Estonia insists on clear path for Ukraine’s NATO membership

9 May, 12:46 AM
Margus Tsakhkna (Photo:Lehtikuva/Antti Aimo-Koivisto via REUTERS)

Margus Tsakhkna (Photo:Lehtikuva/Antti Aimo-Koivisto via REUTERS)

Ukraine needs a specific, clearly laid-out path to NATO membership, as previous vague promises of “eventual accession” have proven to be ineffective, Estonian Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna said on May 8, as reported by Bloomberg.

According to the report, Tsahkna suggests that NATO allies need to identify specific steps towards Ukraine’s membership, rather than merely repeating their existing position of welcoming Ukraine to join the alliance eventually.

“It’s not enough anymore just to repeat the already existing position that Ukraine is welcomed to NATO,” the minister said.

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“We must move forward to give a strong message (regarding Kyiv’s membership).”

Several key allies, particularly the United States, are hesitant to specify next steps for Ukraine’s membership, due to the risk of direct conflict with the Kremlin. Instead, they focus on how to provide military aid so that Ukraine can win the war, while reiterating NATO's promise that Ukraine will ultimately become a member of the Alliance.

At the NATO Summit in Vilnius this summer, leaders are expected to sign measures, including a long-term fund of €500 million provided annually, to help Ukraine. They may also elevate NATO's official relationship status with Ukraine.

During a meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on April 20, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized that there are "no barriers to making political decisions" regarding the country's membership in the alliance.

Stoltenberg stated that all NATO members agree that Kyiv will ultimately join the alliance, but are currently focusing on Ukraine's victory in the war with Russia.

At the NATO Vilnius Summit in July 2023, Ukraine expects specific proposals from the alliance regarding membership prospects and security guarantees.

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