. That is why in the short term, the membership issue is unlikely to rise. But today’s decision we outlined our determination to achieve this. One of the key problems, which Ukraine was – and NATO has always said – the inconsistency of our foreign policy. We wanted to join NATO, it would not, the non-aligned, again want. So we find it difficult to work. Perhaps today’s decision will contribute to the fact that this problem will be removed,” he says.
Thus, according to the expert, the implementation of reforms in Ukraine, including the enforcement of the security sector to NATO standards is a necessary condition, but not enough. Ukraine requires that all member countries of the Alliance was on her side, he said.
There are countries, which are now ready for us to take, there are countries that are willing to do under any conditions, and there are countries that under no circumstances would not support this decision. It’s a matter of time – the need to find arguments. The position of some countries cannot be changed quickly. You need to have something changed in the overall situation in the world or in the region. This is a very long and complex process
“It is very difficult, you need to work individually with each state. There are countries, which are now ready for us to take, there are countries that are willing to do under any conditions, and there are countries that under no circumstances would not support this decision. It’s a matter of time – the need to find arguments. The position of some countries cannot be changed quickly. You need to have something changed in the overall situation in the world or in the region. This is a very long and complex process,” said Kapitonenko.
So, according to the expert, Ukraine needs to focus on States that are in similar conditions, for example, in Georgia. It is ahead of Ukraine in this issue, so when they raise the question of Georgia’s accession to NATO will be possible to make some assumptions concerning Ukraine, he said.
In addition, the prospect of membership affect the situation in the world, he said. So, a very serious factor against is that Russia strongly opposes Ukraine’s accession to NATO.
The main thing that will hold NATO – is likely to have a full-scale conflict with Russia. This probability will remain high in any case – even if we solve the conflict in the Donbass. Will other countries members of the Alliance, taking us there, to have a threat, a constant risk in the face of Russia?
“The main thing is to keep NATO is likely to have a full-scale conflict with Russia. This probability will remain high in any case – even if we solve the conflict in the Donbass. Will other countries members of the Alliance, taking us there, to have a threat, a constant risk in the face of Russia? If they want to share these risks? I think many do not want. And this is a major problem,” said Kapitonenko.
I agree with this opinion and the political scientist Andrew Miseluk. According to him, Russia has all the leverage needed to in the short and medium term, to stop Ukraine on the road to Alliance.
“Russia is absolutely not ready to consider at the practical level, the question of Ukraine’s accession to NATO. The maximum that she is ready to go – the so-called “Finnish” option when the country joins NATO and adheres to policy of neutrality. Russia quite consistently in this line,” he Miseluk.
So, in 1994 Finland joined the NATO program “Partnership for peace”, which is limited to peacekeeping, search, rescue and humanitarian operations, protection of the environment.
Recall that in early June the 29th member of NATO, officially became Montenegro. June 7 at the headquarters of NATO in Brussels was raised the national flag of Montenegro. As stated by the Secretary-General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Jens Stoltenberg, the fact that Montenegro became the 29th member of NATO, shows that “NATO’s doors are open, and it also shows that countries which carry out reforms, modernize the structure of defence and security, strengthen democratic institutions, as did Montenegro could also join the Alliance.”
First Vice-speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Iryna Gerashchenko, commenting on membership in the Alliance of Montenegro, said that Ukraine and Georgia should become the 30th and 31st members of NATO.