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Article on Ukraine’s admission to NATO

Ukraine’s admission to NATO: a plus for world security and a minus for Russia

 

NATO met Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine with some uncertainty Putin’s challenge showed the alliance’s unpreparedness for full-scale wars in Europe, which are more than real because of Russia’s actions. During the 16 months of the war, Ukraine underwent a qualitative evolution, the Armed Forces of Ukraine can be called the most experienced army in Europe, which has real combat experience. Ukraine’s membership in NATO will strengthen the defense capability of the Alliance and security in the world.

Russian territorial expansion is cyclical. Historically, Russia was in only two states: either in a state of degradation – it asked for help, or when it got stronger, it started wars of aggression. Putin started the second Chechen war as soon as he got power, his invasion of Georgia in 2008 meant the restoration of the military potential of the Russian Federation, and even then a threat to Europe became visible, in which no one wanted to believe. Russia’s annexation of the Ukrainian Crimea became the final confirmation of Putin’s intention to wage wars of aggression. Even if Russia, due to certain circumstances, suspends or localizes hostilities in Ukraine, it will definitely try to repeat a full-scale offensive that may go beyond the borders of Ukraine. The desire to expand is the existential essence of Russia, which was inherent in it at all historical stages. Only Ukraine’s membership in NATO will put an end to the Russian threat and create a security belt on the eastern borders of Europe.

Ukraine should already receive security guarantees from NATO, which will become a prerequisite for its membership and a guarantee of non-proliferation of war with the transformation of Europe into a theater of hostilities. The threat imposed by Putin does not allow for delay: indecisive actions and inadequate perception of the real threat will lead to an expansion of the war, greater losses and, in the long run, Russian troops throughout Europe. The provision of such guarantees to Kyiv will be evidence of the Alliance’s adaptation to the Russian threat and the development of the necessary countermeasures.

Today, in the military context, Ukraine can already de facto be called an associated member of NATO: the Armed Forces of Ukraine quickly master and effectively use the weapons of NATO member countries. Finland’s accession to NATO debunked the Kremlin’s claims about the inadmissibility and impossibility of NATO’s eastward expansion. In the conditions of Russia’s war of aggression, the expansion of NATO to the east is the only way to create a reliable security system for Europe.

At the same time, if Ukraine is not accepted into NATO, the world will experience permanent instability due to the presence of the Russian territorial threat. Europe will be forced to form the budgets of peaceful EU countries as de facto belligerents the specified funds could be used for the development of social programs, scientific research, medicine, etc. Europe will become militarized, which will have a negative impact on its economy and workplaces.

If Ukraine continues to remain a „grey zone“ between NATO and the Russian Federation, it will continue to drain the budgets of the Allies, who have no choice but to help Ukraine to keep Russia out of their territories. At the same time, Russia will have carte blanche to continue the war: Putin will not be stopped by any price for the sake of annexing Ukraine. Accordingly, the exhaustion of the budgets of civilized countries will make it necessary to explain to their citizens why Ukraine is sponsored at the expense of European taxpayers. If Ukraine becomes a member of NATO, it has a chance to quickly become a self-sufficient country, relying on its own resources. The main thing in this regard will be valid security guarantees that will create a „shield“ over Ukraine.

At the same time, the acceptance of Ukraine into NATO eliminates the „strategic uncertainty“, which is the starting point for the next war, which Russia will start when it has the appropriate resources for it. Putin seeks not only to occupy Ukraine, but also to make European countries dependent. This is a direct threat and it can be eliminated only by clear and specific steps.

Russia has always used wars and conflicts to put pressure on other countries, to weaken supranational structures, to slow down development processes. By starting a war near NATO’s borders, Putin is trying to discredit and devalue the Alliance, demonstrate its weakness to the Russian audience, and create the preconditions for a possible expansion into some of its countries. Russia is a source of hybrid and military threats to the whole world, which can only be eliminated by taking specific steps, one of which is the transfer of Ukraine into a real security space through its integration into NATO.

 

Oleg BILOUS

PhD, political sciences

Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine

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