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NATO Won’t Let Ukraine Join Soon. Here’s Why.


“The principal objection would be: Does such a move actually contribute to the stability in Europe, or would it contribute to destabilization?” stated Douglas E. Lute, a former U.S. ambassador to NATO. “I think it’s indisputable there wouldn’t be consensus among the 30 members, even though all allies agree that Ukraine has the right to aspire to become a NATO member.”

Stephen M. Walt, a professor of worldwide affairs on the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, stated that even within the Nineties, when NATO enlargement was first proposed, many distinguished American strategists opposed it for that reason. “That was the concern all along — it wouldn’t be easy to do this in a way that wouldn’t threaten Russia,” he stated.

Ukrainian leaders haven’t at all times pushed onerous to hitch NATO, and that has formed the American method.

Former President Viktor Yushchenko needed entry into the alliance, however Ukrainians turned extra reluctant after Russia invaded Georgia. His successor, Viktor Yanukovych, dropped any drive for membership and promoted nearer ties with Russia, even agreeing to permit Moscow to proceed leasing a Black Sea naval port in Crimea.

During the Obama administration, American officers inspired Ukraine to signal a proper affiliation settlement with the European Union moderately than to attempt to be a part of NATO. Mr. Putin pressured Mr. Yanukovych to reject the settlement, which led to the Euromaidan protests in 2013 that finally ousted Mr. Yanukovych.

“A lot of the U.S. policy has been quite reactive due to circumstances,” stated Fiona Hill, a Russia skilled on the Brookings Institution who was a senior director for Europe and Russia on the National Security Council beneath President Donald J. Trump. “It has also changed due to changes in Ukraine itself toward this.”

“By now, you’ve got much more sentiment in Ukraine for joining NATO,” she added.

Mr. Zelensky has pressed Mr. Biden repeatedly on membership, together with throughout his go to to the White House in September. “I would like to discuss with President Biden here his vision, his government’s vision of Ukraine’s chances to join NATO and the time frame for this accession, if it is possible,” he stated as he sat subsequent to Mr. Biden.

Mr. Biden blew previous these feedback with out responding.

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