Ukraine deserves a chance to receive the NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP) and is ready for it, Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Olha Stefanishyna stated on the air of a Ukrainian TV channel.

“Currently, NATO is formulating a strategy for 10 years … As the Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, who is in charge of this task on a daily basis, I can confirm that Ukraine is ready for the Membership Action Plan. And the president, the government, and the parliament – and this is a unique situation for the past 20 years – are working to ensure that the European and Euro-Atlantic capitals are ready for this,” Stefanishyna said.

According to her, no official document stipulates that a country with ongoing internal territorial conflict cannot become a member of the EU or NATO. In addition, according to the Deputy Prime Minister, the geopolitical balance of power is changing around the world.

In order to obtain the MAP, Stefanishyna stressed, Ukraine needs to carry out a number of reforms, the implementation of which has already begun, including the introduction of changes in the field of defence procurement, security and defence sectors, the Security Service and the rule of law.

“I think that now is the historic moment when there is a consensus of at least 14 Allies on the implementation of an open door policy; there is a new U.S. administration in which the U.S. president has a unique understanding of the Ukrainian file… Ukraine and Georgia are the only non-NATO member states which are responsible for the security in the Black Sea region. That is why Ukraine’s membership in NATO and the MAP is a big task that not only Ukraine needs,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

Leonid Kravchuk, the first President of Ukraine and the head of the Ukrainian delegation to the Trilateral Contact Group on Donbas, also commented on possible accession to NATO. In his opinion, Ukraine’s accession to the North Atlantic Alliance is an opportunity to build an independent state.

“Ukraine must be in NATO. There is no other option for Ukraine because today it defends its land from the Russian aggressor. And there is only one way: to become a NATO member and thus protect our ability to develop an independent country… We need to work, fulfill what is provided for in NATO’s plan, implement the packages that are provided for Ukraine,” the politician said.

Meanwhile, Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak said at a briefing on Friday, 5 March that the process of Ukraine’s accession to NATO should be accelerated as much as possible.

“Ukraine is at war; our country is an outpost for the protection of democratic values, so we deserve to be part of the NATO family. Every day in Donbas, Ukrainians die for their democratic choice,” Yermak said.

According to him, now is the time when “Ukraine must talk about joining NATO every day, demand accession as it adheres to the roadmap of steps necessary for the association.”

As a reminder, NATO granted Ukraine the Enhanced Opportunities Partner status in June 2020.

Bohdan Marusyak

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