NATO members intend to offer Ukraine a renewed format of relations to demonstrate political support for its application for membership. However, any concrete roadmap for entry is still a more distant prospect.
Euractiv reports that.
It is noted that Ukraine's application for NATO membership has so far remained unanswered, but is likely to be the main topic of the Alliance's Vilnius summit in July. In the meantime, the idea to raise Ukraine's status in NATO is supported.
The parties are currently meeting within the framework of the Ukraine-NATO Commission, which manages cooperation activities and provides a forum for consultations between Alliance members and Ukraine on security issues of common concern.
At the same time, NATO countries seek to raise Ukraine's status in their relations through the creation of the Ukraine-NATO Council, which would be the first step in strengthening the political partnership between the Alliance and Kyiv.
According to the plan, Ukraine would be a "full" member at the Ukraine-NATO Council table, not just an invited member for discussions, as the Ukraine-NATO Commission foresees.
Ukrainians could then call for meetings when they wish, and it would be easier to give a direct update on the situation on the battlefield. This would also open the door to a wide range of new areas of cooperation that did not previously exist, the paper reports, citing sources.
This format of cooperation could include more intelligence sharing as well as consultations, joint exercises, investments in the defense industry center, and work on interoperability between the Ukrainian Armed Forces and NATO member states, which would allow Kyiv to agree on communiqués and standards of the alliance.
Also, some NATO member states noted that the Russian Federation has a common NATO-Russia Council, although meetings no longer take place, while their partner Ukraine does not.
The creation of the Ukraine-NATO Council would help shape Ukraine as a future member of the Alliance, which would help bring it as close as possible to NATO standards to ensure a smooth transition when the time comes, diplomats said.
Author – Anastasiya Glotova, 26/05/2023