Espreso. Global

Czech Republic’s envoy to NATO defines three conditions for Ukraine's accession

31 August, 2023 Thursday
18:12

Ukraine can join NATO only when the fighting is over, as NATO cannot accept new members who are at war, as this would automatically lead to an obligation to defend them

This was stated by Prague's ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Jakub Landovsky, Bloomberg reports.

In his opinion, the historical precedent indicates that a peace agreement between Kyiv and Moscow may not be necessary for membership, but Ukraine will decide when the war ends.

“The only party responsible to answer the question of where the border should lie is Ukraine. Nobody from the outside can even comment on that,” he said. 

In July, at a NATO summit, the 31-member alliance offered to renew Ukraine's commitments and allow it to join along with new security guarantees from the G7. But this timetable remains unclear, as NATO cannot accept new members who are at war, as this would automatically trigger their commitment to come to their defense.

On August 15, NATO Secretary General's Chief of Staff Stian Jenssen has suggested the possibility of Ukraine's territorial concessions to Russia in exchange for membership in the Alliance.

What is known about Ukraine’s accession to NATO

The NATO summit took place in Vilnius on July 11-12. The meetings were attended by leaders and government officials from various countries. Lithuania hosted the summit for the first time at the LITEXPO congress center. Security was ensured by thousands of military personnel, and the airspace was protected by air defense systems.

Leaders from 31 NATO countries, including US President Joe Biden, participated in the meetings. Delegations from Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Australia, Ukraine, and Sweden were also invited. Over 2,400 members from 48 foreign delegations, including heads of state and government officials, were expected to attend. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was also present.

During the summit on July 11, a decision was made regarding Ukraine. The Membership Action Plan stage was canceled, and Ukraine will receive an invitation to join the Alliance once it fulfills the entry requirements and gains the agreement of all NATO allies.

President Zelenskyy expressed his dissatisfaction with the conditions attached to Ukraine's invitation, stating that it seemed like a lack of readiness to invite Ukraine to NATO.

The Alliance agreed on a final communiqué concerning Ukraine, reaffirming the commitment made in 2008 that Ukraine would become a NATO member. The document acknowledged that Ukraine's path to Euro-Atlantic integration has exceeded the requirements of the Membership Action Plan. The member countries recognized Ukraine's progress in operational and political integration with NATO, as well as its significant reform efforts. Progress will be regularly assessed through the Annual National Program.

Ukraine's Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, responded to the summit's decision by emphasizing that NATO should not delay Ukraine's accession to the military-political bloc. He also noted that the specific conditions for joining and who should formulate them were not yet known.

President Zelenskyy commented on the summit's results, expressing that if Ukraine receives an invitation to join NATO, it would be an ideal outcome.

On July 12, the G7 countries reached a joint declaration specifying security guarantees for Ukraine. Countries willing to join the agreement will have the opportunity to do so.

On July 23, Defense Minister Reznikov suggested that Ukraine could be admitted to NATO in the summer of 2024. At the same time, NATO countries have repeatedly said that Ukraine's accession to the Alliance is impossible until the war with Russia is over.

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