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Ukraine Gets Official NATO Status: Weighing Up the Pros and Cons

Ukraine Gets Official NATO Status: Weighing Up the Pros and Cons

Ukraine Gets Official NATO Status: Weighing Up the Pros and Cons

NATO has granted Ukraine the status of an aspirant country. Macedonia, Georgia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina have similar status. This means Kiev has been offered a real chance to make its dreams come true. The next step will be obtaining its Membership Action Plan (MAP), a set of criteria to meet before the country is allowed to join. It is tailored to each applicant country’s individual profile. This type of plan can be granted at any time; there is no need to wait for summits or ministry-level meetings. Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina are aspirants with a MAP.

Last summer, Ukraine’s parliament (Rada) adopted a resolution recognizing full membership in NATO as a foreign policy goal. In 2008, NATO agreed that Ukraine and Georgia should become members at a future date.

The Swiss newspaper Le Temps recently reported that hundreds of US and Canadian military instructors have been training Ukrainian personnel at the Yavorov firing range since 2015. Not long ago they were joined by British and Lithuanian trainers. Roughly 6,000 Ukrainian servicemen have undergone training there in order to expedite the process of meeting the requirements set by NATO. The US Navy operates a facility in Ochakov. This month, the State Department approved the possible sale of Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine. The announcement preceded a statement made by Kurt Volker, the US special envoy to Ukraine, in which he offered to disband the self-proclaimed republics in eastern Ukraine.

This is all part of a broader picture. On March 2, Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia announced the formation of an alliance to counter Russia. Chisinau is to cozy up as close to NATO as it can. The Moldovan government has announced its decision to buy lethal weapons from countries in that alliance. The US Navy operates a facility at the Bulboaca training base.

The calls for Georgia’s membership are getting louder in the US. Tbilisi’s NATO bid has been openly supported by the Trump administration. It has been reported recently that Georgia is to adopt a fast-track approach that will expedite its entrance into NATO. This policy has been recommended by the Heritage Foundation think tank. Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, has said that nothing stands in the way of Georgia joining the bloc.

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