Anastasia Pechenyuk21:36, 05/26/23
The idea of Ukraine joining the Alliance according to the West German model is gaining popularity in Europe.
On the eve of the NATO summit, Kiev’s partners are increasingly discussing the possibility of Ukraine joining the Alliance even before the return of all the territories occupied by the Russians – following the example of West Germany, writes The New York Times.
Many experts and European leaders, in particular Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, note that NATO membership is “the only guarantee of security for Ukraine.”
“The whole point of Ukraine joining NATO would be to make sure that Russia doesn’t attack Ukraine again. Because we saw in this war that NATO is the only form of deterrence that has worked against Russia,” notes Russia expert and Germany Angela Stent.
At the same time, the Alliance constantly emphasizes that it will be possible to talk about joining only after the cessation of hostilities. In Washington and Western Europe, this position is explained by the fact that Ukraine’s accession to the Alliance could push Russia to further escalation. There are also arguments that NATO cannot accept a country that is at war.
However, there was already a precedent when NATO accepted a country with “significant and unresolved territorial issues” and a form of hostile occupation – West Germany became a member of the Alliance in 1955 – decades before the country’s unification in 1989 – even despite the resistance of the USSR.
In some European capitals, the West German model is gaining popularity and is seen as a way to ensure real security for Ukraine even if not all territories are de-occupied.
“When West Germany joined NATO, there was what can be called a monumental frozen conflict. And yet it was considered very important to anchor West Germany in the Western alliance, and so West Germany joined. The Russians complained about it and said it was very dangerous, but they were powerless to prevent it,” comments Angela Stent.
Experts note that Ukraine’s accession to the Alliance already has many advantages. If the resistance of the Ukrainian forces eventually leads to a large-scale withdrawal of Russia and its defeat, NATO membership – with strong ceasefire lines and patrolling by a coalition of peacekeeping forces of the Alliance and other countries – would be a serious lever for Ukraine in peace negotiations with the enemy, emphasizes the French expert for Defense François Gaisbourg. In addition, NATO membership would provide a basis for rebuilding the country after the war, attracting private investment and returning many refugees from abroad.
Ukraine’s accession to NATO – what you need to know
Last year, in September, Ukraine applied to join NATO under the accelerated procedure. In May of this year, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg visited Kiev for the first time since the start of a full-scale war and after the visit confirmed that NATO had reached an agreement on Ukraine’s accession to the Alliance. At the same time, he emphasized that if Ukraine did not win the war, there would be no point in talking about NATO membership.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said that Kyiv has an understanding that it is impossible to join the Alliance before the end of the war. At the same time, he emphasized that at the July summit, NATO seeks to obtain security guarantees from partner countries before the country joins the Alliance. Alternatives to NATO membership are not being considered, the President emphasized.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that he expects the summit to approve a multi-year program to help Ukraine move towards NATO military standards.
“However, there was already a precedent when NATO accepted a country with “significant and unresolved territorial issues” and a form of hostile occupation – West Germany became a member of the Alliance in 1955 – decades before the country’s unification in 1989 – even despite the resistance of the USSR.”
One huge difference. In 1955 the POTUS was Dwight D. Eisenhower. Enough said!
It goes to show you what a difference a strong and brave president can have in history, as compared to a weak and cowardly one.
The major difference though is that Germany was not at war at the time, so admitting W Germany didn’t trigger an immediate conflict.
That’s the same talking points the Kremlin uses. Congratulations.