NATO DREAMS: What Obstacle Prevents Ukraine from Becoming a ‘NATO Outpost’?

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The president of Ukraine, Pyotr Poroshenko, declared that his country is indeed the eastern flank of NATO. Political scientist Aleksei Bychkov expressed his opinion that the Ukrainian authorities confuse, as always, their desires with reality.

The Ukrainian president visited the base of the US Coast Guard in Baltimore, where the ceremony of delivery to Kiev of two decommissioned patrol boats took place.

“Ukraine is indeed the eastern flank of NATO, and this gesture of support has strengthened military cooperation between our countries,” Poroshenko said.

According to him, the delivery of the boats confirms “the importance of Ukraine for the future of the whole free world”.

Poroshenko said that to date Kiev has received more than one billion dollars from Washington as “security support”, including as assistance in reforming the Ukrainian defense sector and introducing the law on national security. According to him, the Ukrainian army is becoming compatible with the US Armed Forces and with NATO.

Bychkov commented that Poroshenko’s statement is an attempt to present his wishes as a reality, which is also related to the upcoming elections in Ukraine.

“History does not admit the subjunctive mood, but Ukraine in perspective could have become a NATO outpost on the eastern European borders of the alliance, closing the so-called NATO ring around Russia. But the events of 2014 shuffled all letters, frustrating these plans,” said the political scientist.

For him, if today the Crimea were Ukrainian territory, instead of the Russian ships there would be the ships of NATO. But it did not happen that way.

States that have territorial disputes cannot join NATO, as in the case of Georgia and Ukraine aspiring to join, he said.

The delivery of weapons and vessels to Ukraine is an attempt not to leave it out and to show their interest in strengthening it, they say. However, the country receives obsolete equipment, already useless to the US military, said Aleksei Bychkov, adding that instead of being recycled it is sent to Ukraine and other countries that want to join NATO.

Ukraine’s interest in NATO has been increasing since 2014 when the pro-Western right-wing government came to power. The Supreme Rada deputies have adopted amendments to the laws that previously established the status of Ukraine as a non-aligned country. In 2016, the country’s entry into NATO was officially recognized as the goal of the country’s foreign policy.

In turn, former NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen pointed out that in order to join the alliance, Ukraine must meet several requirements whose achievement can take years. According to several experts, Kiev will need at least 20 years to do so.

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