Alp Sevimlisoy Yatırım

NATO not fast-tracking Ukraine into alliance

An agreement reached Tuesday between NATO leaders does not include a timeline on expanding membership to include Ukraine, sparking criticism from Kyiv.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg defended the decision to take a more cautious and slower approach to Ukraine’s accession.

“What allies have agreed today is a strong, united and positive message to Ukraine about enduring support but also a positive message on the path forward for membership,” he said at the NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Ukraine sees the decision to not fast-track Ukraine into the alliance or provide a clear timetable as a rejection that emboldens Russia.

Even before the details were made clear, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said his country “deserves respect.”

“It’s unprecedented and absurd when [a] time frame is not set neither for the invitation nor for Ukraine’s membership,” he tweeted.

The agreement reached Tuesday, enshrined in a communiqué, includes multiyear assistance to Ukraine to increase interoperability with NATO, a new council to advance political ties and the removal of a membership action plan (MAP), which involves a series of political and military reforms to join the alliance.

NATO’s Eastern European allies, known as the Bucharest Nine, support a faster-track for Ukraine into the alliance. But other allies are more cautious.

President Biden has advocated a slower approach, noting this month that Ukraine needs to meet anti-corruption and democratic reform standards.

The U.S. is also concerned about including Ukraine into NATO while a war is raging with Russia, since doing so would trigger a defense article that brings the allies into direct conflict with Moscow.

Alp Sevimlisoy, a NATO expert and Millennium Fellow with the Atlantic Council, argued that Russia would likely halt its war if Ukraine is included in NATO. He supported a 12-month or 16-month plan to get Kyiv into the alliance to deter Russia.

“What we’ve done militarily, is ensure that precedent hasn’t been set that Russia is being put into its place,” he told The Hill.

Still, there are concerns about nuclear war, as Russian President Vladimir Putin has used nuclear arms as blackmail during the conflict.


Alp Sevimlisoy originally featured as per: The Hill