Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs said that during its 14 months of war against Russia, Ukraine has proved itself a s a reliable ally and its readiness to become a member of NATO. He wrote about this in a column entitled "Why NATO should accept Ukraine" in the US international relations magazine, Foreign Affairs. He laid out his thoughts on Ukraine’s position before to the upcoming NATO summit, to be held in July in Vilnius.
Kuleba believes that Kyiv needs the Alliance, and the Alliance needs Kyiv: “Ukraine will become a NATO member, and sooner rather than later. It is time for the alliance to stop making excuses and start the process that leads to Ukraine’s eventual accession.”
That is why the minister suggests that at the upcoming summit NATO member countries send an unequivocal signal to Russia that Ukraine is part of the West and the Alliance.
In addition, the membership action plan should be abandoned. He reminds readers that “Finland and Sweden have shown that such programs are unnecessary and Ukraine is more than qualified to join.”
NATO should resist the temptation to make additional demands on Ukraine that will further delay its membership, Kuleba added.
“Instead, NATO should make a political decision to put forward a timetable for Ukraine's accession, either at the Vilnius summit or by the end of 2023. Accession will be a process, and achieving the ultimate goal of Ukrainian membership in the alliance will depend on the security situation, but this process needs to start without delay,” the minister believes.
He calls on the member states of the Alliance to decide at the upcoming summit exactly what security guarantees they can offer Ukraine before joining and which of these guarantees will continue to apply after Ukraine becomes a NATO ally (in addition to those enshrined in the NATO treaty).
During his visit to Ukraine on April 20, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg assured Ukraine that the alliance member countries are preparing to discuss Ukraine's membership at the summit in Vilnius.
"Ukraine's legal place is in NATO. And over time, our support will help you make it possible," said the Secretary General of the Alliance.
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