Ukraine is still not a member of NATO due to the war in Donbas and the temporary occupation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, German Ambassador to Ukraine Anka Feldhusen has said.
“You know that NATO has 30 Member States. Getting a consensus is not easy. Ukraine knows this. You have worked very hard to convince individual countries. But the fact remains that there is a military conflict in Ukraine. It is always difficult for NATO to accept new countries where there are such conflicts,” the diplomat said.
She noted that the provision of a Membership Action Plan depends, inter alia, on political conditions, and the Member States should be gradually persuaded that Ukraine needs a MAP.
“It is necessary to convince one NATO country, another, a third… And when there are too many countries that want to provide a MAP to Ukraine, then the pressure on others will be much greater. This, in my opinion, is the only way. And, of course, you need to talk to the United States, France, and the United Kingdom. This is the only way Ukraine can follow now,” the German ambassador said.
She also noted that she would like Ukraine to receive a MAP at the NATO Summit in Vilnius in 2023, but, in her words, she “cannot influence 30 NATO Member States.” The diplomat recalled the words of the Estonian Minister of Defence, who advised Ukrainians to be ready to join the Alliance when “a window of opportunity opens.”
Ms. Feldhusen stressed that Ukraine already has the tools to go further. These are the Annual National Programmes led by the NATO-Ukraine Commission, which are implemented by Ukraine every year. Also, for almost two years now, Ukraine has had the status of the Alliance’s Enhanced Opportunities Partner, where the existing opportunities have not yet been fully used, as there are not only military reforms, but also judicial and anti-corruption ones.
The ambassador noted that NATO is not just a military organisation. It is an organisation of common values. And these common values are justice, democracy… Ukraine is a democratic state, but it still has a lot to do to make not only foreign companies but also Ukrainians feel more protected.