Ukraine expects to receive NATO Membership Action Plan in 2021
UA|TV News February 10, 2021
The country’s Defense Ministry believes that the prospect of Ukraine-Georgia joining the Alliance is essential for the security of the Black Sea region.
Ukraine counts on all-round military and political support from NATO countries to obtain an Action Plan for membership in the Alliance. This was announced on December 1 by the Minister of Defense of Ukraine Andriy Taran.
According to the press service of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, the head of the department, addressing the ambassadors and military attachés of the NATO countries, stressed that “we will hope for your comprehensive political and military support for making such a decision at the next NATO summit in 2021”.
Taran noted that the country’s course towards full membership in NATO is enshrined in the Constitution of Ukraine.
“We believe that it would be right for NATO to decide on membership in the Alliance of Ukraine and Georgia. Our countries have a lot in common. These are post-Soviet republics, these are countries that have been subjected to aggression by Russia. From our point of view, the potential NATO membership of Ukraine and Georgia will have a significant impact on Euro-Atlantic security and stability, in particular, in the Black Sea region, the minister stressed..
He pointed out the importance of partnership with the North Atlantic Alliance in countering global threats, such as Russia’s aggressive policy, which is a serious challenge to international peace and stability..
The website of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine notes that “the prompt receipt of the Action Plan for NATO membership is a goal set forth in the recently adopted National Security Strategy of Ukraine.” The Ukrainian military department reminds that over the past seven years Ukraine has firmly defended not only its independence, but also the security and stability of Europe, and acts as a powerful outpost on the eastern flank of NATO..
MAP with NATO on the agenda of Ukrainian politics
Olga Stefanishina, Vice Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine, announced online conference that Ukraine seeks to see a clear perspective of its NATO membership..
She stressed that 2021 will be decisive for NATO, as the presentation of the new NATO Strategic Concept until 2030 is scheduled for the summer..
“A strong Alliance is impossible without strong allies. Ukraine strives to see a clear perspective of its NATO membership: we constantly demonstrate this commitment by pursuing reforms, fulfilling the commitments and capabilities of our Armed Forces. Providing Ukraine with the NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP) would be an extremely powerful signal for the transformation of the entire region, undoubtedly making the transatlantic security system stronger and more stable. Indeed, in some issues, such as countering hybrid threats, Ukraine is a pioneer, “Stefanishina said..
The fact that the provision of the NATO Membership Action Plan to Ukraine should be the next step in cooperation with the Alliance was noted on 28 July 2020 in a joint statement by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine.
“The Ministers note with satisfaction that Ukraine has been granted the status of a partner with expanded NATO capabilities. They support Ukraine’s aspirations for NATO membership. Submission of the NATO Membership Action Plan to Ukraine should be the next step in this direction, ”the statement posted on the website of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said..
Homework, MAP and NATO membership
Political scientist Oleg Lisnyi believes that the possibility of obtaining the MAP should be viewed through the prism of doing “homework” – this is a practical work within the country with a political decision of the NATO member states.
“This path is written down in the Constitution, and should be the direction for the state, for the entire vertical of power,” Oleg Lisny told the Voice of America correspondent.
Western partners, according to Lisny, understand the threats from Russia and must take into account Ukraine’s desire to join the Alliance.
“There are high hopes for the new US administration, which understands the threat from Russia. And who, if not Biden, should know what Russia is, how it can act, “the political scientist notes..
“We must have a strong desire and clear actions to develop an army according to NATO standards, starting from food and uniforms for servicemen,” Lisny emphasizes..
Political solutions for rapprochement with the Alliance
Deputy Director of the Ukrainian Institute for the Study of Extremism Bogdan Petrenko notes that the real military and political situation in countries such as Ukraine and Georgia determine the dynamics of progress towards MAP and membership in the Alliance.
“For example, Georgia has overtaken us in many respects, but there is no final political decision on its membership. I believe that it is Georgia that in the near future may become the marker of whether Ukraine will be able to obtain the MAP. We have similar problems, the most important of them is not so much compliance with the standards of the North Atlantic Alliance, but the real military and political situation in the country, “Petrenko said in an interview with the Voice of America Russian Service..
According to the expert, the Alliance needs time to assess how intensively cooperation with Ukraine is developing under the NATO Enhanced Opportunities Program. He recalled that in June 2020, it was decided to grant Ukraine the status of a partner country in the NATO Enhanced Opportunities Program..
“Accordingly, how intensive cooperation will be in this Program can be judged at least in a year, and appropriate conclusions and recommendations can be drawn. And then the question of Ukraine’s ability to invest in the security of NATO countries will already be raised. Therefore, the current Enhanced Opportunities Program with the Alliance is a chance to demonstrate its indispensability for the West, “the analyst emphasizes..
In his opinion, Ukraine can apply for the MAP “at least in the medium term”, but in many respects success on this path will depend on “the activity of Ukraine itself.”.
“And yet there is the problem of military operations. Most likely, NATO will not want to create an additional problem for itself, which it will later solve. Therefore, the forecast is disappointing – most likely we will talk about the reality of the MAP for Ukraine no earlier than the real, and not formal, peace comes to Donbass, “says Petrenko.