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The Ukraine and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) relations started in 1995, Ukraine is as of January 2008 a candidate to join the NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP)[1][2], on December 3, 2008 NATO decided it will work out an Annual National Programme of providing assistance to Ukraine to implement reforms required to accede the alliance without referring to MAP.[3]

According to numerous independent polls conducted over the past few years[4][5][6][7][8][9], Ukrainian public opinion on NATO membership is low, with the majority against joining the military alliance and many identifying it as a threat.

Russia's reactions to the plan of the Ukrainian Government to join MAP has been hostile. A NATO spokesman said that despite Russian reactions towards eastward NATO's expansion the alliance's door remained open to those who met the criteria.[10]

Plans for Ukrainian membership to NATO were shelved following the 2010 Ukrainian presidential election in which Victor Yanukovych was elected president. Yanukovich has opted to keep Ukraine a non-aligned state.[11]

Contents

History of relations

Ukrainian APC along a highway from Al Kut to As Suwayrah in Iraq (late 2003).

Relations officially began when Ukraine became the first CIS country to enter NATO's Partnership for Peace program in February 1995.[12] On May 7, 1997 the first-ever official NATO Information and Documentation Center opened in Kiev, aimed to foster transparency about the alliance.[13] A Ukrainian public opinion poll of May 6 showed 37% in favor of joining NATO with 28% opposed and 34% undecided.[14] On July 9, 1997, a NATO-Ukraine Commission was established.[15] In 2002 relations with the governments of the United States and other NATO countries deteriorated after one of the recordings made during the Cassette Scandal revealed an alleged transfer of a sophisticated Ukrainian defence system to Saddam Hussein's Iraq[12]. At the NATO enlargement summit in November 2002, the NATO–Ukraine commission adopted a Ukraine–NATO Action Plan. President Kuchma's declaration that Ukraine wanted to join NATO (also in 2002) and the sending of Ukrainian troops to Iraq in 2003[12] could not mend relations between Kuchma and NATO[12]. Currently, the Ukrainian Armed Forces are working with NATO in Iraq.[16]

After the Orange Revolution in 2004 Kuchma was replaced by President Viktor Yushchenko who is a keen supporter of Ukraine's NATO membership[17]. In January 2008 the second Yulia Tymoshenko cabinet's proposal for Ukraine to join NATO's Membership Action Plan was met with opposition. A petition of over 2 million signatures has called for a referendum on Ukraine's membership proposal to join NATO. The opposition have called for a national referendum to be held on any steps towards further involvement with NATO. In February 2008 57.8% of Ukrainians supported the idea of a national referendum on joining NATO, against 38.6% in February 2007.[18]

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Ukrainian governments proposal to join the NATO Membership Action Plan

On January 16, 2008 United States Senator Richard Lugar announced: "Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and Parliamentary Chairman Arseniy Yatsenyuk have signed the statement calling for consideration on Ukraine's entry into the NATO membership action plan at the Bucharest summit."[19]

The Ukrainian parliament headed by chairman Arseniy Yatsenyuk was unable to hold its regular parliamentary session following the decision of the Parliamentary Opposition to prevent the parliament from functioning in a protest against joining NATO. The parliament was blocked from January 25, 2008 [20] till March 4, 2008 (at 29 February 2008 factions leaders agreed on a protocol of mutual understanding)[21]. US President George W. Bush and both nominees for President of the United States in the 2008 election, U.S. senator Barack Obama and U.S. senator John McCain, did offer backing to Ukraine's membership of NATO.[22][23][24] Russian reactions were negative.

2008 Bucharest summit

At the NATO summit 2008 (3 April 2008) NATO decided it will not yet offer membership to Georgia or Ukraine.[25]

Current relations

In November 2008 Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, Prime-Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and former Ukrainian minister of defence Anatolii Hrytsenko doubted Ukraine would be granted membership of MAP in December 2008.[26] In a The Times interview late November President Yushchenko stated : "Ukraine has done everything it had to do. We are devoted to this pace. Everything else is an issue of political will of those allies who represent NATO."[27] Although NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary-General Aurelia Bouchez [28] and NATO's Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer[29] still supported Ukraine's NATO bid at the time the Bush administration seemed not to push for Georgian and Ukrainian membership of MAP late November 2008.[30] President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev responded that "reason has prevailed".[31]

On December 3, 2008 NATO decided it will work out an Annual National Programme of providing assistance to Ukraine to implement reforms required to accede the alliance without referring to MAP.[3] Foreign Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Ohryzko intrepertated this as a de facto obtaining of the NATO Membership Action Plan.[32] On February 18, 2009 the Ukrainian Parliament approved by 239 votes (only 226 votes were required for their approval) the creation of a NATO information and documentation center in Ukraine and the appointment of NATO communications officers in Ukraine[33].

Several NATO member states have provided humanitarian aid to Ukraine during the 2009 flu pandemic in Ukraine in response to a appeal by the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre.[34]

NATO-Ukraine consultations at the level of Defense Ministers took place at NATO headquarters in Brussels on November 16, 2009.[35][36]

Candidate during the 2010 presidential election and Party of Regions leader Viktor Yanukovych stated during 2010 presidential election-campaign that the current level of Ukraine's cooperation with NATO was sufficient and that the question of the country's accession to the alliance was therefore not urgent.[37]

A pie chart showing results of survey conducted in April 2009 where Ukrainians were asked how they would vote if a referendum were held to join NATO in the near future.[38]

Following the election, newly elected Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych stated on February 14, 2010 that Ukraine's relations with NATO were currently "well-defined", and that there was "no question of Ukraine joining NATO". He said the issue of Ukrainian membership of NATO might "emerge at some point, but we will not see it in the immediate future."[11]

On March 1, 2010 during his visit to Brussels, he stated that there would be no change to Ukraine's status as a member of the alliance's outreach program.[39] He later reiterated during a trip to Moscow that Ukraine would remain a "European, non-aligned state."[40]

Popular opinion in Ukraine

In 2004 40% of Ukrainians were against joining NATO and 30% were in favour, the rest was uncertain.[41]

According to the FOM-Ukraine pollster, in April 2009, 57% of Ukrainians were against joining the alliance, while 21% were in favor. A Gallup poll conducted in October 2008 showed that 45% of Ukrainians associated NATO as a threat to their country, while only 15% associated it with protection.[42]

A November 2009 poll by Ukrainian Project System relieved 40.1% of Ukrainians polled said the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) was the best global security group for Ukraine to be apart of[43], more than 36% of the respondents of the poll said that Ukraine should remain neutral and only 12.5% supported Ukraine's accession to NATO.[44]

Western Ukraine is significant more pro-Nato than the rest of the country.[45]

Russian resistance

Neighbouring Russia is fiercely opposed to any eastward expansion of NATO.[46] On February 12, 2008 (then) Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia may target its missiles at Ukraine if its neighbour joins NATO and accepts the deployment of a US missile defence shield.[47] Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has stated more than once his country will not allow foreign military bases on its territory[48][49]; as of December 2009 NATO is not planning to deploy military bases in Ukraine.[50]

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin allegedly declared at a NATO-Russia summit in 2008 that if Ukraine would join NATO his country can contend to annex the Ukrainian East and Crimea[51].

During a NATO conference in Hungarian parliament on 20 November 2008 Deputy Assistant Secretary-General Aurelia Bouchez said:"We should not make a choice between NATO enlargement and Russia as we need both"[52] and NATO's Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer told a conference in Spain twelve days later: "The emergence of independent states within the former Soviet space is a reality. The ability of these states to determine their own future is a litmus test for the new Europe. Do we have to choose between good relations with Russia and further enlargement? My answer is no - we will not choose, will not sacrifice one for the other. It would bring new dividing lines."[53]

References and footnotes

  1. ^ CNN | U.S. wins NATO backing for missile defense shield
  2. ^ Rice, Kouchner, comment NATO Ministerial's decision, UNIAN (03-12-2008)]
  3. ^ a b NATO To Work Out National Programme Of Assistance To Ukraine For Acceding Alliance, Ukrainian News Agency (December 3, 2008)]
  4. ^ Razumkov Centre poll Retrieved on August 26, 2009
  5. ^ "Ukraine leftists meet NATO envoys with burning U.S. flag". RIA Novosti. 2008-06-17. http://en.rian.ru/world/20080617/110944006.html. Retrieved 2008-09-20. 
  6. ^ Khrestin, Igor (2008-08-18). "Politics as usual". UNIAN. http://www.unian.net/eng/news/news-267760.html. Retrieved 2008-09-20. 
  7. ^ Kupchinsky, Roman (2008-09-10). "Surprising and Contradictory Opinions on the Ukrainian Streets" (). Eurasia Daily Monitor (Jamestown foundation). http://www.jamestown.org/edm/article.php?article_id=2373355. Retrieved 2008-09-21. 
  8. ^ NATO military exercise begins in Ukraine Retrieved on September 20, 2008
  9. ^ "Half of Ukrainians opposed to Ukraine's membership of NATO, poll indicates". Interfax. 2008-02-11. http://www.interfax.com.ua/en/press-center/press-conference/106882/. Retrieved 2008-09-15. 
  10. ^ Afghanistan, Russia top challenges for new NATO head, Reuters (July 30, 2009)
  11. ^ a b Yanukovych opens door to Russian navy keeping base in Ukraine GlobalSecurity.org Retrieved on March 09, 2010
  12. ^ a b c d Serhy Yekelchyk "Ukraine: Birth of a Modern Nation", Oxford University Press (2007), ISBN 9780195305463
  13. ^ Gerald B. H. Solomon, Center for Strategic and International Studies. The NATO enlargement debate, 1990-1997, 1998, p. 120
  14. ^ Solomon, Center for Strategic and International Studies, p. 121
  15. ^ NATO-Ukraine Commission
  16. ^ Armed Forces of Ukraine, Ukrainian peacekeeping personnel as a part of Multinational forces in Iraq (from Dec 2005) and NATO Training Mission in Iraq (NTM-I) (from Feb 2006)
  17. ^ BBC NEWS | Europe | Medvedev warns on Nato expansion
  18. ^ Half of Ukrainians opposed to Ukraine's membership of NATO, poll indicates - Interfax Ukraine
  19. ^ Ukraine asks to join NATO membership action plan : Ukraine News by UNIAN
  20. ^ Party of Regions blocks rostrum in parliament : Ukraine News by UNIAN
  21. ^ Verkhovna Rada to resume work on Tuesday – Yatseniuk : Ukraine News by UNIAN
  22. ^ BBC NEWS | Europe | Bush to back Ukraine's Nato hopes
  23. ^ Obama Statement on Ukraine's Commitment to Join NATO | U.S. Senator Barack Obama
  24. ^ McCain Backs Tougher Line Against Russia - March 27, 2008 - The New York Sun
  25. ^ BBC NEWS | Europe | Nato denies Georgia and Ukraine
  26. ^ [1]
  27. ^ [2]
  28. ^ During a NATO conference in Hungarian parliament on 20 November she said:"We should not make a choice between NATO enlargement and Russia as we need both"[3] [4]
  29. ^ He told a conference in Spain: "The emergence of independent states within the former Soviet space is a reality. The ability of these states to determine their own future is a litmus test for the new Europe. Do we have to choose between good relations with Russia and further enlargement? My answer is no - we will not choose, will not sacrifice one for the other. It would bring new dividing lines."[5]
  30. ^ Condoleezza Rice told a press conference, "We believe that the NATO-Georgia Commission and the NATO-Ukraine Commission can be the bodies with which we intensify our dialogue and our activities. And, therefore, there does not need at this point in time to be any discussion of MAP."[6]
  31. ^ [7]
  32. ^ Ohryzko Takes NATO Decision To Develop National Programme Of Assistance To Ukraine For Entering Alliance As De Facto Obtaining MAP, Ukrainian News Agency (December 3, 2008)
  33. ^ Rada Ratifies Additional Protocols To Memorandum Of Mutual Understanding Between Cabinet Of Ministers And NATO, Ukrainian News Agency (February 18, 2009)
  34. ^ NATO providing humanitarian aid to Ukraine, Interfax-Ukraine (November 3, 2009)
  35. ^ NATO-Ukraine consultations to take place in Brussels, RIA Novosti (November 16, 2009)
  36. ^ NATO Secretary General says Annual National Program is important step on Ukraine's path to membership in Alliance, Interfax-Ukraine (November 16, 2009)
  37. ^ Yanukovych describes current level of Ukraine's cooperation with NATO as sufficient, Interfax-Ukraine (January 12, 2010)
  38. ^ FOM-Ukraine FOM-Ukraine April 2009 survey Retrieved on June 4, 2009
  39. ^ Ukraine's Yanukovych: EU ties a 'key priority', Kyiv Post (March 1, 2010)
  40. ^ Ukraine vows new page in ties with Russia Retrieved on March 09, 2010
  41. ^ ELECTION BRIEFING NO. 16 - EUROPE AND THE UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION OF 2004, European Parties Elections and Referendums Network/University of Sussex
  42. ^ Ukrainians May Oppose President’s Pro-Western Goals Gallup Retrieved on August 26, 2009
  43. ^ 33.9% of the respondents supported Ukraine's full membership in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO); 16.1% said that Ukraine should take part in particular CSTO programs; 7.5% supported sporadic participation in particular missions; 4.6% said that Ukraine should abstain from any contacts with the CSTO; 9% said they had never heard of CSTO, and 18.9% found it difficult to answer the question. Source: Poll: over 40 percent of Ukrainians prefer Collective Security Treaty Organization , 12.5 percent favor NATO, Kyiv Post (November 26, 2009)
  44. ^ Poll: over 40 percent of Ukrainians prefer Collective Security Treaty Organization , 12.5 percent favor NATO, Kyiv Post (November 26, 2009)
  45. ^ Endgame in NATO's Enlargement: The Baltic States and Ukraine by Yaroslav Bilinsky, 1999, Greenwood Press, ISBN 0275963632/ISBN 978-0275963637, page 25
  46. ^ BBC NEWS | Europe | Bush backs Ukraine on Nato bid
  47. ^ BBC NEWS | Europe | Russia in Ukraine missile threat
  48. ^ Ukraine says ‘no’ to foreign bases, Russia Today (June 16, 2008)
  49. ^ Ukraine's territory will never be used against Russia, says Yuschenko, Interfax-Ukraine (July 6, 2009)
  50. ^ NATO not planning to deploy military bases in Ukraine, Kyiv Post (December 16, 2009)
  51. ^ (Ukrainian) The Empirial complex of Russians, Ukrayinska Pravda (July 3, 2008)
  52. ^ [8] [9]
  53. ^ [10]

See also

External links


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