In the coming months, an updated version of the country's military doctrine will be adopted in Ukraine. This was announced by the head of the Directorate for National Security and Defense of the Office of the President of Ukraine Ivan Aparshin. According to him, the document will record the country's commitment to joining NATO.
“Ukraine’s acquisition of NATO membership is this ... the issue is not being discussed today ... In the near future, within two to three months, there will be a military strategy. There will also be a direct norm regarding Ukraine’s accession to NATO, ”Aparshin said at a discussion on the anniversary of constitutional amendments to strengthen the country's course towards NATO and the EU.
“Partner with advanced features”
From the point of view of political scientists, the updated version of the military doctrine of Ukraine is unlikely to seriously differ from the current version, adopted in 2015 under Petro Poroshenko.
Recall that this document spells out the rules aimed at preparing the country for joining the North Atlantic Alliance. In particular, it speaks of the need for "a comprehensive reform of the system of ensuring national security to a level acceptable for membership in the EU and NATO."
The development of the Armed Forces should be carried out “according to Western standards” in order to achieve compatibility with the armies of the member states of the alliance. The authors of the military doctrine also consider the integration of Ukraine into NATO as a way of counteracting the “aggressive policy of the Russian Federation”. It is alleged that Moscow allegedly is building up near the border with the republic "troop groupings with powerful shock and offensive potential."
It is also worth noting that in February last year, the preamble of the Ukrainian constitution spelled out "the irreversibility of the European and Euro-Atlantic course." The basic law also obliges the president to guarantee the implementation of the "strategic course of the state to gain full membership of Ukraine in the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization."
The current Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky continues the pro-NATO policy of his predecessor, analysts say. At the same time, he expressed the idea of holding a referendum on the country's entry into the Western military bloc.
In October 2019, Minister of Defense of Ukraine Andrii Zagorodniuk announced a “restart” of relations with the alliance in order to achieve “full operational compatibility with NATO”. In early December, the Verkhovna Rada adopted a resolution "On the priority steps to ensure Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine - gaining full membership by Ukraine."
Thus, the deputies called on Zelensky to get an action plan for membership in NATO (MAP). However, the North Atlantic Alliance emphasizes that the issue of Ukraine’s joining the alliance is not on the agenda. At the same time, the immediate plans of Kiev include raising the status in relations with NATO to become a “partner with advanced capabilities”.
- Ukrainian soldiers in joint exercises with NATO
- © NATO
As a member of the Verkhovna Rada’s parliamentary committee on national security, defense and intelligence said, Irina Vereshchuk, Kiev will join the expanded opportunities program in October 2020. According to Vereshchuk, this will open up “new opportunities” for Ukraine.
“Ukraine is gradually implementing a strategy that is trying to bring the country closer to the standards of the North Atlantic Alliance and thus declare its readiness to become a full member of NATO. However, as we know, the issue of joining the military bloc in the West is not considered, ”said Denis Denisov, director of the Institute for Peace Initiatives and Conflictology, in an interview with RT.
In his opinion, the leadership of Ukraine does not file a second application for the MAP, realizing that it will not be accepted. He recalled that in 2008 Kiev had already suffered a diplomatic fiasco, having sent an official request to Brussels to issue an action plan for NATO membership. As a result, Germany, France and several other European states opposed and instead of the MAP with Kiev, a declaration was signed on the addition to the Charter on a special partnership.
“Ukraine can do and declare anything, but the reality is that in the West there is no desire to accept Kiev into NATO. No discussion is even going on this subject. Ukraine can rebuild the army according to the standards of the alliance and continue to serve further as an “anti-Russian outpost,” but it still cannot count on membership, ”Denisov explained.
“Losing a credit of trust”
In turn, in an interview with RT, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of World Economy and World Politics at the Higher School of Economics, Andrey Suzdaltsev, noted that in recent years there has been a "decline in pro-NATO enthusiasm in Ukraine." The expert explained this trend by the growing demand of the population for a more balanced and balanced foreign policy.
According to Ukrainian social services, the number of those who support Kiev’s integration into NATO is decreasing in the country, and the number of adherents of the non-aligned status of the republic is increasing.
Calculations by the Kiev International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) also indicate a reduction in the number of Ukrainians who are impressed by the rapprochement between Kiev and the Western military bloc. If in December 2018, 46.1% of respondents supported NATO membership, then in the summer of next year this figure dropped to 40.9%.
“Of course, there are still many supporters of NATO in Ukraine. It is no secret that the idea of joining the alliance is traditionally supported by residents of Western Ukraine, and this is about half of the country. The positions of the east after the loss of Crimea and parts of Donbass objectively became weaker. Nevertheless, we are recording a decline in pro-NATO sentiment, ”says Suzdaltsev.
According to him, skepticism towards the alliance is observed even in the anti-Russian circles of Ukraine. So, on February 23, in an interview with 112 channel, the country's former defense minister, Alexander Kuzmuk, said that the West was not going to accept Ukraine into the alliance, although Kiev, according to him, would become a "profitable member."
“Because they (Western politicians. - RT ) are in constant thought about the influence of Russia on Ukraine, about the influence of Russia on the Western world. Why swear? And such a containment system. The doors are open, only a step in the door - once, before their nose they close, ”Kuzmuk complained.
- Square in front of NATO Headquarters
- © Francois Lenoir / Reuters
According to Andrei Suzdaltsev, now Ukrainian politicians, including Zelensky, are deprived of the opportunity to earn points on pro-NATO slogans. Maintaining the course towards Ukraine’s integration into NATO, from the expert’s point of view, is a consequence of the “weakness” of the current president.
“Zelensky, with his defiantly peace-loving rhetoric, was perceived as an alternative to the militant Poroshenko with his radical pro-NATO initiatives. However, due to the lack of specific cases, Zelensky is rapidly losing his credit of trust, which is reflected in a drop in his rating, ”says Suzdaltsev.
In a commentary to RT, Director of the Progressive Policy Fund Oleg Bondarenko explained the increase in the number of supporters of non-aligned status as a “sobering up” of the population due to a falling standard of living and the “instability of the Ukrainian government.”
“If six years ago, in 2014, against the backdrop of a surge of anti-Russian hysteria in Ukraine, there was an unequivocal tilt towards NATO, now the pendulum has swung back. People want stability, which is now associated with the period until 2014. But be that as it may, Ukraine with its territorial conflicts cannot be accepted into NATO, ”Bondarenko summed up.