Why does Ukraine want to join NATO? Why is Russia worried about Ukraine’s entry into NATO?

Ukraine is not a member of NATO, but it has repeatedly expressed its desire to become a member. This objective is even written into the country’s constitution! One of the main reasons is that joining NATO will boost Ukraine’s defensive strength because of NATO’s policy of collective defence, which we discussed before. According to Article 5 in NATO’s founding treaty, an attack against one ally is considered as an attack against all allies, which commits them to protect each other.

In 2008, NATO leaders promised Ukraine it would be given the chance to join the alliance. Ukraine has been a strong partner with NATO but has not met all the criteria required to become a member nation. The rule is that all 30 NATO allies must unanimously approve a new country for it to become a part of the alliance.

Russian leaders have been against the eastward expansion of NATO. This is after the alliance admitted former Warsaw Pact states and ex-Soviet republics in the late 1990s (the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland) and early 2000s (Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia). Russia became disturbed in the late 2000s as the alliance expressed its plans to make Georgia and Ukraine a part of it in the future.

Under these circumstances, Russia argues that the Western countries are challenging Moscow by breaking the verbal agreements made at the end of the Cold War that NATO would not expand eastwards. Though NATO denies any such promises were made, this issue has had an indirect role in the conflicts between Russia and Ukraine.

Picture Credit : Google

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