Ukraine's chances of joining NATO growing, says former US envoy

12 July, 04:50 PM
Ukraine's chances of joining NATO growing, — John Herbst (Photo:831s tactical aviation brigade)

Ukraine's chances of joining NATO growing, — John Herbst (Photo:831s tactical aviation brigade)

Ukraine's chances of become a NATO member have grown following Russia's full-scale invasion of the country, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine John Herbst told Radio NV on July 11.

"I believe that the possibility of Ukraine becoming a NATO member is growing due to this Russian offensive and your strong response to it," said Herbst, who was the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine from 2003 to 2006.

"Certainly, many people understand that your soldiers are much more effective than many other soldiers in NATO," he added.

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Earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the refusal to accept Ukraine into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was a historic mistake that led to tragic results.

Ukraine enshrined the course for NATO membership in the Constitution on Feb. 21, 2019. This was primarily a response to Russian’s aggression against the country, including its occupation of Crimea and parts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts in 2014.

Ukraine submitted an application to join the NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP) back in 2008. But on March 9, 2018, NATO granted Ukraine only the status of an aspirant country – official recognition of the state's aspiration to acquire full membership in the Alliance.

The U.S. Embassy in Ukraine announced on May 16, 2022, that Ukraine could join NATO without implementing the MAP, following the example of Finland and Sweden.

Ukraine's accession to NATO under a fast-track procedure is also predicted by experts, in particular former Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin.

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