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Hawaii_Jake's avatar

What do you think of Ukraine's just announced application to join NATO?

Asked by Hawaii_Jake (35805points) 2 months ago

There’s a war going on, and Ukraine has formally applied to join NATO. This was just announced.

There’s going to be a lot of discussion among leaders of the western alliance.

I hope they can figure out a way to bring them into the alliance without starting a war between the West and Russia.

What are your thoughts?

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15 Answers

janbb's avatar

I thought this has been talked about for a while. I don’t have a strong opinion; will let wiser minds than mine decide this one.

elbanditoroso's avatar


I think we already have the war between the West and Russia; it has just been ramping up over the last 5 months. I think that this official application is just a concrete manifestation of a series of discussions and planning sessions that have been going on for a while.

If I remember correctly all current NATO members have to agree to let in a new member. My worry is that one of the existing 27 (?) is going to blackball Ukraine.

eyesoreu's avatar

They’ve been negotiating an MAP (Membership Action Plan) for years.
Can’t see this latest application meeting approval as one of the mandated qualifiers cites member nations must not currently be in conflict.

JLeslie's avatar

I also thought Ukraine has wanted to be part of NATO for years.

I find it odd that Ukraine needs to be part of NATO for countries who side with them to have the will to actually go over there and fight! Seems like a technicality to me.

I’m fairly ignorant on geo-politics, but the way I understand it, if an attack is made on a NATO country, other NATO countries have an obligation to help protect that nation and go in and fight. This seems to also be interpreted that if a country isn’t in NATO, NATO countries should stay out.

I don’t really understand it. Doesn’t the US and many EurAsian countries have a vested interest in preventing Russia from growing in power? Let alone wanting to help the Ukrainian people.

kritiper's avatar

If they make it, welcome to the club!

Demosthenes's avatar

@eyesoreu I believe another requirement is that a member state not have disputed borders. So Ukraine would’ve been ineligible even before the war began.

zenvelo's avatar

It’s an appropriate response to Putin “annexing” portions of Ukraine through sham elections.

eyesoreu's avatar

@Demosthenes They’ve been ineligible since the break up of the Soviet Union, indeed, successive governments & the general populus have been strongly opposed to joining NATO.

Unsurprisingly, that trend has changed of late.

jca2's avatar

Cut and pasted from today’s NY Times:

Ukraine’s application to join NATO likely faces big hurdles — which the Ukrainian president appeared to acknowledge, noting that he was aware that admitting a country requires unanimous consent from all of NATO’s 30 members.

“We know it’s possible,” Mr. Zelensky said in his statement, pointing to the recent examples of Finland and Sweden undertaking the accession process. “This is fair,” he added. “This is also fair for Ukraine.”

There is no question that Ukraine would benefit from NATO’s defining credo, which says that “an armed attack” against any member is considered an attack against them all. But, as an alliance predicated on the doctrine of mutual defense, it would be highly unlikely to admit a country ensnared in war.

U.S. officials have said that they will not appease Mr. Putin by quashing Kyiv’s ambition to join the alliance. But Washington and its European allies have also been wary of further antagonizing Russia and risking a wider war, and it remains to be seen how Mr. Putin’s annexation of parts of Ukrainian territory may alter the alliance’s calculus.

France and Germany, among others, have in the past opposed or been skeptical of Ukraine’s inclusion. And analysts say that President Biden, wary of further U.S. military commitments, has also been reluctant to support Ukraine’s membership in the past.

Even if Ukraine could overcome those hurdles, it could face other challenges.

NATO observes an “open-door policy” that says that any European nation that wants to join can do so, if it meets certain requirements. Among them is demonstrating a commitment to democracy, individual liberty and support for the rule of law. While Ukrainian leaders say their country meets that threshold, some American and European officials have argued otherwise.

Jaxk's avatar

I thought Ukraine’s admittance to NATO was one of the prime reasons for Putin to invade Ukraine. I’m not really too worried about Putin’s military but Global Nuclear War does give me pause. Admitting Ukraine to NATO may be enough to push Putin into using his Nukes. Biden’s response is anybodies guess. I doubt admission is in anybodies interest and is unlikely. It should remain that way

flutherother's avatar

I feel the situation in Ukraine is more dangerous than most people think and we shouldn’t give Putin any reason to escalate the conflict. The Ukrainians are doing just fine it seems with the weapons the west has supplied and I hope this continues. It should be remembered that Putin started this conflict and he is the one man with the power to end it though he shows no intention of doing so.

mazingerz88's avatar

In or out as NATO member is mere formality imo. At the end of each bloody day, no one really wants a nuclear WW3. A prolonged conventional WW3 however seems inevitable. Putin’s intention could be to wear out the alliance of his opponents, exhausting all Russian material and human resources under his despotic powers —— short of using its nukes. Or until some of his fellow Russians take him down from his position.

Entropy's avatar

I think this is just Ukraine poking the bear. Ukraine has alot of corruption and problems, and I’m not sure this ends up happening. It certainly won’t happen while the war is active. Perhaps this is Ukraine putting an extra chip on the board to negotiate with for when peace settlement talks happen (in the distant future). A promise NOT to join NATO as part of the settlement might give Putin something he can claim he won…after Ukraine kicked him out of the country.

zenvelo's avatar

^^^^^ @Entropy it isn’t “poking the bear” when the bear took a swipe at you while you were minding your own business. And Ukraine has wanted in to NATO for a long time. The need for it is demonstrated by Putin’s belligerence.

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