Membership in NATO will not change anything for Ukraine, says political scientist
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg during a meeting on April 20, 2023 in Kyiv (Photo:Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS)
Ukraine’s NATO membership, if it happens, will not change anything for the country, stated political scientist Alexander Motyl in an interview with Radio NV on April 23.
“If Ukraine becomes a member tomorrow, it will not change anything special, because America and NATO allies are already helping Ukraine a lot,” explained Motyl.
“It’s hard to imagine that membership would suddenly change that and they would help even more.”
Motyl added that it is hard for him to imagine that “American or other marines would be fighting in Ukraine under any circumstances.”
He stressed that for Ukraine, the most important thing is to have financial and military support from NATO member countries, especially the United States.
“If Ukraine can defend itself with this help, it is somewhat the same as being a NATO member,” he said.
“And if Ukraine achieves this (and it will sooner or later, perhaps even now), then membership becomes much less controversial because de facto Ukraine would already be a member. From any point of view, it would already fulfill all the duties of a NATO member and would receive all the benefits of NATO membership.”
After that, according to the political scientist, de jury membership would become only a “formality.”
Ukrainain Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said on Feb. 14 that Ukraine de facto joined NATO in 2022.
“I’m doing everything to make it happen de jure,” Reznikov wrote on Facebook.
Reznikov made a similar statement in a January interview with the BBC.
Ukraine still lacks a membership action plan (MAP) — a document issued by NATO that lays out the formal steps a country needs to take in order to accede to the alliance.
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