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Scores of experts fear NATO „bridge“ for Ukraine could pose threats

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Scores of experts fear NATO „bridge“ for Ukraine could pose threats

Dozens of foreign policy experts have urged NATO members not to advance Ukraine’s membership issue at the Washington summit, arguing that, in their view, it would jeopardise the United States and its allies and could fracture the coalition.

Source: Politico, citing the experts’ letter, as reported by European Pravda 

Details: Experts say that if Ukraine were to be accepted into NATO and Russia were to attack Ukraine in the future, Article 5, which calls on allies to defend a NATO member under attack, would likely be invoked. 

The focus on Article 5 is widespread among those opposing Ukraine’s membership, but this public stance by over 60 analysts allows for insight into arguments that will likely be heard during the three-day summit starting on 9 July.

Quote: „The closer NATO comes to promising that Ukraine will join the alliance once the war ends, the greater the incentive for Russia to keep fighting the war. The challenges Russia poses can be managed without bringing Ukraine into NATO,“ the letter’s authors argue.

They believe that advancing Ukraine’s NATO membership could have repercussions, potentially „turning Ukraine into the site of a prolonged showdown between the world’s two leading nuclear powers“ and playing into the hands of Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

The letter was initiated by William Ruger, president of the American Institute for Economic Research, and Stephen Wertheim, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

At the same time, it is reported that other analysts disagree. Last week, researchers from the RAND Corporation wrote that allies would benefit if they clearly outlined conditions for Ukraine’s future membership at the summit. The Atlantic Council also insists on Ukraine’s NATO membership, stating that it would demonstrate to Kyiv that Western support is unwavering.

Politico notes that analysts and college professors are not the decision-makers on NATO’s political decisions, but they often contribute to foreign policy debates by writing analytical articles and engaging in discussions – especially before and during major events like the upcoming summit.

The Biden administration refrains from supporting immediate Kyiv membership, but several senior officials recently stated that Ukraine will be offered a „bridge“ to the Alliance at the summit.


On 3 July, NATO allies reached an agreement regarding funding for military assistance to Ukraine next year in the amount of €40 billion.
Recent media reports have also indicated that the creation of a new body to coordinate all types of long-term assistance to Ukraine, to be named NATO Security Assistance and Training for Ukraine (NSATU), will be announced at the 75th NATO Summit in Washington.
There are also ongoing discussions about the introduction of a special representative in Kyiv to oversee the international coordination of arms supplies and training for the Ukrainian Armed Forces under the auspices of NATO.
Olha Stefanishyna, Deputy Prime Minister for Ukraine’s European and Euro-Atlantic Integration and the head of Ukraine’s delegation in negotiations on Ukraine’s accession to the European Union, hopes for the inclusion of wording affirming the irreversibility of Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic course in the Washington NATO Summit decision.

Read more: A bridge instead of an invitation: What Ukraine can expect at the NATO Summit in Washington

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