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NATO grants Ukraine aspirant member status

NATO has granted Ukraine the status of an aspirant member. This means Kiev has been offered a real chance to become a member of the club.

Published: March 14, 2018, 9:17 am

    The next move will be becoming part of the Membership Action Plan (MAP), a set of criteria to follow tailored to each applicant. There is no time limit set or summits and ministry-level meetings to enactivate the plan. NATO has updated the information on its official website.

    Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina are already aspirants with a MAP. In 2008, NATO agreed that Ukraine and Georgia should become members at a future date.

    Ukraine’s parliament adopted a resolution for full NATO membership as a foreign policy goal last year.

    But political analyst Alexey Yakubin, pointed out that Ukraine does not meet several criteria necessary to join.

    “For the moment, our country cannot fulfil several pre-conditions, which closes its way to NATO. First, we do not have a consensus on the issue of NATO among the public,” he said.

    “I am not quite sure that even 40 percent [support the idea of joining NATO]. Within recent years, the support of joining NATO has decreased,” he said.

    “Second, we have a territorial problem. NATO does not give access to countries that have territorial disputes. We have not only the Crimean issue, but the Donbass issue as well,” Yakubin said, citing the example of Cyprus.

    “Cyprus is a member to the European Union, it was accepted even with its territorial dispute, but it was not accepted to NATO because of the dispute,” Yakubin noted.

    The Swiss newspaper Le Temps recently reported that hundreds of US and Canadian military instructors were training Ukrainian personnel at the Yavorov firing range.

    While instructors from the two countries have been there since 2015, they have recently been joined by British and Lithuanian trainers.

    Some 6 000 Ukrainian servicemen have undergone training in order meet the requirements set by NATO.

    On March 2, Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia announced the formation of an alliance to counter Russia. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, has stated that nothing stops Georgia from joining the bloc.

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