Long road to NATO

Ukraine has initiated a dialogue with NATO about providing a plan of action on membership (pdch) in an Alliance. Countries-NATO members “gladly accepted” the idea of the Ukrainian side. This statement struck journalists Petro Poroshenko at a press conference on Monday.

That’s only after some time, declared the victory was a disappointment. By evening, the press service of NATO issued an official comment about the fact that no agreement on the movement to the map was not reached. “European Pravda” found out what happened on Monday and what path can lead Ukraine into the Alliance.

A strange idea

Formal statement by NATO was indeed unexpected, because the NATO Secretary General had the opportunity to fix Poroshenko before the story broke in the media, but has not exercised it.

Jens Stoltenberg, stood beside Poroshenko at a press conference where he made a statement on the map, but did not argue with the colleague and was limited to a few standard phrases that Ukraine is moving towards NATO standards, regardless of membership. In his future speeches, including during a debate in Parliament, also did not comment. The interlocutors referred to the EP for two reasons.

First, this is the feature of the General Secretary. Stoltenberg is known for his ability to avoid conflict statements; public debate with the President of Ukraine was not in his plans. Secondly, he had no mandate from member countries to the discussion of this topic. It is so, because NATO has no official position on the idea of Poroshenko! But first and foremost: the Alliance did not expect such a statement from the Ukrainian President. That is so silent Jens Stoltenberg: a statement by his Ukrainian counterpart was also a surprise to him.

Several sources “European truth” confirmed that at least part of the foreign participants of the Commission Ukraine-NATO (KUN) was surprised not only that they “welcomed” the proposal of Poroshenko, but the fact that they even discussed it!

“I think the President said is blurred — not all paid attention to his words about the new format. Speech Poroshenko was welcomed but it was the performance, not the idea,” said one of the interlocutors. “Ambassadors, based on the meeting, said the opposite — that Poroshenko was able to avoid all controversial issues and proposals. That is the idea they have not heard,” said another employee of the structures of the Alliance, not personally present during the discussion.

What was it really?

Now diplomats refer to the text of the joint statement of the Commission Ukraine-NATO released Monday evening. In this document there is no mention nor even a hint of a new format of cooperation or advice about the map.

At the same time, several participants of the meeting confirmed that Poroshenko really talked about the ambassadors for dialogue. “Yes, the President clearly stated that we want to have a dialogue on granting Ukraine the map, and I own ears heard it,” assured one of the Ukrainian officials.

But the problem lies elsewhere — in fact, none of the representatives of the Alliance during a meeting of the KUN not expressed support for this initiative. So, the remark of the President that the Alliance “and gladly accepted his offer,” was either a mistake, or a deliberate bluff. Now it’s more like the second: Poroshenko raises the stakes. And there are reasons for this.

“European Pravda” has already written about what many in the West reacted negatively to the decision of Kiev to legislate the goal of Ukraine joining the Alliance.

In political and diplomatic circles this resistance even more than in the expert. They say that during the preparations for the meeting KUN individual countries even tried to convince colleagues not to go to Kiev because of the danger that Ukraine will “apply for membership”.

The author of these lines, it is known that the Monday statement, Poroshenko has caused a storm in the Alliance (I wonder what most outraged some Central European States which we have sometimes counted among the friends of Kiev).

And that’s why in the evening there was a statement a press-services of the Alliance that NATO has not confirmed the agreement to the official launch of the dialogue with Ukraine.

You can not deny to allow

One way or another, but the process has begun. Kiev has announced that it will go to the map and, no doubt, soon will again raise the issue. So, sooner or later the Alliance will be forced to give him an official response. And to find a consensus on this issue for the Alliance will be extremely difficult.

Consent of rapprochement with Ukraine in Brussels is not in sight, many countries would like to postpone this issue indefinitely. But at the same time, the principle of “open doors” does not allow NATO to say Kiev firm “no” in response.

Very revealing response Stoltenberg on the question in Parliament about the desire of Ukraine to action Plan on membership. The Secretary General has avoided comment on the statement of the Ukrainian President, but was clearly stated: Ukraine has every right to Express their aspirations to join NATO. And the Alliance, for its part, has no right to limit Euro-Atlantic aspirations of Ukraine.

“NATO is an absolute and fundamental principle is that every country has the right to choose their own path. Including, to determine whether she wants to become a member of a certain Alliance security. Therefore, we respect your decision (which legislatively determined the membership in NATO Ukraine — EP) “, — said Stoltenberg.

So, in the fall of 2017 we expect difficult discussions in the headquarters of the Alliance. And there’s a high chance that according to their results, the Ukraine and NATO will be celebrating a small but total victory.

But the most important thing to remember is that the dialogue about the map though politically important, but in practice, a single step brings Ukraine closer to full membership. To follow this way, Ukraine needs to reform how political (in particular, in the sphere of counteracting corruption), and military (the structure of the APU and the Ministry of defense needs to be completely rebuilt).

Without these steps all the talk about Ukraine in NATO and the laws of the aspiration to membership will remain only beautiful words.