Ukraine has to count on its own Armed Forces and not membership in the NATO – experts

Kyiv – Ukraine, in the clash with Russia, should depend only on its own Armed Forces, by reforming them with the help of the West. And they must not count on joining the NATO in the next several days. This way the Ukrainian experts commented the statement of the head of the Polish MFA regarding the fact that Ukraine’s membership in the alliance is not on the daily agenda to Radio Svoboda. Meanwhile the experts do not exclude the accession to the NATO in the far future. 

“We do not see that Russia may be threatened by Ukraine’s closure to the NATO, and the membership of Ukraine in the NATO is not on the agenda.” This was stated by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland Radoslav Sikorsky after the talks with his colleagues from Russia, Sergey Lavrov, and Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

It is in Ukraine’s interests to remain an out-of-block country. This is how the former Minister of Defence of Ukraine, member of the parliament committee in questions of national security Olexandr Kuzmuk commented on the statement of Poland’s (a NATO country) head diplomat to Radio Svoboda. According to him, today Ukraine should carry out the laws and obligations it has agreed to. And according to them Ukraine is a non-block country, whether someone likes it or not.

“Today we should not raise the issue of Ukraine’s joining the NATO. We are a non-block country. And non-block status means that we are ready to cooperate with all structures which are part of the architecture of global security,” noted Olexandr Kuzmuk.

Did Russia, having annexed Crimea, take away Ukraine’s possibility of joining the NATO? 

On his part, military expert Sergiy Zgurets does not consider Ukraine’s non-block status integral. It is a wholly different issue that on the way to the NATO the country has to walk a long and winding road. As even if the NATO gives Ukraine the green light, membership in this military alliance has to accord with certain strict criteria. For example, the NATO does not accept countries which have territorial disputes with their neighbours. In this way, Russia, having annexed Crimea, took away not only part of Ukraine’s territory, but also its possibility of joining the NATO. Overall, the expert reminds, the new President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko also stated that the issue of joining the NATO is not relevant at the moment.

“At the moment the situation surrounding the Crimea demands certain regulation, in order to provide for the conditions of legitimate movement to the NATO. Meanwhile NATO countries (in particular, the US and Poland) have to provide Ukraine with aid in conducting military reform, transformations in the defence industry complex. I think that these means will gradually create grounds for the accession to the NATO,” says the expert.

At the moment Ukraine will have to count on its own Armed Forces, notes Sergiy Zgurets. What is more, the President Poroshenko says that Ukraine has to sign a new international agreement regarding security guarantees to replace the Budapest Memorandum. And later solve the issues of non-block status.

“Someday Ukraine will be a member of the NATO” 

Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Volodymyr Ohryzko calls not to exaggerate the significance of the statement of his colleague in diplomacy from Poland Radoslav Sikorsky.

“The heads of NATO member states approved the joint decision in Bukharest back in the day that Ukraine will one day be part of the NATO. The decision of the heads of all NATO member states has more political weight than the opinion of one, two, three Ministers of Foreign Affairs of NATO member countries,” thinks Volodymyr Ohryzko.

Meanwhile the Ukrainian diplomat admitted – what Minister Sikorsky said also has grounds. As stating that Ukraine may join the NATO tomorrow would be naïve. In order to join, we have to pass the stage of action plan for membership, prepare, and then apply. Therefore there is no dispute about what Sikorsky had said and that one day Ukraine will one day be a member of the NATO, concluded Volodymyr Ohryzko.

Source: Radio Svoboda

Translated by Mariya Shcherbinina

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